This page was last modified on 7 April 2017, at 16:29.

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

Overview Belgium (Flemish Community)

Contents

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and learning in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-Flemish-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Legislation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Glossary

2016

Extra operating means for non-Dutch speaking toddlers

A priority of the current Flemish Government is to offer each child, regardless of its descent or socioeconomic background, equal education opportunities. It is essential for the further development of newly arrived children to take part as fast as possible in quality language education.

For this reason the government took the decision to allow also in school year 2016-2017 an allowance of 950 euro per additional non-Dutch speaking toddler to schools with a growing number of non-Dutch speaking toddlers younger than five. The allowance must support initiation in and reinforcement of the knowledge of Dutch of the young toddlers.

Action plan on participation in pre-primary education

On 12 December 2016 Flemish Minister of Education Hilde Crevits launched the action plan ‘Every day of pre-primary education counts’. The plan contains targeted actions to reach the small group of toddlers who do not participate in pre-primary education or who are not sufficiently present in class.

In Flanders nearly all toddlers go to school. Internationally Flanders belongs to the top when it concerns participation in pre-primary education. Nevertheless a small group of children does not participate in pre-primary education or, when enrolled, is not sufficiently present in class.

Children who (partly) miss pre-primary education run a higher risk of school and languages arrears. Research has indicated that in particular toddlers from larger cities, vulnerable families, girls and children from outside Belgium or the EU have a higher change not to be enrolled in pre-primary education. With the action plan on participation in pre-primary education the Flemish Minister of Education want to reach also this last small group of children and allow them to take part in pre-primary education.

The action plan contains the following activities:

  1. The appointment of a toddler coordinator (beginning of 2017). This person is granted the task to keep participation in pre-primary education high on the agenda. (S)He will offer support, in the first place in larger cities such as Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. The coordinator will build a learning network which shares good practices and expertise.
  2. The optimisation of the collection, monitoring, validation and sharing of relevant data with all partners involved. Even better data with regard to enrolment and participation are crucial for the development of a solid policy on participation in pre-primary education. In addition, it allows for a fast local monitoring of toddlers who are not enrolled or not sufficiently present in class.
  3. The targeted informing, sensitising and supporting of parents, in particular parents from vulnerable groups. In this framework specific attention is given to a reinforced cooperation between the Agency for Educational Services and the Agency for Child and Family Policies.
  4. The stimulation of cooperation with and between local partners, in particular the Local Consultation Platforms, the Houses of the Child, local governments, schools and Pupils Guidance Centres. Cooperation and coordinated actions must lead to maximal results.
  5. Raising participation of specific groups who do not participate sufficiently in pre-primary education. Attention goes out to travelling parents and children.
  6. The promotion of a warm transfer between home / pre-primary care and education.

As part of the action plan Minister Crevits launched on 7 March 2017 the ‘Starter Package on Pre-primary Education’. This package contains a practical guide for parents with useful information and answers to frequently asked questions. Information is provided in various languages.

In elaboration of the action plan a close cooperation is set up with amongst other the policy domain of Welfare (responsible for pre-primary care) and the Agency for Integration.

Participation in pre-primary education

At the end of May 2016 the Flemish Government approved two concept notes containing the key ideas for the modernization of Flemish secondary education. A first concept note comprises measures for primary education and the first stage (year 1 and 2) of secondary education, while a second one addresses the second and third stage of secondary education (year 3 to 6/7). Both concept notes concretise the Master Plan on Secondary Education (see 14.2.1.4).

In the context of the modernisation of secondary education the Flemish Government pays attention to raising the participation of children in pre-primary education. For that reason the concept note ‘Measures for primary education and the first stage’ foresees a participation allowance of three hundred euro for children who are sufficiently present in pre-primary education at the age of three and four. In addition, the compulsory attendance of five-year olds in the third year of pre-primary education would be raised from 220 to 250 half days.

The reforms will be implemented in phases from 1 September 2018 onwards.

Parliamentary act on ‘care and leisure for (school) children’

The Flemish government would like to build a contemporary, qualitative, needs-covering and for families affordable care and leisure offer that:

  • gives children chances for development and makes it possible for them to have nice free time;
  • permits parents to participate in the labour market, take (vocational) education and/or participate in activities that contribute to their personal development
  • depends on an integrated vision (at the Flemish and local levels) on care and leisure for children. This means there is deliberation with education (as a priority partner), youth, sports and media;
  • is offered at the local level by several actors, each from its own specific individuality and possibilities

To realise this objective the decree ‘Care and leisure for (school) children’ is being prepared. The preparing concept note ‘Guidelines for a new organisation of care and leisure for children’ for this policy has been submitted to the different strategic advisory boards of the policy domains concerned (education, youth, sports and culture and media). The note emphasizes local cooperation between care initiatives, schools and leisure organisations. Local governments have an important coordinating role in this matter.

