Childcare and school

Nurseries

Apply well in advance because demand by far exceeds supply, especially in an urban area such as Ghent! 

Day-care services for children between 3 months and 3 years are provided for by nurseries ('crèche' or 'kinderdagverblijf'). Furthermore, there are registered child minders ('onthaalouders' in Dutch) who provide care for a child day or night in their own home. They may be affilliated to a crèche or be completely independent. They can have up to four children in their care at any one time.

Parents may visit the nurseries and child minders and ask questions regarding facilities, staffing levels and qualifications, what languages are spoken, whether or not food and nappies are included, and so on.

  • Ghent University offers its own childcare for students and staff
  • Nurseries via city of Ghent (website in Dutch)

Schools

Financial aspects

Refund of childcare costs

In most cases, the fee you pay for childcare facilities depends on your family income, how many children you have in your care and the length of the stay per day. Part of the fee (so-called family contribution) is tax-deductible. The childcare initiative will provide you with a statement for tax purposes once a year.

If the childcare fees that you are paying amount to less than the tax advantage granted for a child below the age of 3, you may be better off by opting for the system of additional tax deduction. Per fiscal year a fixed amount is set.

Child (benefit) allowance

If you have children that live in Belgium, you can apply for a child (benefit) allowance. The amount of the allowance depends on your number of children and their age. For this, you will need a copy of the birth certificate of your child.

The child allowance is almost always paid to the mother of the child. Therefore, the mother has to fill out the necessary documents. The child allowance will be paid on the account of the mother, or on the account of the father if you can prove that the mother has access to that bank account. For this, we will need a form from the bank which states that this is the case.