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Checklist for starting a childcare centre

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency | Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)

If you intend to start a childcare organisation (nursery, daycare or after school care facility) in the Netherlands, you must observe various government rules and regulations. You can use this checklist to quickly determine which obligations you must fulfil.

This checklist serves merely as a guideline. Several steps can be carried out at the same time. Consult your local municipality regarding the order of the steps. It is possible that you will need to fulfil other obligations as well, regarding, for instance, the size of the basic childcare groups and the professional childminder - child ratio.

1. Check whether you fulfil the conditions for staying in the Netherlands

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands must fulfil a number of conditions. You will sometimes also require a residence permit.

2. Inspect the zoning plan with regard to your business location

The establishment of your childcare centre must be in line with your municipality’s zoning plan. If this is not the case, however, you can apply for a permit to carry out your plans. You can also ask the municipality to change the zoning plan. If you want to start your agency at home, do take your municipality's and landlord's or mortgage lender's conditions into account.

3. Apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects for building activities

If you want to build, make alterations to or renovate a building, you will normally need an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects for building activities (Omgevingsvergunning). When planning to demolish, you may have to notify your municipality of your intentions. With regard to listed buildings, different rules apply.

4. Consider fire safety requirements for your business premises

In order to ensure fire safety in your childcare centre, you must submit a notification of occupancy to your local municipality. If you operate a childcare centre for more than ten children under the age of 12, you need an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (Omgevingsvergunning).

5. Consider environmental regulations

When you establish a childcare centre, you must contend with various environmental requirements. In most cases, you need to submit a notification of environmental management to your municipal authority.

6. Apply for a certificate of good conduct and enroll in childcare staff register

The holders, directors or foundation officers and all staff must have a certificate of good conduct (verklaring omtrent het gedrag, VOG) and then register in the childcare staff registerExternal link (Education Consilidation Department, in Dutch).

7. Draw up a pedagogical policy plan

You need to draw up a pedagogical policy plan for your facility. You enclose this policy plan with your application for registration in the National Childcare and Playgroup Register (LRKP).

8. Conduct a health and safety risk inventory

Before submitting an application for your facility to be registered in the LRKP, you must conduct a health and safety risk inventory. In doing so, you may use the Childcare and Playgroup Risk Monitor. You then conduct this risk inventory every year.

9. Register your centre through your municipality in the National Childcare and Playgroup Register

At least 10 weeks before the start of your childcare centre you must apply for registration in the National Childcare and Playgroup Register (LRKP) with the municipal authorities . Among other things, you enclose the pedagogical policy plan, certificates of good conduct and the risk inventory.

10. Comply with furnishings and fittings requirements

You must provide suitably furnished rooms for play and rest. These rooms must be geared to the number of children and their age.

11. Hire qualified staff

Your staff must satisfy a number of professional requirements. The professional qualifications differ depending on the job. Your staff must also have a Certificate of Good Conduct (verklaring omtrent het gedrag, VOG).

12. Join the Childcare Disputes Committee

You have to join the Childcare Disputes Committee and register all of your childcare centre locations. You must also inform the parents and parents committee about your joining the Committee.

13. Draw up an HACCP plan or comply with a hygiene code

If you prepare food and drink, you must have an HACCP plan in place or comply with a certified hygiene code, e.g. the code of the employers’ organisation of the welfare, youth care and childcare sectors (MOgroep).

14. Draw up a protocol for responding to child abuse

You must draw up a protocol in which you specify how you and your staff will respond to suspected instances of child abuse.

15. Draw up regulations for the parents' committee

For each location you must have a parents' committee. You must adopt the parent committee regulations within 6 months of submitting an application to be included in the National Childcare Register to your municipal authority.

16. Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Tax Administration

New businesses must be registered with the Dutch Commercial Register. They will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You do not need to register separately with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Temporary ban on Stints (electric carts)

The Minister of Transport Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has imposed a temporary ban on stintsExternal link (electric carts popularly used by childcare organisations to transport children). The ban has been imposed with immediate effect after preliminary results of an investigtion reported possible failings in the braking systemExternal link. The investigation into the safety of stints was launched following a tragic accident.

Statistics: enterprises in child day-care

Number of enterprises in child day-care

Any further questions?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

+31 (0)88 602 44 44

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)