ERDF Beliris

A childcare centre for the CPAS of Schaerbeek

The Public Welfare Centre of Schaerbeek (Centre public d’action sociale or CPAS) will open a new childcare centre during the springtime of 2023. The project received support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The new childcare centre, to be named Courte Échelle, will open in the former building of the CPAS in chaussée de Haecht, once it will be renovated.

Forty-eight of the sixty available places in the childcare centre will be kept for people on welfare, who are engaged in a socio-professional integration scheme: either those persons who are looking for a job, or those who are enrolled in a training program, or employed under an ‘Article 60’-type contract, or in a situation of distress. The remaining twelve places will be allocated to children of the CPAS’ employees.

The childcare centre project has received financing from the ERDF (the European Regional Development Fund) for a total amount of 1.1 million euros. Fifty percent of this amount will be allotted by the European authorities, the other half by the Brussels-Capital Region.


Responding to people’s real needs

The initiative is the result of a process that was launched several years ago and whose objective was to identify the specific childcare needs of people on welfare, taking into account the regular lack of available places.

The project is based on a double observation: on the one hand, many public childcare facilities applying publicly determined and fixed rates are reserved for working parents. On the other hand, private childcare facilities that are free to set their own rates are often too expensive for vulnerable households.

For several years, the Socio-Professional Integration (ISP) Department and the Social Action Department (DAS) of the CPAS of Schaerbeek have stressed how the lack of access to childcare is an obstacle on people’s path toward socio-professional integration. This also explains why the CPAS already provides financial support for the booking of childcare places for people on welfare.

This project was also launched based on the conviction that a childcare centre is a place dedicated to the development and the socialisation of all children regardless of the difficulties their parents face in life.