Flanders needs 29,000 extra childcare places, working group says

The working group on Flemish childcare, formed in the wake of several childcare scandals and at the request of Flemish Welfare minister Hilde Crevits (CD&V), presented several proposals on Thursday. These include making all subsidised childcare dependent on income and creating 29,000 additional places.

The main conclusion is that Flemish childcare needs a thorough overhaul of its organisation and financing beyond party political interests and terms of office. A new childcare decree and a multi-annual master plan, including a budget plan, are proposed as the basis for this.


To make childcare a basic service and to ensure sufficient availability, the group suggests adding 29,000 places to the current 93,000 by 2034. Stakeholders argue that all subsidised childcare should be income-related, similar to models in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, and based on the assumption that in Flanders and Brussels 80 per cent of children up to the age of three need childcare.

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Attention should also be paid to making childcare jobs more attractive and sustainable by further reducing child-staff ratios and limiting group sizes to a maximum of 15 children. A careful transition plan is needed to avoid any loss of places.



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