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New Etterbeek creche is among biggest in Belgium
The largest French-speaking creche in Belgium opens in Etterbeek on Monday - with room for 180 babies and toddlers.
The €10 million Aimé Dupont facility, near La Chasse, is the biggest daycare facility in Belgium to be accredited by Francophone child support organisation ONE.
The 3,600m² creche employs 60 staff and has been divided into 12 groups, each with a maximum of 15 children.
Each group has its own play area, nap room and changing facilities. "The space is adapted and arranged according to children's needs," said director Béatrice Van Velthoven.
The opening substantially increases creche capacity in Etterbeek. According to the municipality, 72% of requests for a subsidised creche place can now be fulfilled - compared with a Brussels-wide average of 39%.
"This does not solve the whole problem," said Xavier Melchior, ONE regional coordinator for Brussels. "There is a deficit of subsidised daycare space everywhere in Wallonia and Brussels."
While 180 is the largest capacity recorded by the ONE, the European Commission's vast creche facility at Boulevard Clovis has room for 627 children.