Brussels will get €2.7 million for extra childcare centres
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Brussels will get €2.7 million for extra childcare centres

© Unsplash/Alexander Dummer

Brussels is set to receive 10% of the €27 million budget for childcare in Belgium as part of a multi-year programme designed to formalise the distribution of the money.

The money comes from the Flemish government, which will invest it into special childcare centres with a focus on those who struggle to afford it.

“Over the next four years, the Flemish Government will invest €27.1 million in (at least) 2500 new places with an income rate,” says Wouter Beke, the Flemish Minister of Welfare, Family, Health and Poverty Reduction.

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“At present, three quarters of the total number of childcare places is income-related, which means that parents pay according to income. The extra places will mainly be used in cities and municipalities where the need is greatest.”

Brussels is one of just three cities to get a set amount in advance, the other two being Antwerp with 15% and Ghent with 5%.

The focus on where to place the childcare centers also includes considerations of economic, social, and demographic factors.

Over the next four years, #vlareg will create at least 2,500 new places with income support, especially in cities and towns with the highest needs. This way, we will give families more opportunities to find a good work-life balance.

“The more places that are available in childcare, the more opportunities we can give to working parents to better reconcile work and family and the more opportunities job-seeking parents have to get an education with a view to a job,” Wouter Beke said.

“Childcare has an important social and pedagogical function: in interaction with the childcare workers and with each other, babies and toddlers achieve broad language development, which is important for the rest of their lives.”

This is the first time that a programme will be in place to formalise funding until 2024. In the past, the Flemish government mainly used annual or biennial expansion rounds to determine childcare center placement.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times