Preschool (2-4 years)

At Dutch preschools, the emphasis is on language as well as and on social, physical and creative development. Children sing, play outside and listen to stories. The preschool approach mirrors that in groups 1 and 2 (ages 4-5) in primary school. This makes the transition to primary school easier for children. Preschool typically begins at 2.5 years of age, though it is not compulsory. Some preschools provide care for four or five hours per day but are closed for holidays, school breaks and in summer. However, some may offer full-time programmes, extended care and summer options. Contact the different preschools to learn more about their policies and choose the one that best fits your personal situation.

Preschool is not compulsory.

Preschool and Daycare

Preschools typically take the form of playgroups (peuterspeelzaal) or daycare centres (kinderdagverblijf), which have special educational programmes for children between two-and-a-half to four years old. The emphasis is on language and on social, physical and creative development. The children draw, sing, play outside, listen to stories, and talk about them together. Preschools always work together with a primary school, and their programme and approach is geared to the curriculum and way of working in year groups 1 and 2 at the primary school. This makes the transition to primary school easier for your child.

If you live in Amsterdam, learn more about preschool and early childhood education.