Work options for partners
Your partner has the same rights as you:
- If your residence permit allows you to work without a work permit, your partner does not need one either.
- If you need a work permit to work in the Netherlands, then your partner will need one too. Your partner’s future employer is responsible for the work permit application.
Please note: There are exceptions to this rule and these can be fairly complicated. For more information, please contact the Staff Immigration Office at the University of Amsterdam.
In September 2023 a new career workshop will take place for newly-arrived international partners in the Netherlands. You can read more about this in the flyer Career workshop for international spouses’ (pdf, 1p.).
Health insurance for your family
Under the Dutch system, almost everyone needs to take out insurance on an individual basis. Your family is probably not insured on your personal health insurance policy; you need to insure them separately.
As a parent, you are responsible for making sure your children have health insurance. However, for children under 18, you won't need to pay a premium for their health insurance.
Pregnancy and maternity leave
If you are employed in the Netherlands, you have the right to a total of 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave.
- 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.
- Registering a birth
The Dutch social security system pays an allowance to help cover the cost of raising a child. If you fall under the Dutch social security scheme, you have a right to receive this child benefit (in Dutch: kinderbijslag).
To receive it, you must first submit an application. You can request an application form from the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB). When you apply, the SVB will ask you to send a list of vaccinations for every child living with you so that they can send you a reminder when the next one is due.
Daycare for pre-schoolers (0-4)
If your child is not yet old enough to go to school, you may want to arrange daycare. Options for daycare in the Netherlands include crèches or daycare centres, registered babysitters and nursery schools. You may be eligible for financial support from the Dutch government.
Finding suitable daycare
The Dutch term for daycare is kinderopvang which covers different options such as host parents (registered babysitters), daycare facilities or crèches, and nursery schools.
Demand for daycare is high, and there are often waiting lists for certain facilities. Be prepared to spend some time searching for a suitable daycare facility and making the necessary arrangements, especially if you will be reliant on daycare facilities.
Child care benefit
Almost every working parent in the Netherlands is eligible for financial support from the Dutch government to help with the cost of childcare. To receive a childcare allowance (kinderopvangtoeslag), you must apply for it through the tax office (Belastingdienst). You will first need a apply for a DigiD (Digital Identification Code).
Primary and secondary schools
Children can start school in the Netherlands from age 4. By law, they are required to attend school between the ages of 5 and 16.
As an international parent, you may want to send your child to an international school or to a Dutch school, depending on how long you plan to stay in the Netherlands.
Dutch education system
In the Netherlands, children must attend school when they turn 5 years old. They first attend primary school (group 1 to 8) and then continue their education at secondary school. Compulsory schooling ends at the end of the school year in which the child turns 16.
Please note: Because school attendance is required by law (in Dutch: leerplicht), schools will not give you permission to take your children on holidays outside of the official school holiday periods. Read more about the Dutch education system on the I Amsterdam website.
Local Dutch schools in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has over 190 primary schools but many have long waiting lists. Start looking for a school soon after arriving in the Netherlands.
There are over 30 secondary schools in Amsterdam grouped into four branches, ranging from vocational to pre-university education.
If you prefer an international education for your child, there are several options in and around Amsterdam. See an overview of international schools in the Amsterdam region.