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A childminder is responsible for looking after children in a family situation. In the Netherlands, childminders must be registered with a childminding agency.
To start a childminding agency in the Netherlands, you must fulfil several requirements. This checklist will guide you through the general steps, but be sure to check if other regulations (f.i. municipal ones) also apply in your situation. It is usually possible to work on several steps at once, or your municipality may ask you to take the steps in a different order than listed here. It is also good to know that much of the legislation on childminding and childcare in general is not available in English; you’ll do well to get help from someone who understands Dutch and can translate and interpret for you.
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. Our interactive tool Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur can help you find out quickly if this is true for you, and tell you what other obligations you have to fulfil.
If you plan to start doing business in the Netherlands, you will also need to have or apply for a business bank account (IBAN). The Dutch Banking Association has created a Quick Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.
2. Inspect the zoning plan for your business location
When you choose a location for your childminding agency, check the municipal zoning plan to see if it is allowed. If this is not the case, 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 a certificate of good conduct
The agency’s proprietor / holder and any foundation officers or intermediaries must have a certificate of good conduct (Verklaring omtrent het gedrag, VOG) with screening profile 84 (caring for minors) or 86 (employed in childcare). You require a VOG for the registration of your childminding agency in the National Childcare Register (LRK).
4. Draw up a pedagogical policy plan
You need to draw up a pedagogical policy plan for your childminding agency. You enclose the policy plan with your application for registration in the National Childcare Register (LRK).
5. Register your agency, childminders and locations with the National Childcare Register
At least 10 weeks before the start of your childminding agency you must apply for registration in the National Childcare Register (LRK) with the municipal authorities. You must also register the childminders and their locations by using a separate application form.
Note: you cannot be a childminder in your own agencyA childminding agency supervises childminders, and checks the quality of the care they provide. For this reason, you cannot be the owner of a childminding agency and work for it as a childminder. You are allowed to work in your agency as an intermediary.
6. Enroll in the childcare staff registerEveryone working or living in a location that offers childcare must register in the childcare staff register of the Education Consolidation Department. These persons will be screened continuously.
7. Make sure the childminding locations comply with furnishings and fittings requirementsThe childminding locations registered to your agency must comply with furnishing requirements. Children must be able to play and rest safely. Check the requirements for childminding locations.
8. Draw up a health and safety policy
You have to draw up an up-to-date health and safety policy, to ensure that health and safety is a continuous process in your childminding agency.
9. Hire qualified staff
Note that if you want to start a childminding agency and work as its owner, you will not be permitted to work as a childminder. There are several qualifications that entitle you to work as a childminder, but they all refer to Dutch educations. You can find a list (in Dutch) here (article 10). If you are an EU resident, you can apply for recognition of your foreign qualification, see Professional qualifications. In the Netherlands, childminders must be registered to a childminding agency, have the necessary qualifications, and be in possession of a first aid certificate. They must also have a Certificate of Good Conduct (verklaring omtrent het gedrag, VOG).
10. Join the Childcare Disputes Committee
You have to join the Childcare Disputes Committee and register all of your locations. You must also inform the parents and parents committee that you have joined the Committee.
11. Draw up a protocol for responding to child abuse
You must draw up a protocol in which you specify in 5 steps how you and your staff will respond to suspected instances of child abuse.
12. Draw up regulations for the parents’ committee
You need to have a parents’ committee for your childminding agency. You must have the parents’ committee regulations ready within six months of applying for inclusion in the National Childcare Register (LRK). You do not have to have a parents’ committee if you can prove you have made an effort to put one together and if no more than 50 childminders are associated with your agency.
13. Keep recordsAs the owner of a childminding agency, you have to keep business records. Among other things, you keep a list of all the childminders associated with your agency, and the children who are registered. You must also keep a financial administration. Check the requirements for your administration.
14. Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration
If you start or take over a childminding agency, you’ll need to register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) in the Dutch Commercial Register. The KVK will issue you with a VAT number and pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You do not need to register separately with them.
Sole proprietors: VAT number procedure changes as of 1 January 2020
Do you want to start as a sole proprietor (eenmanszaak)? In that case, from 1 January 2020 onwards, the Tax and Customs Administration will issue your VAT number when you register at the Chamber of Commerce. When you register with the Commercial Register, the Chamber of Commerce will forward your registration to the Tax Administration, and they will process this to provide you with your VAT number. This may take up to five days. Before 1 January 2020, the Chamber of Commerce issued you with your VAT number directly when you registered your business. The change in procedure is necessary to protect sole proprietors' privacy; prior to the change, the VAT number was linked to the private citizen service number (BSN). Personal data were freely available in the Commercial Register. The Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsbescherming) has ruled that this is a violation of the GDPR. If you were already registered as a sole proprietor with your citizen service number before 1 January 2020, the Tax Administration will issue you with a new VAT number. You don't have to undertake any action.
Statistics: enterprises in child day-care
Number of enterprises in child day-care