Healthcare & Childcare

Dutch healthcare is regarded as among the best in the world and citizens in the Netherlands have access to both advanced treatments and preventative care. The government funds hospitals and long-term care through taxation, while medical insurance is used to pay for short-term treatment. It is mandatory to purchase at least basic health insurance, even if you are already insured in another country. Children under 18 years old are insured via their parents at no extra cost.

Finding the right school or childcare can be a challenge, especially when you are not familiar with the local system. While options for childcare are diverse and numerous, demand is high and waiting lists may be up to six months long, so it pays to be proactive. Note that some Dutch (and international) employers have their own childcare facilities.

On this page you find more information regarding healthcare and childcare

Healthcare

Everyone is required to purchase at least basic health insurance (basisverzekering), even if they are already insured in another country. You'll find its scope of coverage fairly comprehensive. Children under 18 years old are insured via their parents at no extra cost. Parents must register their child with an insurance company within four months of their birth. You’ll find a large number of health insurance companies (zorgverzekeraars) to choose from and can change insurers once a year, at the end of the year. A BSN (your unique ID number) is required to register for health insurance.

In a refreshingly egalitarian touch, healthcare insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for the basic health insurance and must charge all policyholders the same premium, regardless of their age or state of health.
If you’d like to go beyond the basics, you can get additional insurance for things like dentistry, physiotherapy, and a range of holistic modalities. In this case, insurance companies are not obliged to accept everyone who applies.

To get a sense for how it all works, you can download the 'Healthcare in the Netherlands' brochure, produced by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, below.

Hospitals and GP
There is very little difference between private and public hospitals, with the quality of care being quite high of both. Keep in mind that you generally cannot see a specialist without obtaining a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). This is not universally so, so check ahead and save time. Should a referral be needed, be aware that you may find that you need to attend several GP appointments before one is given. That is why it is important to register at a GP soon after you arrive in the country. In most cases, you will need to register at a GP that is no more than 15 minutes travel distance from your home (exceptions apply). Part of the reason is that, if necessary, they can easily make a visit at your home!

Useful links and downloads

Childcare

Finding the right school or childcare can be a challenge, especially when you are not familiar with the local system. While options for childcare are diverse and numerous, demand is high and waiting lists may be up to six months long, so it pays to be proactive. Note that some Dutch (and international) employers have their own childcare facilities.

There are three common benefits and allowances you can receive from the Dutch government:

  • Children's allowance (kinderbijslag)
    When raising children, this allowance, paid by the government, can help you cover the first costs when raising children. The amount depends on your situation, such as how many children you have, their age, do they live at home, etc.
  • Child benefit (kindgebonden budget)
    Child benefits are extra benefits next to the children’s allowance, for children up to 18 years old. This benefits help cover the costs for clothing, food, school expenses etc. Conditions apply.
    • Childcare benefit (kinderopvangtoeslag)
      Child day-care costs may be subsidized by the Dutch tax authorities when both parents are working. The child care benefit (kinderopvangtoeslag) can be applied for at the Dutch Tax authorities. Conditions apply.

    Your child day-care options

    • Day-care centres for children aged 0-4. Service is offered by private providers. Opening hours typically range from early morning until 18.00/18.30.
    • Toddler centres for children aged 2-4. Usually for a few hours per day. Toddler centres are usually connected to a primary school.
    • Afterschool care. This is offered often in collaboration with primary schools and/or a day-care centre.
    • Babysitter, au-pair, live-in nanny, host parent.

    Day-cares in Utrecht Region - Here are some options for day-cares in Utrecht Region: