The Randstad region of The Netherlands – including the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Haarlem – has always been attractive to international companies and families. During recent years the growing number of international families has led to a pressure on places at international schools. Local and government authorities have responded to this by encouraging the growth of existing schools and the opening of new ones. One of which, has opened this year in Hoofddorp. We looked at just some of the great reasons why families are considering moving to Hoofddorp.
The Town of Hoofddorp
Hoofddorp is located in the North Holland region of The Netherlands, between the cities of Amsterdam and Leiden. It is a short distance away from Schiphol Airport, and just to the southeast of Haarlem. Hoofddorp is the main town in an administrative region known as Haarlemmermeer.
Today the population of the region immediately around Hoofddorp is estimated at 132,734 making it the 4th biggest urban area in North Holland. The town centre of Hoofddorp is a popular shopping destination. In 2017, the town centre was runner up for the best centre in the medium-sized city centre category.
Excellent Transport Connections
Being in close proximity to so many Dutch cities gives anyone moving to Hoofddorp great advantages when it comes to transport links. An estimated 189 trains per day run between Hoofddorp Station and Schiphol every hour, with a journey time of only 4 minutes.
There are also frequent trains to The Hague Centraal, Amsterdam Zuid and Centraal stations plus additional connections to other Amsterdam stations including Lelylaan, Sloterdijk and Rai. Many other Dutch cities can be reached by direct trains including Utrecht, Hilversum, Almere, Leiden, Zaandam and Rotterdam.
Hoofddorp is also well connected by bus. The Zuidtangent bus lines runs between Haarlem and Amsterdam via Hoofddorp and Schiphol, largely along bus-specific lanes with priority at crossings and junctions. Additional lines run to Nieuw Vennep, Uithoorn and Amsterdam Ijburg
International Companies in Hoofddorp
In part because of Hoofddorp’s great transport links and proximity to both Schiphol and other Dutch cities, a large number of international companies are already located here. These include L’Oreal, Nokia, Siemens, Idexx Laboratories, Smith & Nephew and TNT.
Hoofddorp and the whole of Haarlemmermeer is attractive for local and international companies. There are representatives from every business sector in the area, with many companies located in business parks or estates. Many of these have been designed to enhance the everyday experience for workers and incorporate attractive parkland and other rural features.
Moving to Hoofddorp: housing
Housing types in Hoofddorp vary depending on budget and requirements. Some locations offer suburban houses, whilst apartments are more common in the town centre. Hoofddorp is currently undergoing a period of growth with many new houses and apartment complexes being built. One such development is ‘Hyde Park Hoofddorp’, a new city development close to the station and main shopping centre being designed to bring 6000 new residences to a vibrant new neighbourhood.
The Optimist International School
Optimist International School in Hoofddorp is part of SOPAH, a public primary education institution – itself a branch of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The current Dutch part of the school has around 300 pupils divided into 13 classes along with 25 staff members including student trainees as well as specialist teachers.
The philosophy behind this school is to educate children with a spirit of understanding and tolerance within a diverse and multicultural environment. Class-sizes will be small, and they encourage parents to participate in the on going education of the children. Because the school receives funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education, fees have been kept comparatively low. The fees for the academic year 2017-2018 were EUR 4500 per year per child, along with pre-advised deposits and administration fees.
Gifted Minds International School (GMIS)
Gifted Minds International School was the first international school established in Hoofddorp. The school offers an international education for children aged between 3-12 years old.
GMIS is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), and is pursuing authorisation as an IBPYP World School. Fees start from 10900 per child for the preschool for the 2017-2018 academic year, and there is usually no waiting list.
Other international schools in the area
Should there not be a place at one of the international schools mentioned above, there are several other schools within a reachable distance either by car or public transport. These include the Amsterdam International School in Amstelveen, AICS close to Amsterdam Zuid station, The British School of Amsterdam and an international primary school in Haarlem. There are a number of schools in and around The Hague and Leiden, although these are less convenient to reach during rush hour.
Moving to Hoofddorp: Local schools
For families planning to stay a longer time in The Netherlands, Dutch schools may also be an option. There are some Dutch schools with an international department, but the language of teaching in the majority of schools is Dutch.
Joining a Dutch school can also be a possibility when the children are young enough to pick up the new language quickly. In addition, there are also transition classes available to help older children learn enough Dutch to be able to attend a Dutch school and follow classes in Dutch.
Hoofddorp has an aviation college to study any job related to the aviation industry, technical, mechanical as well as all customer service related studies. A proportion of the students enrolled at this college live close by to the school in apartment complexes within easy walking distance, or else in other parts of the town itself. Others commute in from the nearby towns, villages and cities.
Are you an considering moving to Hoofddorp? Contact Crown Relocations to see how we can help you with your relocation