Extra funding for Flemish nursery schools

In what was the final cabinet meeting before ministers leave for their summer break the Flemish Government has approved measures that will considerably increase the amount given to nursey schools to cover their operating costs. From the start of the new school year, nursery schools will be given the same amount to cover their operating costs as primary schools. 

This means that the amount they receive from the Flemish Education Department will rise from 477 euro/child/annum to 662 euro/child/annum.    

In the spring the Flemish Parliament asked the government to take action before the start of the new school year to address the historical under-funding of nursery education. It was decided that the subsidy to cover operating costs needed to be increased to the level given to primary schools.  

Up until now the amount of subsidy given to nursey schools was lower as it was presumed that the children that attend them don’t do so every day.

However, the Flemish Education Minister Hilde Crevits (Flemish Christian democrat) told journalists "Over the past few years we have put a lot of emphasis on getting children to attend nursery. This means that the presumption that they don’t attend school every day is now dated”.    

In order to encourage parents to send their children to nursery school those that do are given extra child benefit.  

The extra funding for nursery school amounts to a total of 52 million euro. The operating costs cover materials, maintenance and training.

In Flanders a very high percentage of pre-school children attend nursery school. 98.4% of three-year-olds in Flanders attend nursery school. The same is true of 99% of four and five-year-olds. From the 2020-2021 school year the age at which children must be in full-time education will be lowered from 6 to 5.