Under the old system parents had to apply for a grant if they qualified. Many failed to do so, often because they didn’t know how to do it or didn’t realise their child qualified. Today the authorities do the checking and the grants are paid automatically using a software programme.
Whether your child qualifies largely depends on your income. Today the school grant forms part of a package that also includes child allowance. The software package used allows the authorities to do all the checking themselves and do the payment automatically.
The use of the software also means parents will receive the payment far earlier. 97% of children registered in Flemish kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will have been screened by the end of the month and their parents should know whether they can look forward to a payment. Payments for 366,892 children have already been made worth over 126 million euros.
The government’s software screens 1.9 million personal tax returns, information on 1.2 million properties and 1.2 million school registrations. The new system was introduced in less than a year and could be extended to cover allowances for people with a handicap, foster parents, the elderly with special needs, child care just to name a few.