Education requirements for children aged 16 or 17

The rules for child benefit for children aged 16 and 17 have changed. Their education must meet certain requirements. For example, they must have a school-leaving qualification.

What do we mean by school-leaving qualification?

A school-leaving qualification is a HAVO or VWO diploma or an MBO diploma at level 2 or higher. This includes the BBL and BOL learning tracks in secondary vocational education (apprenticeship and school-based vocational training).

Select the situation that applies to your child and find out whether you will be able to receive child benefit.

Your child does not yet have a school-leaving qualification

If your child does not yet have a school-leaving qualification, you can get child benefit as long as your child is in full-time education.

If your child is studying at MBO level and has a student travel card from the Dutch Education Service (DUO), you can still get child benefit.

Your child already has a school-leaving qualification

You can still get child benefit if your child already has a school leaving qualification.

You can get child benefit for a child living away from home if you contribute at least €512 per quarter to your child’s support.

If your child gets a school-leaving qualification and then starts a new course of study or training, they may be able to apply for student finance from the Dutch Education Service (DUO). Student finance (studiefinanciering) helps with the costs of a course of study or training.

Your child has been exempted from pursuing a school-leaving qualification

Your child may have an exemption because:

  • they have a diploma or testimonial from their training school and are following a suitable course of education, or
  • they are disabled or in special education, or
  • they have been granted an exemption from Dutch compulsory education.

In these cases, your child is not required to obtain a school-leaving qualification. You will receive child benefit for your child.

Your child is living outside the Netherlands

If your child lives outside the Netherlands, we look to see if they:

  • are in full-time education
  • are studying for a qualification that will give them a good chance of finding skilled work
  • finish their course of study and get a qualification, or
  • cannot take part in education because of illness or disability

Your child can get student finance

If your child is following a course of education at MBO, HBO or university level, and they qualify for student finance, this will not affect your entitlement to child benefit.