Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) programme

Each year, the Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) programme offers subsidies for activities aimed at preventing and reducing low literacy. Thanks to the new Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme, which will run from 2021 to 2024, these subsidies will also be available next year.

Please note: it is no longer possible to apply for subsidy in 2021. You can apply again in 2022.

The new scheme

The Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme for 2021-2024 builds on its predecessor, which ran from 2017 to 2020, but has been extended and adapted in a number of areas. As a result of one of these changes, you can now also apply for subsidy for practical experiments. In addition, organizations which are based in the Caribbean Netherlands can apply for subsidy as well under the new scheme. And there’s more good news: the budget to promote literacy among workers has been incidentally expanded by €6 million in 2021.

Which organizations can apply for subsidy again in 2022?

Schools, employers, libraries: all kinds of organizations can apply for a subsidy to reduce and prevent low literacy in 2022.


The subsidy scheme consists of three sub-schemes:

Low-literate employees: subsidy for employers to offer training to employees with low literacy or low digital literacy skills;

Low-literate parents: subsidy for activities related to the promotion of an intellectually stimulating home environment, educational partnerships between parents and schools and the improvement of parents’ (digital) literacy;

Practical experiments: subsidy for practical experiments aimed at better reaching low-literate people so that they can be directed towards remedial courses focused on literacy, numeracy or basic digital skills; or subsidy for practical experiments aimed at improving the quality of courses for this target group.

Amounts available

The following applies for all subsidy sub-schemes: the maximum subsidy amount per application is €125,000, and applicants will be required to contribute to the costs themselves. If the subsidy budget is exceeded, we will draw lots.

PLEASE NOTE: The co-financing scheme for subsidy for low-literate parents in the Caribbean Netherlands is different from the one in the European Netherlands.

These were the amounts for the Netherlands (including the Caribbeans) in 2021:

Amounts available

Amounts available
Category   Total amount available in 2021Min. amount per subsidy applicationMax Amount per subsidy applicationMax. amount per participantCompensated up to  
Employees€ 8.8 mlnno minimal amount€ 125.000€ 1.50067%
Parents€ 1.3 mlnno minimal amount€125,000 in case of 33% co-financing or €83,750 in case of 0% co-financing€ 60067 or 100%
Experiments€ 625.000€ 25.000€ 125.00080%
Brontabel als csv (429 bytes)

In case lots are drawn

For parents and employees:

If the applications for low-literate employees and parents exceed the subsidy budget, we will draw lots to determine which subsidy applications will be approved. This will ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Once the application deadline has passed, a notary will draw lots, after which DUS-I (the Dutch subsidy implementation agency) will check the applications for completeness and validity. DUS-I’s website offers more information about the draw procedure. Read the information in Dutch or in English.

For experiments:

Applications for experiments will be assessed qualitatively. The National Basic Skills Center first assembles an assessment committee made up of independent experts. These experts then rank the applications on the basis of a number of criteria, after which they send an advisory report to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.

A situation could arise in which it would be necessary to award subsidies by drawing lots, as the annual subsidy budget for experiments is limited to €625,000. If the subsidy amount applied for exceeds €1,875,000 (three times the available subsidy budget), we will first draw lots and only then assess the applications in order to save time and money. DUS-I’s website offers more information about the draw procedure. Read the information in Dutch or in English.

How to apply

You can apply for a subsidy from 1 January until 28 February 2022, Central European Time! DUS-I will implement the Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme. Read more about the scheme on their website, or go there to submit your application. DUS-I’s contact details are also listed on their website, should you have any questions. The full Tel mee met Taal (Count on skills) subsidy scheme for 2021-2024 can be found in the Government Gazette.

New round, new opportunities

Would you also like to apply for a subsidy to fund a project in or after 2022 to prevent or reduce low-literacy? Subscribe to our (Dutch) newsletter if you want to stay informed about application deadlines and any other relevant updates.

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