Expatica news

Minister bemoans shortage of creche places

18 May 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s minister for children’s services has admitted there is a chronic shortage of creche places.

On Wednesday, news agency Belga reported that Childhood Minister Catherine Fonck wants the issue to be higher up the political agenda.

ONE – the organisation responsible for overseeing services such as creche provision – conducted a study into parental satisfaction over the last year.

It concluded that parents were happy with the quality of the services, but complained about availability and waiting times.

Fonck praised her predecessor, Jean-Marc Nollet, for his work on child policy, but added that the Plan Cigogne – the ‘Stork Plan’ – had been a failure.

The plan pledged the creation of 10,242 creche places between 2003 and 2010.

“The places of the Cigogne plan were a bit like the 200,000 jobs of Verhofstadt,” she said.

“They were announced without having the means to achieve them.”

“Out of 2,213 places which were promised between 2003-4, only 1,164 were actually created.”

Fonck herself announced a Plan Cigogne Bis (‘a Stork Plan Follow-up’), with the aim of creating 8,000 new places between 2005-2009.

She said the Wallonia government had already approved a management contract with ONE which would see the organisation starting 1,000 new places, with 750 of them being subsidised.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news