The Federal Government is allocating €10 million to ensure Belgium's most vulnerable mothers are provided with proper care during and after their pregnancies, Het Belang van Limburg reports.
The investment will also be put towards extra training for healthcare providers, to enable them to identify and monitor mothers who are struggling financially, socially or mentally.
The mothers will then be given tailored post-natal care by a care coordinator with "regular check-ups at home." This person is likely to be a midwife or social worker who has previously been following the mother's case.
"In the best country in the world, all children deserve equal opportunities for a good life," said Belgium’s Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. He stressed the need for the government to provide every Belgian child with "a fair chance of a good life."
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According to the Minister, this must be established within "the first thousand days of the child's life", with research showing that "this period is crucial for brain development, school performance and chances of getting a job." However, newborn babies of mothers who are struggling financially are reportedly "30% more likely to end up in hospital again."
This increase in investment also reflects the wishes of Vandenbroucke’s centre-left party Vooruit. Earlier this year, the Flemish socialist leader Connor Rousseau announced his party's plans to invest €2 billion into the early years of childcare to better tackle child poverty in the country.