As part of government policy, the 'Youth healthcare' prevention programme is offered free of charge to all children aged 0 to 19 years who are resident in the Netherlands. It consists of a programme of primary prevention (including vaccinations, information and advice) and secondary prevention (screening, surveillance, early diagnosis) and individual prevention and care. Many elements from the programme package have been shown to have a favourable cost-effectiveness relationship, in terms of health benefits and financially. Other elements have a social priority. The present government expenditure for the total youth healthcare package is about 380 million euros per year, that is 1900 euros per child. In terms of conditions prevented or years of life gained, this is cheaper than accepted prevention programmes for adults. The present approach can only be maintained and strengthened, if the expenditure is increased so that new programme elements can be investigated and - if found effective - implemented.