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Expat Q&A: Looking for a babysitter or nanny?
Do you need a babysitter or nanny to look after your children, for an evening or a day, only occasionally or on a daily basis? What is the average cost? Do you need to sign an employment contract? The Expat Welcome Desk has all the answers to your questions.
Do you need to sign an employment contract?
Unlike in France, there is no legal framework for babysitters or nannies in Belgium, who are considered to be providing an ‘intellectual service’. That’s why most people don’t sign an employment contract with them. Moreover, the service is provided by domestic staff who are not subject to the NSSO (National Social Security Office) if the following three conditions are met (cumulative conditions):
· They perform this service on an occasional basis, in a non-professional manner
· They are paid a limited fee for their services
· Their services do not exceed eight hours per week with one or more employers
Should you need a babysitter for more than eight hours a week, you can hire a person under an employment contract as an employee. That said, the costs for covering their salary and the social charges are quite high. You will need to contact a social secretariat who can simulate the cost and help draw up an employment contract.
Does the babysitter have to be registered?
No, babysitters or nannies generally work in a personal capacity. They therefore do not have to register with the National Childcare Office (ONE, Office national de l’enfance) or its Flemish equivalent (‘Kind & Gezin’).
How much does a babysitter charge on average?
They usually charge prices in the range of €7 to €10 an hour. In principle, their fees are not tax-deductible.
As mentioned earlier, their activity must be limited to eight hours per week. Otherwise, a contractual employer/employee relationship is established.
Can I use service vouchers to pay my babysitter?
No, you cannot pay your babysitter through the service voucher system.
Where can I find a babysitter?
You can find a babysitter through a friend, neighbour or acquaintance or through dedicated online platforms.
We recommend that you make enquiries about the experience and skills of the person you are considering as a babysitter before hiring them if you found them through an intermediary rather than a platform.
Tips for platforms
This organisation, which defends parents' rights among other things, also offers a babysitting service, providing parents with guarantees about the service. The parents and babysitters of the Ligue des Familles, who have all been preselected by the league itself, benefit from a quality charter and support. Babysitters must follow three days of training before being added to the list of babysitters who are approved by the league. Parents who are interested in these services must therefore join the association to benefit from them.
Gezinsbond is a Dutch-speaking organisation that represents the interests of families, informs and supports them and provides them with benefits and services. It offers a childcare service through a local coordinator who takes care of the details for parents.
Bsit combines two principles: a user-friendly app and reliable word-of-mouth recommendations. Bsit lets you find babysitters who are recommended by friends or neighbours near you. Once you have downloaded the free application, Bsit suggests recommended babysitters in your region, or even in your neighbourhood.
Public community linking parents and babysitters. Detailed reviews and profiles with user verification.
Yoopies was designed to help families in their day-to-day lives. The platform puts babysitters in touch with parents who are looking for a childcare solution, based on fairly comprehensive search criteria. As applications are not reviewed by the site managers, unlike Ligue des Familles, we recommend you read recommendations from other site users to ensure that the applications are serious.
The Expat Welcome Desk is a free service that advises internationals on the practicalities of daily life in the Belgian capital, from accommodation and residence permits to employment rights and taxation, among a number of topics.