Flemish socialists to invest €2 billion into early childcare

Flemish socialists to invest €2 billion into early childcare
Conner Rousseau, leader of the Flemish centre-left party Vooruit. Credit: Facebook / Conner Rousseau

The Flemish centre-left party Vooruit plans to invest €2 billion into early years of childcare in the fight against child poverty.

Vooruit will present their new proposal at their party congress on 4 June at the Plopsaland De Panne theme park.

A key measure will be to offer six-months of free childcare for all parents. Party leader Conner Rousseau told Radio 1’s De Ochtend that "we have to break the deadlock between child poverty and childcare." 

Applicable until children turn two and a half years old, Rousseau is calling for "more space, more staff" and more investment in childcare services, as well as "making the job more attractive again."

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Additionally, the party aims to extend parental leave, better compensate stay-at-home parents and make school meals available for free. Vooruit will also ensure that every child can participate in an extracurricular activity for at least one hour a week free of charge.

To finance their childcare plan, the party is planning to reform inheritance tax. They believe that they can generate an additional €1 billion by abolishing inheritance tax of up to €250,000, while progressively taxing higher estates. Rousseau has also announced that the party will look to reform child benefits, which should provide them with €500 million.

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