Expat Infants Guide
Child and family care is a priority in Brussels and many services exist that are helpful to families and children. The two most useful resources for parents in the city are Kind and Gezin (Child and Family) http://www.kindengezin.be/English_pages/default.jsp, a Flemish government agency that is responsible for children and families in the Flanders region, and the French equivalent, the Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance http://www.one.be/. The main task of these organizations is implementing government policies that include family support, child-care services and children’s rights. Although they do not actually run day-care facilities themselves, they are useful in helping find day care facilities and other information and assistance pertaining to children under 3 years of age. Their services are free. However, as local agencies, most of their services are in Dutch and French.
Day Care Facilities
- British School of Brussels Kindercrib – Day care facility at the British School of Brussels in Tervuren (20 mins outside the city) for children of ages between 1 and 3 years. Leuvensesteenweg 19, Tervuren 3080. Telephone: 027673039. Website: http://www.britishschool.be/index.php?pid=535
- Kid Far West – This organization has nine English-speaking mini-nurseries around Brussels. Telephone: 0495883630. Website: http://www.kidfarwest.be/en/index_en.htm
Nannies and Au Pairs
Nannies and au pairs are also popular expat alternatives and it is recommended to go through Kind and Gezin or other reliable agencies that specialize in providing these services. Nannies and day care facilities are also advertized in most news publications in the city. Below is a list of some agencies that do provide nannies and au pairs. Live-in nannies begin around 400€/week, while live-out nannies can be double that depending on which service is used. Local agencies will be cheaper than most international ones but they may not offer English-speaking nannies, in which case an au pair may also be a good alternative.
- Non-profit organization providing information on finding babysitters and more. Tel. +32(0)25077211
- http://www.homefromhome.be/ – Au pair agency. Tel. +32(0)32359720
- English-speaking nanny agency. Tel. +32 (0) 478541977
- http://www.nanniesofeurope.com/index.html – Provides English-speaking nannies. Tel. +4550235179
- Mother/toddler groups in Belgium are not very common as toddlers are in daycare from as young as 6 months. The ones there are do have frequent meetings and are organized through the Brussels Childbirth Trust. This is a valuable resource, especially for expats hoping to meet others as it has a large expat subscription. More information about joining the trust can be found at http://www.bctbelgium.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1. A 50€ fee membership fee is required.
- Mothers of Young Children (MOYC) – A part of the American Women’s Club of Brussels, this is another organization that organizes mother/toddler activities like playgroups as well as Ladies Nights out. You can find out more information and become a member at their site http://www.awcb.org/awcb/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=91&Itemid=2983