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50 Brussels creches in 'legal vacuum' must seek approval

20:29 09/06/2019

More than 50 creches in Brussels that have no official accreditation have been told to get their affairs in order immediately or face closure.

The region has two bodies regulating daycare facilities - the French-speaking ONE and the Flemish Kind & Gezin. But 51 creches in Brussels are regulated by neither.

Most of the affected creches consider themselves bilingual, or use a language other than French or Dutch, RTBF reports.

The creches are in a "legal vacuum", said Déborah Lorenzino, town councillor in charge of childcare facilities in Schaerbeek, where 16 of the unaccredited creches are located.

An order published on 1 June requires daycare centres not affiliated with ONE or Kind & Gezin to immediately seek approval from Brussels' Common Community Commission (Cocom).

The new requirement comes after a 10-month-old baby died in a non-approved creche in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe in March 2017.

Creche owners have until the end of the month to begin the accreditation procedure - or "notify us that they are considering a closure on their own initiative", the office of outgoing Brussels minister Céline Frémault said.

Daycare providers who register with Cocom will be visited by an inspector from either ONE or Kind & Gezin, who will provide a temporary 180-day accreditation until the Cocom's approval is completed.

Written by The Bulletin