Bringing Up Toddlers

Find out about the services, activities and help available to parents, babies and young children in Belgium...

As maternity leave in Belgium is relatively short, a high proportion of children have already been cared for outside the home for many months by the time they are classified as "toddlers".

Belgians have comprehensive government-supported childcare facilities. Organisation and provision of childcare varies slightly according to community, but essentially two organisations supervise and set the national standards. The services they provide are similar.

These are:

When it comes to doing things as a family, facilities for parents and their children are generally good. Belgium has worked hard in recent years to boost tourist figures and as a result there are plenty of places to visit with children.The official Belgian Tourist site has extensive listings in English of family-friendly attractions from museums to leisure centres.

To encourage the use of public transport, Belgium's rail network (B-rail, run by the SNCB) offers discounted travel for mothers-to-be, children and large families.