Dutch school vacations and holidays

Curious when is the next school holiday in the Netherlands in 2022 and how the Dutch school holidays (schoolvakanties) system works? Here is everything you need to know.

The Dutch school holiday schedule

In primary and secondary education, the dates of school holidays are staggered by region to control peaks in holiday traffic. Central government fixes the dates of the main school holidays and gives advisory dates for the spring and autumn breaks. For the benefit of pupils, holidays are spread through the school year.

The three Dutch holiday regions

When it comes to determining holidays, Dutch schools and international schools in the Netherlands are divided into three regions: North, Central and South. To avoid a holiday rush, each region has its own vacation schedule. Here you can check the overview of these regions, with their provinces and municipalities, and find out where your school belongs to. All the municipalities in Noord Holland (including Haarlem, Heemstede and Amsterdam) make part of the region North.

Fixed school holidays in the Netherlands

Some school holidays (schoolvakanties) such as the summer, Christmas and May vacations, are fixed. Schools can extend the May holiday by one week. It is therefore important to always check the precise dates with your school.

Flexible school holidays in the Netherlands

Schools are allowed to deviate from the advised holiday period for spring break and the autumn holiday. For example, some schools in the south of the Netherlands move their spring holiday forward to correspond with Carnival, instead of having it later as the rest of the country.


School holidays in 2022 in the Netherlands

The following holiday dates in 2022 school year are for primary education, special education and secondary education. In secondary vocational education (MBO) and higher education, institutions are free to set their own holiday dates.

Christmas holiday 2021 – 2022 (kerstvakantie)

  • North: December 25, 2021 – January 9, 2022
  • Central: December 25, 2021 – January 9, 2022
  • South: December 25, 2021 – January 9, 2022.

More schools have a study day (studiedag) on January 10 and January 11. For the exact dates, check your school’s website or parent’s mailing.

Spring holiday 2022 (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie)

  • North: February 19 – February 27, 2022
  • Central: February 26 – March 6, 2022
  • South: February 26 – March 6, 2022.

May holiday (meivakantie) 2022

  • North: April 30 – May 8, 2022
  • Central: April 30 – May 8, 2022
  • South: April 30 – May 8, 2022

Summer holiday 2022 (zomervakantie)

  • North: July 16 – August 28, 2022
  • Central: July 9 – August 21, 2022
  • South: July 23 – September 4, 2022.

Schools may extend the May holiday by one week if they wish. For the exact dates, check your school’s website or parent’s mailing.

Autumn holiday 2022 (herfstvakantie)

  • North: October 15 – October 23, 2022
  • Central: October 22 – October 30, 2022
  • South: October 22 – October 30, 2022.

Christmas vacation 2022- 2023 (kerstvakantie)

  • All regions: December 24, 2022 – January 8, 2023.

On which public holidays are schools closed in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, all schools are closed on public holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. Schools can choose whether to be open or closed on certain religious or other special days that are not public holidays.

Public holidays

For national public holidays, please check out our Dutch holidays page.  Always check with your child’s school to find out when it is closed.

Religious holidays

Schools are allowed to give their pupils the day off for religious days that are not public holidays, such as Good Friday, days of prayer and thanksgiving, and Eid al-Fitr. Always check with your child’s school to find out when it is closed.

Special leave for religious reasons

If the school is open on a religious day that your family normally observes, you can apply for your child to take special leave for religious reasons. You must apply for this at least two days before the religious day.


The festival of Carnival starts on a Friday evening and ends on the following Tuesday evening. Your child is not allowed to take time off school for Carnival because there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate it during the weekend. However, many schools in the south of the Netherlands (where Carnival is widely celebrated) schedule their Spring holiday at the same time as Carnival.


Can I take my child on vacation outside of the school holiday periods?

When children reach the age of 5, they must go to school every school day. The Dutch government does not permit parents to take their children out of school to go on holiday. Parents who do this violate the Compulsory Education law (Leerplichtwet).

Permission for leave beyond the school holidays

If you can’t go on holiday during the school holidays because of your work (for example, because your work is seasonal or has its busiest time in the school holidays), you can ask the the head of the school for special permission (beroep op vrijstelling). You can make this request once per school year. You must make your request in writing at least 8 weeks before the date when you want to go on holiday. You must also give the school a statement from your employer explaining why you cannot go on holiday at any other time.

Other conditions are that the leave is intended for a family holiday, is for a maximum period of 10 days and your holiday is not in the first two weeks after the end of the summer holiday.

Leave for special occasions

You can also request leave so your child can attend special family occasions such as weddings and funerals.


Holiday childcare in the Netherlands

If you need to work during school vacations you can look for a holiday childcare centre (vakantieopvang).  Some childcare centres (kinderopvang) with afterschool care for school-age children (buitenschoolse opvang) also offer holiday programs including sports, cooking or music classes, and excursions.

[Source: The Dutch government]