Nurseries in Wallonia-Brussels Federation had a gross occupancy rate of 78.68% in 2016, Le Soir reported on Friday. This means over two out of 10 places available in these establishments, whether subsidized or not, are empty, whereas many parents face extremely long waiting lists.
The many reasons for this paradox include the attraction of cheaper creches, sudden changes by parents, partial occupancy of some slots and the inability to predict exactly when a child will leave a nursery and free up a slot.
“All children do not attend school for the first time together,” explained Catherine Jossart, head of a private nursery in Orphain. “In certain establishments, their registration in kindergarten depends on their cleanliness.”
To “optimize” the occupancy of the nurseries, the Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance (ONE – Office for Birth and Childhood) is developing an app called “Gima pub” aimed at providing a better oversight of the slots available in nurseries and cases of multiple demands submitted by anxious parents.
In 2016, there were 44.185 places in collective and family establishments in Wallonia-Brussels