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Raising a child in the Netherlands

Some handy (financial) tips for Expat parents

Every country does things a little differently. If you’re going to be raising a child in the Netherlands, it’s useful to know what these things are. Did you know, for instance, that you get child benefit for your child in the Netherlands? And did you know that children hand out treats at school on their birthday? How much pocket money does a child actually get on average in the Netherlands? Here we set out the most important and nicest (financial) things you should know.


Child benefit and child budget

In the Netherlands, parents receive child benefit (‘kinderbijslag’) for each child. This is provided by the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) ('Social Insurance Bank') in the Netherlands. Within a few weeks of the birth of your first child, you’ll get a letter from the SVB inviting you to apply for child benefit. If you’re already getting child benefit and your second or subsequent child is born in the Netherlands, the SVB will automatically adjust the amount of the child benefit for you. You may possibly also be eligible for an extra allowance for childcare costs ( child budget ) in the Netherlands. This extra allowance depends on your income.

Childcare and childcare benefit

There are different forms of childcare in the Netherlands. For instance, when your child is three months old they can go to a nursery (‘kinderdagverblijf’) or a child minder (‘gastouder’). You have to pay for this childcare, but you can apply for childcare benefit as a contribution towards these costs. This benefit depends on your income. There are also playgroups (‘peuterspeelzalen’) for children aged 2 to 4. This childcare is often a good deal cheaper, but it is only available for a couple of days a week, and often only in the morning or the afternoon. If your child is already going to school, they can also be looked after out of school hours in the ‘buitenschoolse opvang’ (BSO) (after-school care). You may be able to get childcare benefit for this too.

Birthdays, children’s parties, and handing out treats

It is usual for children to give a party when it’s their birthday. Often, children aged four years and up even have two parties—one for family and one for school friends. If your child is invited to a party, don’t be afraid to ask the child’s parents what gift the child would like. The gift does not necessarily have to be expensive. A children’s party usually lasts a few hours, and often consists of an age-appropriate fun activity. Children also hand out treats at nursery or at school when it’s their birthday. Because classes sometimes have as many as 30 children (which makes for a lot of birthdays), schools are increasingly encouraging parents to hand out healthy treats.

Pocket money and financial education

Children in the Netherlands are given a lot of freedom with money. They almost always get to manage their own money. But at the same time, they get less pocket money (‘zakgeld’) on average than children in other European countries. From the age of five, children in the Netherlands get an average of €0.50 per week. They then get a bit more each year, up to an average of €3.00 a week at the age of 12. Children in the Netherlands are allowed to do a limited amount of paid work from the age of 13, and to work legally from the age of 15. Children often have a bank account and a debit card before that. Moreover, they can often access their own accounts quite easily via a mobile app. Children thus learn to handle money well from an early age. Often, children in secondary school are also given ‘clothes money’ (‘kleedgeld’) to buy their own clothes.

A savings account for your child

Many parents open a savings account for their child early on. This could be to save for study later on, or so they can teach their child to save on their own, too. The older your child, the greater the purchases they often want to make. In any case, it’s a good idea to have your child save a certain amount each month for unexpected expenses, such as a broken phone. But it’s also a good idea to make a savings plan for larger purchases.

The information on this page is a brief explanation. You can not derive any rights from this.

Payments and cash withdrawals

If you’re an expat, it’s good to know the best way to make payments in the Netherlands. Read on to find out more about the most popular methods used here.

Open a Dutch bank account

  • Apply in our Mobile Banking app
  • Digital identification
  • Get your account number within 4 hours
Learn how to apply About the bank account

Welcome to the Netherlands

Our handy checklist will help you sort out of all the things you need to take care of before moving to the Netherlands.