I am new in the Netherlands and moved to Amstelveen with my family, what are my next steps?
Welcome to Amstelveen, now you are on the website of the CIL you are in the right place. Please fill in the registration form and send us an e-mail or give us a call so we can help you according to your wishes.

We don’t have an address in Amstelveen yet and we will start looking for a house as soon as we have found a school for our child(ren). Is this possible?
It is not possible to place children at any school in Amstelveen without a permanent address (buy or rental). Therefore it is important to first find a house and after that, we will look for the right school for your child. We will always try our best to find a school the closest to your house. Please note searching for a house close to a school of your preference does not mean your child(ren) automatically can start following classes at this school. We only can offer spots at schools based on availability.

My child(ren) don’t speak Dutch yet and we want them to go to a public Dutch-speaking school, how does this work?
Children above the age of 6 need to attend language school first. A language school is a special temporary school with the main focus on learning the Dutch language. While learning Dutch, the children will also follow the regular curriculum and will therefore not necessarily fall behind. As soon as their Dutch level is good enough (the average period is one year), they can move to a public school in your neighbourhood. We will help you in this process.

If my children go to language school, do they lose a year and fall behind compared to their peers?
At language school, children follow the regular curriculum but with the main focus on learning the Dutch language. This means they will not necessarily fall behind in comparison to their age group. This depends on the individual child and various factors such as school history, motivation, and emotional well-being.

Does language school work the same as a public school in terms of days and timetable or is this school part-time?
Yes, the language school is 5 days a week and works the same as a regular primary school. They go to school at the same hours as a regular primary school.
Please note, the language school does not offer language courses. It is a full-time school and only teaches children enrolled at the language school.

We as adults want to learn Dutch too, is there also a language school for adults in the area?
Several schools offer possibilities to learn Dutch for the parents of the children attending their school. Please inform at the school where your child is attending for further details.
The other possibility is ‘Taalhuis’ in Amstelveen, they can also help you in learning the Dutch language. https://www.debibliotheekamstelland.nl/leren-doen/taalhuis/taalhuis-meer.html
My child(ren) are on the waiting list for a spot at one of the language schools. Can they start at a regular primary school while they wait for a spot at the language school?
No, unfortunately, this is not possible. Regular primary schools do not have the tools to assist your child if they don’t speak Dutch. Therefore they need to wait until a spot becomes available.

How does it work if my child is attending language school and needs to go to a regular primary school? What’s the procedure?
We will help you with the placement at a regular primary school, please see the ‘Next school procedure’ tab for further details.

I am not sure if I will stay in the Netherlands and if my children need to learn Dutch. In that case, what will be the best school for my child?
If you are still doubting whether you will stay for the long term or short term, it is best to consider International education for your children. At language school, children will learn Dutch and this might not be the best fit for your children if you are planning to stay for the short term. 

Who will arrange transportation from my home to the (language) school?
Pupil transportation is not routinely offered in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, parents/caregivers are responsible for transporting their children to/from school. Only in very exceptional cases, in consultation with the municipality of Amstelveen, can possibilities for transportation be looked into.
If pupil transport is granted, this only applies to the days of the week when you demonstrably cannot organize it yourself.

Is it possible to start language school before the official starting date?
No this isn't possible, it can be really disturbing for the other children when every new child could start whenever they want. This is why the language schools are working with the school holidays, after every school holiday a new group of children can start at language school. The Central Information Office will contact you when there is a spot available for your child(ren) at one of the language schools.  

My child is now in education at an international school. Is it still possible to change and follow education at a regular primary school?
Yes, this is possible. However, you should consider the following: 
1. A change of education from international school to regular primary education can only be made at the start of a school year.
2. If your child does not yet have a good enough mastery of the Dutch language, he/she will first have to follow education at a language school (also at the start of an academic year). On average, it takes nine months before a child can move on to regular education. From experience children who already attended education at an international school will be able to enrol at regular primary education sooner.
3. Before 1 May, an application must be made via the registration form on CIL's website for the following school year.
4. Placements will be made on the date of receipt of the registration form.
5. Children not in education always have priority over children already in education. This means that even if your application is made before 1 May, this does not guarantee you a spot.

My child is turning 4. How should I register him/her for primary school?
The municipality of Amstelveen has a new application and placement procedure. A website has been created for this purpose. https://basisscholenamstelveen-ouderkerk.nl/engels/
Children born before 1 September 2020 are not yet covered by the new system. CIL knows the availability of primary schools in your area. Therefore, feel free to contact CIL; they can help you in the process. 

Is it possible to arrange a video meeting?
If you live abroad and can hold a conversation in English, then it will be possible to arrange a video meeting in Microsoft Teams. Please send a request to info@poamstelveen. Then we can schedule a meeting.

Where else can I find reliable useful information about the Dutch education system?
Annebet van Mameren of New2NL has made several informative videos that we like to share with you:

Another interesting webpage to visit is Expatrepublic.com: