School holidays in the Netherlands (2024)

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Need to know when your child is off school? Here are the 2023 and 2024 dates for Dutch school holidays to help you out.

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School holidays in the Netherlands (9)

By Gary Buswell

Updated 10-12-2023

Are you already considering your next vacation? Or maybe you want to take your kids to one these beautiful spots in the Netherlands? Whatever you’re planning, it’s important to know when the Dutch school holidays are.

The first thing to remember about Dutch school holidays is that they vary depending on where you live. The Netherlands is split into three geographical regions for the sake of school vacations, with each area following their own holiday calendar.

For more information about these regions and when the next school holidays are, find out what you need to know in the following sections:

  • School holidays in the Netherlands
  • When are the Dutch school holiday dates for 2022–2023?
  • When are the Dutch school holiday dates for 2023–2024?
  • Additional holidays and days off
  • Childcare during Dutch school holidays

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For a UK education abroad, try the British School of Amsterdam in Amsterdam Zuid. With a well-rounded curriculum for students from 3 to 18 years, it was the first Dutch school to be accredited by the UK Government as a British School Overseas. Give your child a bright start at the British School of Amsterdam.

School holidays in the Netherlands

School holidays in the Netherlands are set by the Ministry of Education Culture and Science. All Dutch schools have five holidays throughout the year. These are as:

  • Autumn (Herfstvakantie – one week)
  • Christmas (Kerstavakanie – two week)
  • Spring (Voorjaarsvakantie – one week)
  • May holiday (Meivakantie –one week, usually spread across April/May)
  • Summer (Zomervakantie – six weeks)
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The Christmas and May holidays are the same across the country, but the other holidays are vary across three regions: north, central, and south. This helps authorities better manage the holiday traffic.

The regions are divided as follows:

RegionProvinces in region
North (Noord)Drenthe, Flevoland (all municipalities except Zeewolde), Friesland, Groningen, North Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht (only Eemnes and Abcoude)
Central (Midden)Flevoland (only Zeewolde), North Brabant (Werkendam except the Hank and Dussen communities, and Woudrichem), Utrecht (all municipalities except Eemnes and Abcoude), South Holland
South (Zuid)Limburg, North Brabant (all municipalities except Woudrichem and Sleeuwijk, Nieuwendijk, and Werkendam in the municipality of Werkendam), Zeeland

The municipalities in the province of Gelderland are split across the three regions. You can see a breakdown of these on the Dutch government website.

Privately-run international schools in the Netherlands may have holiday dates that are slightly different from state schools in their region. Be sure to check with your child’s school for a full list of holiday dates.

The Dutch government does not allow parents to take their children on vacation during term time. This means school holidays are popular for families planning both vacations and other fun activities in the Netherlands.

Holidays are also used as a time for families to get together for festive occasions such as Christmas. There may also be other Dutch festivals that fall within school holiday periods.

When are the Dutch school holiday dates for 2022–2023?

HolidayNorth region datesCentral region datesSouth region dates
Autumn break15–23 October 202222–30 October 202222–30 October 2022
Christmas break24 December 2022 – 8 January 202324 December 2022 – 8 January 202324 December 2022 – 8 January 2023
Spring break25 February – 5 March 202325 February – 5 March 202318–26 March 2023
May break29 April – 7 May 202329 April – 7 May 202329 April – 7 May 2023
Summer break22 July – 3 September 20238 July – 20 August 202315 July – 27 August 2023

When are the Dutch school holiday dates for 2023–2024?

HolidayNorth region datesCentral region datesSouth region dates
Autumn break21–29 October 202314–22 October 202314–22 October 2023
Christmas break23 December 2023 – 7 January202423 December 2023 – 7 January202423 December 2023 – 7 January2024
Spring break17–25 February 202417–25 February 202410–18 February 2024
May break27 April – 5 May 202427 April – 5 May 202427 April – 5 May 2024
Summer break20 July – 1 September 202413 July – 25 August 20246 July –18 August 2024

Additional holidays and days off

In addition to the school holidays in the Netherlands, schools close on a number of national public holidays. These are:

Public holidayDate
Easter Monday (Eerste paasdag)1 April 2024
King’s Day (Koningsdag)27 April 2024
Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag)5 May (official holiday every 5 years, next in 2025)
Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag)9 May 2024
Whit Monday (Pinksteren)20 May 2024

King’s Day and Liberation Day are not public holidays for everyone, so these are additional days that you may need to make childcare arrangements for. Schools are permitted to organize festive activities on these dates, but pupils are not obliged to take part.

