Coronavirus: subsidies for Flemish childcare (JC 331)

Author: Leen Lafourt (Legal Expert)
Date:

The measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus also have a major impact on the childcare sector, both for childcare providers and for the parents who use childcare.

On the one hand, parents are asked to keep their children at home as much as possible. On the other hand, however, childcare must remain guaranteed for children of parents working in the essential sectors and for children in a vulnerable situation at home.

In this context, it has been decided that families who keep their children at home and therefore do not send them to childcare will no longer have to pay contributions for these days of absence.
This decision, however, leads to a significant reduction in the number of children present and has a major financial impact on the childcare providers.

That is why the Flemish Government now grants compensation.

For whom?

All providers of childcare for babies and toddlers:

  • where the parents do not pay for the days of absence;
  • that remain open or are available to ensure childcare;

Exception: If you have to close the childcare facility due to force majeure, you can still benefit from the compensation subsidies (e.g. when all employees are infected with the virus, in case of a childcare facility that is located in a residential care centre and therefore has to close down as a result of the measures taken by the National Security Council, ...).

  • and whose employees remain employed and available and continue to receive their wages (or allowance).
    In other words, temporary unemployment cannot be invoked for the employees.
    Remark: If you had already closed your childcare facility and applied for temporary unemployment, you will be able to benefit from the subsidy again as soon as you reopen it.

It is therefore important to remember that, in order to be entitled to the compensation subsidy, you must keep your employees employed and continue to pay their wages.

The subsidy cannot be combined with the system of temporary unemployment or any other Flemish or federal support.

How much is the subsidy?

The amount of the subsidy varies according to the type of childcare and is granted per day of absence (= a day on which the family had ‘ordered’ care and the child was absent):

 

Group care

Family care

Care at a floating price

EUR 27

EUR 17.5

Income-related care

EUR 20

EUR 17.50 (for independent family care)

Income-related care with childminders sui generis or with employee status

EUR 18.50

EUR 18.50

The above amounts are prorated according to whether it concerns a full, half or 1/3rd day of absence.

How to apply for the subsidy?

The method of application and payment differs depending on the type of childcare. The subsidy is granted by Opgroeien Regie (Kind & Gezin).

More information

For more information, please visit the website of Kind & Gezin.

 

Sources:

  • Snelinfo Kind & Gezin of 25 March 2020: compensation for the negative consequences of the coronavirus on childcare;
  • Decree of the Flemish Government to combat the negative consequences of the Covid-19 virus on families and childcare providers.