Will recent graduates soon be able to fill childcare vacancies?
Childcare training courses are popular and that is good news. Since 2020, the profession has been on the list of bottleneck professions. With the increasing success, Flemish minister of employment Hilde Crevits hopes to be able to fill the vacancies.
The training to become a childcare worker has become popular with job-seekers, Flemish minister of employment Hilde Crevits (CD&V) says. In 2021, 845 students started the free training with VDAB, the Flemish public service that brings together supply and demand on the labour market and whose main task is to mediate and guide job-seekers to work.
The course on babies and toddlers is the most popular. At present, 211 people have already obtained their diplomas. In June, minister Crevits expects a new batch of childcare workers to graduate.
"That is only good news," Crevits responds in De Morgen. "For the good functioning of childcare and for the jobseeker, who can further develop himself and has a chance for a good job."
There are even 2,200 job-seekers who say they are interested in becoming child carers. Considering working in child care is more than nursing and changing nappies, not everyone qualifies.
The Flemish childcare has been struggling for years with staff shortages: one childcare worker has to look after eight children at a time and no fewer than 870 vacancies remain unfilled. That is almost four times more than in 2017. Since 2020, it has therefore been a bottleneck profession.
Meanwhile, the sector continues to receive negative news. At the end of last month, it became known that the Flemish government is investing only 2.9 euro per hour per child in nurseries, which, according to the sector, will contribute to higher risks of even more accidents. The tragedy at the Sloeberhuis in Ghent, in which a baby died, also caused a stir, both in the sector and in politics.
© BELGA PHOTO NILS QUINTELIER