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Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Accessibility

There is no universal legal entitlement to ECEC, but municipalities are required to offer ECEC to children who are at risk of entering primary education with a language deficiency in Dutch. Municipalities are also required to provide a sufficient amount of services, both in number and geographical spread.

Admission Requirements and Choice of ECEC Institution

  • Playgroups providing early childhood education are in principle open to all children between 2-2½ and 4 years of age. However, early childhood education is intended primarily for children with sociomedical problems and children suffering from or at risk of developmental delay.
  • Individual municipalities may give these children priority at playgroups where demand is high.
  • Potential developmental delays are often identified by baby and toddler clinics. These municipal clinics are part of the child health service and are responsible for basic medical care and prevention for children up to the age of four.
  • Parents may tell the municipality what playgroup they would prefer their child to attend. Such requests are usually met.

Age levels and grouping of children

To ensure the quality of childcare and early childhood education programmes, playgroups and day nurseries are subject to a number of restrictions regarding the size of each group and the minimum ratio of staff to children. The agreement between providers and parents on the quality of childcare and the Policy Rules on the Quality of Childcare lay down maximum group sizes. At day nurseries, children have their own regular group which has its own ‘base’, or room. The size and design of the rooms are in keeping with the group size and children’s ages. The maximum number of children in a group at the same time is:

  • for children under 12 months: no more than 12 children per group;
  • for children up to 4 years: no more than 16 children per group, of whom no more than 8 may be under 12 months.

In day nurseries or out-of-school care at a childcare centre, the maximum permitted number of children per qualified staff member is as follows:

  • four children under 12 months; or
  • five children aged 1 to 2; or
  • six children aged 2 to 3; or
  • eight children aged 3 to 4.

At small childcare centres with only one qualified staff member present, there must always be at least one other adult to provide assistance. Many municipalities also lay down quality standards for playgroups.

There are various early childhood education programmes. Most aim to tackle language disadvantage. Some programmes also address arithmetic and children’s motor skills and socioemotional development. Municipalities choose the programme to be implemented. The most popular programmes are Piramide and Kaleidoscoop. The Netherlands Youth Institute (NJI) website provides an overview (in Dutch) of the most commonly used early childhood education programmes.

Organisation of time

There are no regulations on the annual timetable in childcare. With regard to early childhood education, however, municipalities are required by law to provide an adequate range of programmes. Outside of school holidays, children participating in a preschool programme must attend at least four half-days, of 2½ hours each, a week, or ten hours of activities aimed at stimulating their development (linguistic, arithmetic, motor skills and social-emotional development). There are no regulations on the daily or weekly organisation of childcare. As each nursery or playgroup follows its own timetable, it is impossible to give a general description here.

Organisation of the Day and Week

There are no regulations or guidelines for the organisation of the day and week. This is different in each ECEC-institution.