The school system in the Netherlands differs a lot from other countries. To give you guys a general overview of how it is built up, please have a look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_Netherlands For early child education, there are several diferent opportunities: Creche: This is a private institution for babies and toddlers, starting from as early as 3 months (I believe, or some even earlier). Great institution for Mama, if she has to get back to work. The creche is quite expensive but you can get it subsidised depending on your income. Peuterspeelzaal starts from 2,3 years and goes until the child's 4th birthday. Usually, the child would attend the peuterspeelzaal 2-3 times, or later 4 times a week and it takes place in the morning hours only. Personally, I have made a good experience with Les Petits (in Heemstede) but opinions and experiences differ greatly, so please visit different locations and go with your guts and instincts. Gastouders: These are private individuals, which are registered with the city and look after the kids at home. Often those are prefered by parents, who work longer hours or are interested in a more 'homey' approach. School starts here when you hit your 4th birthday. Harsh, isn't it? On the actual birthday, your child has the first day of school. School starts around 8.30am until 2:45pm three times a week and two times until 12pm. There are different types of schools, following different educational philosophies , such as Montessori, Dalton, Pestalozzi, Jena or Steiner. Please inform and educate yourself to find out, what is best for your child. In addition, it is advisable to send out the application approximately 2 years before starting school, to ensure a place. If you have any questions, please join the discussion and share the knowledege!