FAMILY MATTERS

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PARTNER & SPOUSE NETWORK

It is with great pleasure to welcome all partners and spouses of International Employees at VU Amsterdam to our network.  We are currently developing a programme and network to support accompanying partners after your arrival in a new country, city and culture. We aim to support you in both your professional and social aspirations. 

If you have further questions, ideas or would like to contribute to the programme, please do not hesitate to contact us via relocations@vu.nl

CHILDCARE FACILITIES

Childcare facilities

The general term for daycare in the Netherlands is kinderopvang, which covers options such as host parents, daycare facilities and nursery school. Please keep in mind that the demand for daycare facilities in the Netherlands is high and that it is therefore not unusual to encounter waiting lists of 6 months for certain facilities.

Daycare

Children up to four years old can be looked after in a daycare center or crèche. Depending on the specific daycare center, they have special groups for babies and toddlers or combine the two groups. Most daycare facilities are open from 08.00 – 18.00 an offer all-day care. Some have longer opening hours and offer more flexible child care solutions. All childcare centers must comply with a strict standard of quality according to Dutch law

Babysitters or Hostparents (gastouders)

You can also wish to have your child looked after by a babysitter. In this case, a babysitter who is registered with an agency would take care of your child in their home or yours. Babysitters are only allowed to care for a maximum of four children. The agency selects their employees and inspects places of care for safety and hygiene frequently. 

Buitenschoolse opvang - BSO (After School Hours Care)

The BSO take care of children in the age from 4-12 after school hours and during holidays. Your child's school can help you find local ones.

 

SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION

In the Netherlands children have the obligation to go to school when they are 5 years old, but they can start school at the age of 4. They first go to a Primary School (group 1-8) and then they will continue their education at a school for Secondary Education.

Primary School

Children in the Netherlands generally attend primary school (basisschool) from age 4 to age 12. The Netherlands is renowned for having a strong, qualitative and well-balanced education system. Amsterdam offers a variety of schools: regular state schools, international schools, Montessori schools, religious schools, etc. It is recommendable to look for a school soon after arriving in the Netherlands. Before arriving it might be useful to already get informed on how to choose a school, how to apply and check primary schools (currently only available in Dutch unfortunately) in the area where you will be living. 
Children between four and twelve years old, new to the Netherlands and not speaking Dutch can join the so-called newcomers’ classes. These classes have a program to learn Dutch and to get acquainted with Dutch culture. The aim is to let the children enter regular or bilingual education after one year.  

Secondary School

There are four branches of secondary education. A report from the primary school will advise which branch best suits the child. In addition to this report, children undergo a test in group 8 to assess their aptitude. This usually is the CITO test (CITO-toets). The results of the test and the recommendation, as well as pupils’ and parents’ own preferences, determine the type of curriculum the child will follow at secondary school. 

If a child is (relatively) new to the Netherlands and would normally go to secondary school, but his or her level of Dutch is not sufficient, the child can attend an international bridging year. This bridging year is known as kopklas and takes place between primary and secondary school. Pupils are enrolled in the kopklas via their primary school but follow the secondary school timetable, keeping in touch with their peers. You can gain more information about this international bridging year at the primary/secondary school your child will attend. 

  • For more information please see the website of IN Amsterdam

CHILDCARE BENEFITS

Everyone who is considered an ordinarily resident, or who works in the Netherlands has a right to Child Benefit (Kinderbijslag) for children (including step- and foster-children) under the age of 18. This benefit is meant to allay the expenses of care for a child, such as clothing, sports activities and so forth.  Childcare allowance, is a contribution of the government towards the cost of childcare facilities, and is only applicable if you work in the Netherlands on the basis of an employment contract.

  • Please see the website of IN Amsterdam for more information.

HEALTHCARE INSURANCE FOR FAMILIES

Everyone who is considered an ordinarily resident, or who works in the Netherlands has a right to Child Benefit (Kinderbijslag) for children (including step- and foster-children) under the age of 18. This benefit is meant to allay the expenses of care for a child, such as clothing, sports activities and so forth.  Childcare allowance, is a contribution of the government towards the cost of childcare facilities, and is only applicable if you work in the Netherlands on the basis of an employment contract.

 

  • Please see the website of IN Amsterdam for more information.

PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY LEAVE

If you are an employee of VU,  you have the right to a total of 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. The partner of the mother has the right to one week of parental leave once the baby is born (as of January 1st, 2019).

Pregnancy leave starts 6 to 4 weeks before the expected date of birth. If you choose to start your pregnancy leave 6 weeks before the baby is due, you have a total of 10 weeks of maternity leave (16-6=10). If you choose to start your pregnancy leave 4 weeks before the baby is due, you have a total of 12 weeks of maternity leave (16-4=12). The choice is yours.

It is wise not to wait too long before informing your employer about your pregnancy, as this allows your employer to take measures if necessary, such as finding a temporary replacement. You are expected to inform your employer that you are pregnant when you are 16 weeks pregnant.

Most women in the Netherlands remain under the care of a midwife (verloskundige) during pregnancy and childbirth. If you want to go straight to a gynecologist rather than a midwife, a referral from your GP is obligatory.

In the Netherlands, home births are relatively popular. If you'd prefer not to have a home birth, you can always choose to have your baby at a hospital. However, some insurance companies will not cover a hospital birth unless there is a medically compelling reason to do so. Be sure to ask about the cover provided by your health insurance policy first.

VACANCIES

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