Childcare

Belgium has an extensive network of quality childcare for young children aged 3 months to 3 years.

Day care centers are characterized by two main features, one is the type of facilities and the other is the type of financial participation. In Brussels, childcare facilities are subject to regulation. There are two agencies that support and control these facilities: one within the French Community, l’Office de la naissance et de l’enfance - O.N.E (the Office of birth and childhood), the other within the Flemish Community, Kind en Gezin - K&G (Child and Family).

Types of facilities:
There are two:
- The collective facilities : your child is welcomed into a group of children (8 minimum for K&G, 9 for ONE) generally divided into sub-groups, supervised by one or more nursery nurse depending on the number of children.
- The family Home: your child is welcomed into the home of a childminder in a small group of children (from 1 to 8 maximum for K& G, 1 to 4 maximum for ONE).

The type of financial participation:
Another major distinction between the day care centers is the price:
- Either the day care center is accredited and subsidized by the ONE or K&G and the daily rate is based on the parents' income. This is the case for all municipal day care centers.
- Either the day care center is only authorized by the ONE or by K& G and the rate is freely determined by the day care center.

Helpful hints:
Looking for a day care center near your place? Ask your municipality for a list of the municipal day care centers.

You need help to take care of your sick child? Many municipalities organize home care for sick children and most national healthcare services also offer this service.

General information:
Brussels-Capital Region’s website :
http://brussels.irisnet.be/living-in-brussels/family-and-private-life/children/reception-services-for-infants?set_language=en

Other useful websites:
The Gezinsbond (Dutch) and the Ligue des Familles (French) are two non-profit organizations that provide services to parents such as child care, legal aid and advice to consumers.

Article "Focus - she's having a baby", document 1, 2, 3, The Bulletin, March 2012.