Each Dutch school will have its own calendar that details other dates when the school is closed. These dates will include teacher training days (studiedagen), pupil book days, regional occasions, or religious holidays that the school decides to observe.

Many schools allow pupils time off for religious purposes (e.g., for Jewish or Muslim pupils to observe important dates). Check with your child’s school for a full list of these dates.

Schools should also publish a calendar of dates in their official guide or on the website.

Childcare during Dutch school holidays

If you are a working parent, you may need to make childcare arrangements during the school holidays. Fortunately, there are a few options to choose from as the Netherlands offers more comprehensive levels of childcare, including holiday daycare, than many other European countries.

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There is outside school care (buitenschoolse opvang – BSO) available during holiday periods. This is provided at childcare centers and involves a range of fun activities and days out. Schools usually link up with BSO providers, so you can find out information through the school or your local municipality. You can also access BSO provision directly through childcare providers such as Partou or Zein Childcare.

During the longer summer break, there are also summer camps. These are more expensive than BSO services but they include fun activities suitable for children of all ages and can be a good place to meet children from different cultures and nationalities. Providers include Summer Camps Holland and Vinea.

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Expatica’s guide toFind a Dutch childcare provider in our DirectoryRead more

Alongside these, there are also childminders (gastouders), au pairs, nannies, and babysitters that can look after children either in your home or at theirs. Another useful resource for parents in the Amsterdam area is Amsterdam Mamas where you can search for activities for children across the city.

The costs of childcare during holiday time will vary according to the type of provision, who is providing it, and other factors. You may be entitled to a childcare allowance to cover some of the costs depending on your financial situation.

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As an enthusiast and expert in Dutch education systems and cultural norms, I can confidently navigate and explain the intricate details related to various facets encompassed in the provided article. My familiarity with the Dutch education framework, its scheduling, and the cultural significance of holidays allows me to offer a comprehensive breakdown of the information presented.

Regarding the concepts discussed in the article, let's delve into each aspect:

  1. Netherlands: A country in northwestern Europe, known for its flat landscape, extensive canal systems, windmills, tulip fields, and cycling routes.

  2. Home Education: Refers to the practice of educating children within the home environment instead of sending them to a traditional public or private school.

  3. Finance: The management of money and other assets. In the context of the article, it might relate to potential costs associated with childcare, education, or vacation planning.

  4. Healthcare: The system in the Netherlands revolves around mandatory health insurance, offering comprehensive coverage for medical treatments and services.

  5. Housing: The housing market in the Netherlands, with specifics on renting, buying, regulations, and typical living accommodations.

  6. Lifestyle: Refers to the general way of life, cultural practices, and social behaviors prevalent in the Netherlands.

  7. Living & Moving: Information about settling in the Netherlands, understanding the logistics of relocating, visas, permits, and acclimatizing to the Dutch lifestyle.

  8. Working: The Dutch job market, employment opportunities, work culture, labor laws, and business practices.

  9. Directory: A compilation of resources and information, likely related to education, childcare, and other services available in the Netherlands.

  10. Education: Details about the Dutch education system, including different holiday schedules, curriculum, and options for international schools.

  11. Children's Education: Specifics about schooling, holidays, and educational opportunities for children in the Netherlands, including international schools and their programs.

  12. School Holidays: The breakdown of holiday periods in the Netherlands, categorized by region and time frame, including the dates for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years.

Understanding the nuances of Dutch school holidays, the regional variations, and the implications for families planning vacations or requiring childcare during these periods demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of the Dutch education system and cultural practices. If there are any specific details or further information needed on these topics, feel free to ask for elaboration.

School holidays in the Netherlands (2024)
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