Being a New parent in Amsterdam
Register the birth of your child at your local city office (gemeente).
The registration of your child’s birth should be done within the week of their birthdate. This is done at the stadhuis (town hall) in the town where the baby was born, within the department of municipal population affairs. As soon as you register your child’s birth, the child is automatically registered with your nearest child health clinic (consultatiebureau).
Consultatie Bureau (child health clinic)
Once your baby/child has been registered in the gemeente (municipality) – in the case that your child was born abroad and you just moved to the Netherlands or if you have just given birth in the Netherlands – you will receive an invitation from the consultatiebureau (child health clinic) in order to make your first appointment.
If you gave birth in The Netherlands, when your baby is two weeks old, a child health clinic nurse (wijkverpleegster )will pay an initial visit to your home. During this visit, the nurse will gather your child’s medical history, explain how the child health clinic system works, give you a copy of the ‘Groeiboek’ book (an English version called ‘growth guide’ is available on request). The growth guide outlines a baby’s first years of development, supplies important phone numbers, lists appointments you have attended at the clinic, records vaccinations, and charts your baby’s height and weight. It will also provide you with the name and address of your nearest child health clinic. If you do not have this book, your family doctor or midwife can direct you to your nearest child health clinic.
Preventative healthcare is the primary goal of the consultatiebureau (child health clinic). It provides vaccinations free of charge and checks the growth and development of babies and toddlers up to four years of age under the guidance of resident nurses and doctors. Once your child is going to primary school (usually at the age of 4 as kindergarten is part of primary school), the check-ups are continued by a schoolarts (school doctor). Going to a consultatiebureau or schoolarts is not compulsory, but it is strongly advised. You are not required to follow the advice of the consultatiebureau or schoolarts should you feel that it is not good for your child.
During the first year, you will visit the child health clinic approximately eight times and then a few times each successive year until your child is four years old. Please note that any vaccinations for your child will be given at the child health clinic.
Register your baby at your GP
It’s important to register your baby as a patient with your GP and discuss the basics of when to bring your baby in for a consultation in the case of illness. Make sure to also take note of the out-of-office-hours number for the Huisartsenpost - should your child be ill while your GP’s office is closed, you should call this number for medical advice and to eventually make an appointment for your child to be seen by a doctor. Read more about Healthcare in Amsterdam here.
Looking for childcare?
Daycare & Preschool
Many children start daycare in the Netherlands as early as at 10-12 weeks old and there are various childcare options available in Amsterdam. From larger chains to smaller daycare facilities and a unique option of privately run in-home daycare called a 'Gastouder' - you will find many options to choose from in Amsterdam. If you are looking for in-home Nanny or Babysitting services make sure to check our guide here. Keep in mind that many facilities have waiting lists and it is best to register your child/ children as soon as possible - yes even before they are born!
Daycare is available for children ages 0-4. Some facilities have 'vertical groups' meaning that all ages are in one group together, while others have 'horizontal groups' meaning that children are divided into groups by age. Most daycares are open from 7:30 am or 8:00 until 18:00 or 18:30. Some allow half days or mid-afternoon pick up and others even offer weekend care options. The Dutch government provides a subsidy towards daycare costs based on the income level of the family - both parents need to be working to take advantage of this subsidy.
An alternative to a daycare facility is a childminder (gastouder) who looks after up to 4 children in their home. These childminders are officially registered caretakers.The Dutch government provides a subsidy towards childminder (gastouder) costs based on the income level of the family - both parents need to be working to take advantage of this subsidy.
Nannies/ Babysitting Services
Whether you are looking for a full time Nanny or someone to watch your little one during date-night, our Guide to Nannies/ Babysitters will help you find the right person to help care for your child!
Ready to get out of the house with baby?
Check our Activity Calendar to find things to do with baby and meetups for parents!