The Growing Up agency is fully engaged in a re-evaluation of the problem files in the childcare sector. That is what acting general administrator of Growing Up Bruno Vanobbergen said this evening in the Flemish Parliament. According to Vanobbergen, the precautionary principle is central to this. He expects more suspensions and cancellations of permits to follow in the coming days and weeks. It is important that parents receive structured support.

    In the past week, stories of abuses in various crèches surfaced again. Just yesterday, the Growing Up agency decided to also suspend the other branches of the previously discredited Mippie and Moppie in Keerbergen. Last week, Katrien Verhegge, the top woman of the Growing Up agency, resigned her mandate because she and her agency were once again in the eye of the storm.

    New screening

    In the Welfare committee of the Flemish Parliament, the members of parliament today fired a battery of questions at Minister of Welfare Hilde Crevits (CD&V) and at acting general administrator of the Growing up agency, Bruno Vanobbergen. Central and recurring question: how sure can we be of the safety in the so-called ‘problem crèches’ and is there no need for new screening? “Parliament has a right to an answer,” agreed Minister Crevits.

    According to Bruno Vanobbergen, his agency is fully working on “evaluating and re-evaluating” the so-called problem files or historical files. “We are faced with a huge mountain of work there,” he said. According to Vanobbergen, this exercise is based on the precautionary principle “where the protection of the integrity of small children is central”.


    According to Vanobbergen, the re-evaluation of files can lead to various options, ranging from a suspension or cancellation to an intention to suspend or cancel or a visit by the Health Care Inspectorate. “As soon as we determine that we have to proceed with a suspension or suspension, we do so in a documented but firm manner,” says Vanobbergen.

    Support for parents

    The CEO of Growing Up expects that more decisions will be made in the coming days and weeks due to the ongoing exercise. The aim is to provide the necessary support to both parents and local authorities. For example, parents will immediately receive an explanation when their childcare initiative is closed and they will also immediately receive the contact details of available psychopedagogues.

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