Schooling and Day care

At WE4EXPATS, we understand children of any age bring extra complexity and additional challenges to relocation. Especially when there is the desire or need for extra attention for linguistic or cultural specificities. You want a school, daycare or au pair to take the situation of your recent relocation into consideration. And rightfully so.

We’ve helped many expats with relocating their children to the Netherlands. We aim to simplify the school selection process by listening carefully to your requirements and then creating a shortlist of establishments that we believe will meet the needs of your children. Doing so, we separate the wheat from the chaff so that you can make an informed decision. For in the end, only you will know what school, daycare or au pair will work best for your children.

Child care in the Netherlands

As every country, the Netherlands has its own peculiarities when it comes to child care facilitation. In this article we like to give you a short introduction on the latest trends in child care policy and the most common challenges you will encounter.

Recently there are some favorable developments. In the past, especially day care in the Netherlands was very expensive. To compensate, the government came with a tax return structure called ‘toeslagen’ (surcharges). However, this structure turned out to be unmanageable by the Dutch tax office. In future policy plans, day care will be paid for 90-95% directly by the government.

A school lottery?

Another dutch peculiarity is the so-called school lotteries. Due to the scarcity of schools (and day care) in the larger cities and the preference by many parents for some specific schools, you could encounter a lottery that determines which applications will be accepted. Needless to say, this lottery system can bring a lot of stress for both parents and children. Especially when there is only one suitable school nearby. Being timely informed on options, possible consequences and alternatives, prevents disappointment. 

This is why we urge expats that want to move to the Netherlands with their children to contact us to support with the following:

  • Advice on school and day-care options (including Dutch, international or special needs schools, if required)
  • Explain and advise about the Amsterdam school lottery (if applicable)
  • Check school availability
  • Arrange school visits
  • Assist with the admission process

Quality au pairs

The Netherlands has many young people working as au pairs, as well as organisations that facilitate the contact between au pairs and parents. Unfortunately, most of these organisations are online platforms that don’t work with intakes, background checks and checked references. 

Benefit from our network of trustworthy au pairs. We’ll arrange the introduction and we will make sure the references are checked before he or she starts working with you.


Integrating into a new community is scary when you are young. With the newcomers’ classes from LOWAN your child is ensured of a positive start. This initiative for newcomers spans over both primary school and high school. Next to excellent teaching, they built on the following principles:

  • A buddy who speaks the same language
  • Communicating non-verbally as a teacher
  • Give students their own table, chair (safe place)
  • Photo/flag or name of the student
  • Space and time for the student to play (think: kapla, building corner, house corner, coloring page)
  • Group-building games with little language
  • Parents are welcome in the classroom and at school

LOWAN is just an example of initiatives that we can introduce you to. Let us help you to make the relocation of your children to the Netherlands be an easy one, so that they can feel at home as soon as they arrive.

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