The Dutch Child Health Care guideline on the early detection of congenital heart disease was developed according to the principles for evidence-based guideline development and contains recommendations for the conduct of the examination during routine check-ups and for referral criteria. Most congenital heart diseases can be detected in the first year of life if physicians and nurses work according to this guideline. Important early times for screening are the home visit to infants at the age of two weeks by the child health nurse and the routine check-up of infants at the age of four weeks by the child health care physician. A routine cardiac screening is carried out in every child by the nurse and the physician at times specified in the basic list of professional responsibilities. A more extensive examination is carried out when indicated. Routine cardiac check-ups are recommended until the age of four, after which they should be done only when indicated on medical grounds. A feasibility study showed that physicians and nurses can apply the guideline effectively, provided that they take part in prior specific training.