The concept note was approved by the Flemish government and submitted to the Flemish parliament in January 2016, where it will be further debated. The Flemish minister for Welfare, public health and family has been charged with the execution and follow-up of the policy process.

More information on the new concept note on ‘Care and leisure for (school) children’ can be found on the website of 'Child & Family'.

2015

A maximal participation in pre-primary education

In order to complete compulsory education with the highest chances to success, and in particular with a view to a fluent mastering of Dutch, Flanders wants to promote a maximal participation in pre-primary education. Specific attention is paid to the youngest children from the age of three onwards. 

In the framework of this policy goal a literature review was finalised in May 2015, followed in July 2015 by an interim report which maps the policy measures existing since 2007. In addition, a qualitative analysis as well as a quantitative analysis were carried out in 2015 with the aim of better capturing participation in pre-primary education in Flanders. These studies must, together with a consultation of experts, result in a report with a global package of meaningful and efficient policy measures and examples of good practices. In the future proposals will be formulated on the basis of the insights generated in this report policy.

Information-rich environments for schools

Please see 14.2.1.13.

2014

Admission requirements for primary education

Education Decree XXIV, which was approved by the Flemish Parliament on 23 April 2014, provides for the abolition of the language test for pre-school children. Before the adoption of Education Decree XXIV six-year old toddlers, who did not spend 220 half days in the final year of pre-primary education (185 days for five-year olds), were obliged to pass a Dutch language test before being admitted to primary education. The test had been installed to stimulate parents to send their child to pre-primary education as often as possible. The decision was taken to abolish the test because from 1 September 2014 onwards a language screening of children who enter regular primary education for the first time is obligatory, in order to map their proficiency of Dutch (see also 14.5.2.2. 'Implementation of the concept note on languages 'Samen taalgrenzen verleggen').

From school year 2014-2015 onwards the class council decides, after consultation with and advice by the pupil guidance centre, whether and on which conditions a pre-primary child is admitted to primary education. The decision of the class council must be communicated to the parents in a written motivation and be orally explained. The school also has to indicate possible points of special attention for the pupil in the upcoming year.

New parliamentary act on child care

In Flanders early childhood care, which is a policy area under the responsibility of the Minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family, is offered to children up until the age of 2,5. At the age of 2,5 toddlers enter into early childhood education, which is a responsibility of the Minister of Education.  

On 1 April 2014 the Parliamentary Act on the Organisation of Childcare for Babies and Toddlers became operational. With this new act the Flemish Government wants to offer sufficient high quality child care which is accessible for everyone. Three basic ideas guide the measures which are incorporated in the new parliamentary act:

1. Child care becomes more transparent. The complex organisation of child care in Flanders is largely simplified. Since the introduction of the new act three kinds of child care organisation are possible: family care (home-based care where a maximum of 8 children are present at the same time), group care (centre-based care for at least 9 children) and home care (in the house of the child itself). This new simplified structure must guarantee the same basic quality in every kind of child care organisation.

2. Child care becomes easier. The new parliamentary act makes child care in Flanders easier for the parents: more care will be organized, and it will be easier to find. In the future parents need to register their request for child care only once. In addition, an online search tool for child care organisations will be available on the website of Child & Family and each municipality will have a Local Counter Child Care. Child care will also financially be more easily attainable for parents by an extension of the offer of income-related care.

The new parliamentary act makes child care also easier for the sector itself. It determines that everyone who organizes child care will in the future need to have a license. With this license you are granted access to financial support, which will no longer be awarded on the basis of the type of organisation but on the basis of the assignments the organisation fulfills.

3. Child care becomes more professional. The new parliamentary act focuses on quality. In order to obtain a license, the organizer of child care needs to comply with a number of criteria. These criteria relate to

  • infrastructure, equipment and layout,
  • security, fire safety and health,
  • contact with children and families (amongst others pedagogical policy and support, involvement of and participation by the families, physical and psychological integrity of the children, the absence of racism and discrimination, …),
  • people working in the child care organisation,
  • organizational management,
  • cooperation with Child & Family, the Local Counter Child Care and the local government.

A focus on quality implies in addition that every person working in child care and every person in charge of an organisation must have a qualification. From 2016 onwards every organizer must also draw up a pedagogical policy in which pedagogical support is provided. Also from 2016 on each child care organisation with over 18 places must implement a quality policy.

To conclude a couple of language requirements change with the introduction of the new parliamentary act. From now on Child and Family will no longer accept applications from unilingual French child care organisations. In order to obtain a license the person in charge of the organisation as well as at least one person guiding the children at each location must actively master the Dutch language. In order to be entitled to financial support by Child & Family additional language requirements must be fulfilled.

More information on the new parliamentary act on child care can be found on the website from Child & Family.

Evaluation of the school advisory services

Please see 14.2.2.5.