Children's Education

School holidays in the Netherlands: 2023 and 2024

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

Dutch school holidays

By Gary Buswell

Updated 8-1-2024

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:

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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)
Mother holding child looking at fairy tale tree at Efteling  theme park
Efteling: the Netherlands’ leading theme park (Photo: NataliaDeriabina/Getty Images)

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 January 202423 December 2023 – 7 January 202423 December 2023 – 7 January 2024
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.

Grandparents and grandchildren reuniting for picnic in park
Photo: Lucy Lambriex/Getty images

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.

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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