We are deciding to move to The Netherlands with our 2 year old toddler, purely because I am a teacher and love the education system being a lot more independent and outdoor based as well as starting at 7 years in comparison to the rigid, competitive, mentally draining structure of education in the UK.
Can anyone give any advice on areas worth looking into to settle as a family where there are good public, primary schools. We are visiting in July so would like to consider a few places. I'm a teacher and my partner is an accountant. We would also look into buying a property with a garden. Any advice on weather, lifestyle, people, socialising, cost of living. All advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
School doesn't start at 7 in the Netherlands. More like at 3 or 4. And I'm not so sure that it's a very "outdoor" education system. Why are you posting the same question for 3 (very different) countries - Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands?
And, to be honest, right now I'd be quite wary of moving anywhere in Europe as a UK citizen, especially getting into buying property etc. If/when Brexit goes ahead you'll possibly lose any rights to live and work abroad in the EU....
You should consolidate your posts. I lived in Switzerland as a child and in the Netherlands as a parent ( as a foreigner in both). It is easy enough fitting in as a very young child, much much harder seen from a parent's perspective and generally as a family if you are out in the sticks. If you are in Helsinki, Geneva, Amsterdam and golden triangle around it, you would probably work in an international school with lots of expats on packages and diplomats around. Not exactly the free range school environment you aspire to. Would you school your kids locally?
Op, have a look on expatica.nl It is a great resource. If you are in the Amsterdam/The Hague/Rotterdam area both of you should be able to secure jobs and there are options for bilingual schooling and a fair few long term expats with kids in local schools as well.
We were expat in the NL 10 years ago. Decided to return to Australia. Overall it was a wonderful experience & we would do it again.
The Hague is easier for an expat than Amsterdam. Rotterdam .... doesn't appeal (to me).
Find work first, then look at housing.
My dh was employed by a firm based in Almere but was quickly seconded to a client in the Hague. We started living in Amsterdam, but signed a 12 month lease in very pretty rural village outside Amsterdam (before dh was moved to work in the Hague). Several hours a day commuting nightmare! Village was isolating for me as I was stay at home mum. Despite long commute, Dh loved his job and would have stayed.
Housing: funda.nl. Click the "english" option. There is another good housing website but I have forgotten the name.
Plan your move carefully.
Lots of red tape. Mandatory health insurance (v. expensive), but good social benefits, even for foreigners.
Expatica website is a good suggestion. Re your other options: I think you need to be independently wealthy to live in Geneva. I know nothing about Helsinki.