Checklist for starting as a childminder

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Do you want to start as a childminder? There are rules you must follow and things you need to arrange. For example, you must be 18 or older. This checklist will help you prepare to start working as a childminder.

A childminder, called gastouder in Dutch, is responsible for looking after children in a family situation. In the Netherlands, childminders must be registered with a childminding agency.

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

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands must fulfil several 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 (international bank account number, IBAN). The Dutch Banking Association has created a Quick Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.

2. Register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK

As a childminder, you must register in KVK’s Business Register if you meet the conditions for becoming an entrepreneur. Do you look after children (provide a service), receive an hourly fee for this, and do business with people other than your family or friends? Then you are an entrepreneur and must register.

Do you care for children of family or friends? And do you not get paid an hourly rate for this? Or are you also not registered with a childminding agency? Then KVK does not see you as an entrepreneur. You do not need to register in the Business Register.

If you do register with KVK, the Netherlands Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) will automatically receive your details and a notification of the start of your new business. You do not have to register your company separately with the Tax Administration.

3. Register with a childminding agency

As a childminder, you must register with an agency listed in the National Childcare Register (LRK, in Dutch). You may register with several agencies. If you own a childminding agency, you may not be a childminder for your own agency.

The government is planning to limit the number of agencies you may join as a childminder to a maximum of 2. The change in the law is expected to take effect on 1 January 2025.

4. Register in the National Childcare Register

Before you start working as a childminder, you must register in the National Childcare Register (LRK). The childminding agency does this for you. After the application, the Municipal Health Service (GGD) checks whether your childcare location meets all the requirements. If it does, the local authority will register your childcare location in the LRK. Then you can start.

To register in the LRK, you need a valid certificate of conduct (Verklaring omtrent het gedrag VOG). This proves that you have not done anything in the past that prevents you from working as a childminder. Besides applying for a VOG, a childminder must deal with various requirements and rules:

To work as a childminder, you need to meet the requirements found in the Childcare Act (Wet Kinderopvang). You must also have a valid child first aid certificate. Several qualifications entitle you to work as a childminder, but they all refer to Dutch education. You can find a list here (article 10, in Dutch). If you are an EU resident, you can apply for recognition of your foreign qualification. See Professional qualifications.

You work according to the childminding agency’s pedagogical policy plan. The pedagogical policy plan describes how you deal with the children. You must follow the plan.

You must soon have your own pedagogical policy plan (in Dutch). This states how you use the childminding agency's pedagogical policy plan in practice. This change in the law is expected to take effect on 1 January 2025.

You work according to the health and safety policy of the childminding agency. This describes how you protect the children in your care against risks. Such as unsafe places to play or sleep.

You must follow the Model Protocol for Reporting Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. Do you suspect that a child is being abused? Or is dealing with domestic violence? Then you should use the Reporting Code. It describes in 5 steps what you should do.

You must speak Dutch when childminding. You may also speak other languages if it is necessary for the children. For example, if you are minding the children of foreign parents temporarily in the Netherlands, then you may speak the family’s language. You may also speak a regional language or dialect if you are a childminder in that region.

You may care for a maximum of 6 children per day, aged 0 to 10 years. There are additional rules for the composition of ages in your group. Your own children (up to 10 years old) are included in the number of children you may care for at any one time.

6. Requirements for your childcare location

Are you going to care for children in your home? Check whether this is allowed by your municipality. Also, ensure you meet the safety requirements:

Will you be minding children in your home? For childminders, this is called a home-based profession. Check whether your plans fit in with your municipality's environment plan. You can check your plans (in Dutch) at the online service counter Omgevingsloket. If your plan fits within the environment plan, you must report your home business to the municipality. If it does not fit within the plan, you can apply for an Environment and planning permit (omgevingsvergunning).

Also, check if your mortgage or rental agreement states that you are allowed to run a childminding business from home. You can ask your mortgage provider or landlord for permission in writing.

Do the permit check (in Dutch) at the Omgevingsloket to check which permits you need.

The location where you look after children must meet certain requirements. Every year, the childminding agency will check, for example, that there is a separate sleeping area or bedroom for children younger than 18 months. Also, no smoking is allowed in your home and there must be enough functioning smoke alarms.

From 1 January 2025, safety requirements for play equipment and cots and playpens will change. Childminders will no longer have to comply with the Attractions and Playground Apparatus (Commodities Act) Decree 2023 (Warenwetbesluit attractie- en speeltoestellen, WAS 2023, in Dutch). But you will still have to take measures against health and safety risks as stated in the Childcare Act.

Also, you will no longer have to comply with the Cots and Playpens in Child Care (Commodities Act) Additional Regulations (Warenwetregeling nadere eisen kinderbedden en -boxen kinderopvang, in Dutch). But your cots and playpens must comply with general safety requirements.

Together with the childminding agency, you must draw up a Risk Assessment and Evaluation (RI&E) every year. This monitors the safety and quality of childcare.

The same fire safety requirements apply if you are minding children at home as apply to all homes. You must have a smoke detector on every floor. A carbon monoxide detector (in Dutch) is not compulsory, but it is recommended.

7. Arrange your taxes

You pay income tax on the money you earn from childminding. Use the OndernemersCheck (in Dutch) to check whether the Tax Administration considers you an entrepreneur for income tax purposes. If this is the case, you can file an income tax return as an entrepreneur and you can use tax benefits and start-up schemes. Does the Tax Administration not consider you an entrepreneur for income tax purposes? Then you must include your income as a childminder in your income tax return as ‘income from other work’.

Childminding is exempt from VAT (in Dutch). This means you do not charge VAT on your services and file a VAT return. This usually means you cannot claim a refund of VAT you may have paid yourself for goods or services related to your work.

8. Keeping records

As an entrepreneur, you must keep business records and retain them for at least 7 years. Your records are the basis for your tax returns.

Discuss with the childminding agency what they need to record and keep for you. For example, details of all children registered with you, written agreements with parents, and information for childcare benefits.

9. Take out insurance

As a childminder, you should have various insurances. You need business liability insurance (AVB). Do you transport children in a motor vehicle? If so, you also need business passenger insurance. Ask your childminding agency or sector organisation which other insurances you need in your situation, and which insurance companies offer cover to childminders.