Hoofddorp: The next stop for international families?
Thinking about moving to Hoofddorp? Sander Bongertman from Crown Relocations takes a closer a look at why a move to Hoofddorp is a great one for families.
The Randstad region of the Netherlands – including the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Haarlem – has always attracted international companies and families. During recent years, the growing number of international families in this area has led to a pressure on available places at international schools.
Local and governmental authorities have responded to this by encouraging the growth of existing schools and the opening of new ones. One of which opened this year in Hoofddorp. Here are just some of the great reasons why expat 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 the administrative region known as Haarlemmermeer. Today, the population of the region directly 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, with a journey time of only 4 minutes.
There are also frequent trains to The Hague Central, Amsterdam Zuid and Central 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 line 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 there. These include L’Oreal, Nokia, Siemens, Idexx Laboratories, Smith & Nephew and TNT. Hoofddorp and the whole of Haarlemmermeer are 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 6.000 new residences to a vibrant new neighbourhood.
Moving to Hoofddorp: International schools
There are two international schools located in Hoofddorp:
The Optimist International School
The Optimist International School in Hoofddorp is part of SOPAH, a public primary education institution –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 parents are encouraged to participate in the ongoing 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 4.500 euros 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 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 10.900 euros 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 in the Netherlands for a longer period of time, 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 these schools is Dutch. If the children are young enough to pick up a new language quickly, joining a Dutch school is a good option.
Additionally, there are transition classes available to help older children learn enough Dutch to be able to attend a Dutch school and follow classes in Dutch. Aviation college 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 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.
Crown Relocations has been helping families and individuals relocate domestically and internationally for over fifty years. They have the knowledge and expertise to help you relocate seamlessly for your next adventure.