Many mums and dads are at a loss now that several day care centers in Westhoek have disappeared. So does single mother Delphine Callewert, 33, now that the daycare center where her daughter Lola was has closed its doors due to soaring energy prices. She started a petition and wrote a letter to the city of Ypres calling for an urgent response to the reception problem in the area.
“About 31 children have been left out in the cold due to the closure of our childcare center. Huis van het Kind is doing everything they can to find a place for our children, but they also face a huge shortage of childcare in Ypres,” says Delphine. Her daughter, Lola, is 14 months old. “About two months before the last day of care, I was told Lola’s daycare would be closing from January. Since the daycare Christmas break was planned, that means Friday, December 23rd is the last day. There is no solution for many children.”
“I am concerned about the impact of all this on the youngest and most vulnerable lives in our society.”
“There are not enough places and many parents are confused. I can describe myself as a ‘happy’ parent, because a temporary solution has been found for my daughter Lola. Between January and the end of May 2023, I found a shelter for three days instead Out of the four days required. There is no solution yet between the end of May and January 2024. This is causing a lot of stress.”
“I feel a bit frustrated, because I am trying to contribute to society by doing my job. Will I now have to temporarily put my job on hold in order to provide childcare for my daughter? I would be very happy to take care of my daughter, but it is not financially feasible. As a single mother, I take priority.” I got to get a place in a shelter, but this puzzle can’t even be pieced together,” says Delphine.
In addition to her role as a mother, Delphine works as a trauma psychologist. “I am grateful that Huis van het Kind and the childcare Lola can go to have considered all possible scenarios to come up with this plan. With that said, I am concerned about the seven-month gap. How do I work around that? Not even parental leave covers that period. Moreover, the contribution to this vacation is too little to make ends meet financially. In the best case scenario, the Huis van het Kind will find another refuge where Lola can go. But what is the effect of constantly changing sponsorship numbers?”, Delphine wonders. “I am concerned about the impact of all of this on the youngest and most vulnerable lives in our society. Children need to be cared for by people who respond with sensitivity and love. Children also need stable care numbers, a sustainable solution.”
Quantity outweighs quality
The situations in which reception centers have to work are not easy and Delphine understands that too. “Quantity outweighs quality. As unfortunate as it sounds. The financial side of childcare is complex and in some cases nurseries receive an amount per child. Then, as a government, you also encourage babysitters to want to take care of as many children as possible, right?” the service closes My previous daycare closed due to high energy prices.Last year a childcare worker opened her second branch but it turned out that the building was not in good condition and not economical enough.Then I ask myself if enough cash support is available to set up a new daycare.Is Does the building meet the necessary standards in the long run? Is it profitable? And furthermore: Does someone have the necessary certificates or knowledge to run the nursery in a correct way? Both pedagogically and logistically,” says Delphine.
Our children are the most precious thing to us as parents. Trusting a quality nursery that can take care of our children in the long run ensures that we can work with peace of mind. And I believe that not only parents, but of course also many supervisors who do their work with heart and soul feel abandoned. They also want to get the best care, but that’s not always possible in these circumstances.”
Delphine contacted Ypres with an obvious question: to start a new childcare center from Ypres. “It’s not just a shelter, it’s an experimental project with a very clear educational vision,” she explains. “A project that we, as a city, can benefit from. I myself – based on my experience as an educator and coaching staff – wanted to support this project pedagogically. The city must provide the right administrative and legal framework, the appropriate infrastructure and, if necessary, financial bridges.”
“I recently sat down at the table with ships from Welfare Eva Ryde. I approached that conversation realistically and also knew I wouldn’t get out of the immediate investigation of a new childcare facility. The city acts as a facilitator and has been for many years. There are also no plans to address this differently on Short or long term.What is missing in the city’s approach is a proactive role.I wonder if they should take more responsibility in supporting and informing childcare workers, so that innovative and feasible solutions can be found.It is now up to the city council not only to adopt a wait-and-see attitude And anticipation, but to fulfill his role as facilitator and, above all, as manager. So that parents and their children are not left out in the cold.
The petition can be signed here.
Seven Eva Ride Shows Understanding: “I took a step forward this week”
Ypres Alderman of Welfare Eva Ryde (N-VA) reports on a good and informative conversation she had with Delphine Callewaert. “It is also frustrating that the city is unable to provide adequate answers to many questions within the current context and regulations,” said Alderman Ryde. The Welfare Minister recently announced additional resources for childcare. We embrace all possibilities and will also now urgently investigate whether this can make a difference to Ypres. However, the recent closures in Ypres were not or hardly the result of mismanagement, bankruptcy or force majeure, so we will have to wait for concrete regulations to determine if this support can really be requested. And even if that’s the case, you still need a site and staff to make it happen, which is no mean feat. “
The city of Ypres is not consciously a child welfare organization. “Not because we don’t want to, but because it wouldn’t create any extra places at all, and there are already strong regulators active in our city, with whom we work well,” says Reid. “We want to achieve flexible shelter again for temporary shelter and for vulnerable cases. We just took a step forward this week and are close to a solution. A suitable site has been found. We hope to have a show here again next spring. We want to convince more organizations Or partner companies to make the infrastructure available at a suitable rent. Anyone interested can always contact us.