Children usually attend a preschool (‘peuterschool’ or ‘peuterspeelzaal’) around the age of 3. This gives them the opportunity to interact with other children in a playful manner and become accustomed to certain school-like rules. From the age of 4, children are permitted to attend school in the Netherlands and school is compulsory for children from the age of 5 to 18.
Preschool The Little Prince
This preschool offers a bilingual curriculum (Dutch and English) especially for toddlers.
Children from various nationalities are prepared here for a smooth transition to primary school here or elsewhere in the world.
Address: Bisschopstraat 41, 7513 AJ Enschede
Stichting Kinderopvang Hof van Twente
This organisation offers various child care possiblities in Twente
Adres: Welemanstraat 25, 7622 HB Borne
Telefoon: 0547 727 020
If you choose a Dutch school, foreign children aged 6 years and older are required to follow a Dutch immersion program (schakelklas or nieuwkomersklas, see below) before starting regular education in the Netherlands. Younger foreign children, however, can usually start at a regular Dutch primary school or preschool straight away.
Dutch primary immersion programme (schakelklas)
The above mentioned immersion programme usually takes one school year, depending on the individual child. The children will follow the regular curriculum, while learning Dutch. There is a lot of attention for the individual situation and level of Dutch of the children. Schools with a “schakelklas” in the Twente area:
Address: Wezelstraat 71
7559 AR Hengelo
IOK De Globe
Dr. Benthemstraat 54
7514 CM Enschede.
Tel: 053 – 4342355
Dutch school fees and costs
Free primary and secondary state education in the Netherlands is available to everyone. Parents are only asked to pay a voluntarily contribution to certain special activities and events, which is usually below EUR 100,– per year although this varies between schools. Additional costs include lengthier school trips and after-school care (buitenschoolse opvang), which the school provides or sub-contracts to an external day care organisation.
There are also private primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands that are not government funded or subsidised. These schools typically have smaller classes compared to regular Dutch schools, and sometimes offer specialised programmes for children who have minor learning difficulties, for example dyslexia or language difficulties. Fees vary greatly although typically start around EUR 10.000,– per year.
How to enrol into Dutch education
Every city or town has its own school application policy. In some cities the schools work with a waiting list and you’ll need to sign up as early as possible. You should enquire well in advance, even when you are pregnant, with the municipality (gemeente) or the school of your preference how it works in your area.
State-run schools are technically not allowed to refuse admission, unless they are full. On the schools’ websites you can find brochures and which days you can visit the school (open day/info session). Be prepared that most of the information sessions will be given in Dutch.
School inspection reports can be viewed online at www.owinsp.nl under Zoek Scholen (enter the name of the school and/or town). The visual representation of green (good) and red (weak) will give some idea of performance. Note that this applies to state schools and Dutch international schools only. On www.scholenopdekaart.nl you can also find information about schools in the Netherlands and their results.