Aller au contenu principal

Office of Birth and Childhood at children & families service

The Office of Birth and Childhood (Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance, further referred to as ONE) is a public institution that develops birth and childhood policies.

ONE is an independent organism under the Minister for Childhood of the Wallonia & Brussels Federation.

  • Chairman of the Board of Directors : Mrs. Violaine Herbaux
  • General Director of the Executive Board : Mr. Laurent Monniez



For further information:



The core values guiding the actions of ONE are quality, equity, ethics, continuity, and “good-treatment”. ONE has a mission statement and management guidelines in order to help employees in their missions.



Its two main missions are:

  1. To support children's development within their family and social environment; to advise and support pregnant women, parents and families medically and socially in order to ensure the global wellbeing of their children. Most services offered by ONE are free.
  2. To organise (that is, to control and sometimes to finance) day care centres for children outside of the home environment. ONE's role is to ensure that these structures operate correctly and provide quality care for children.

ONE also has cross-disciplinary missions such as parenting support.

Prenatal care by ONE

ONE supervises a network of prenatal clinics and centers across Wallonia and Brussels to meet families' needs during pregnancy and childbirth. Prenatal consultations are available not only in local hospitals but also in dedicated "prenatal centers" outside the hospital setting. ONE implements specific measures to ensure easy access for vulnerable groups and strongly promotes breastfeeding in alignment with WHO recommendations.

Objectives of prenatal consultations:

  • Ensure a safe and successful pregnancy.
  • Minimize the risk of premature births and underweight babies.


  • Upon confirmation of pregnancy, each mother receives a Mother's Notebook as a communication link with health professionals.
  • Regular check-ups cover physiological and biological changes, prenatal nutrition, and healthy lifestyle recommendations.
  • Families receive a Parent's Notebook emphasizing the importance of the father's role.

Health professionals involved:

  • Pregnant women are attended by gynecologists or midwives and a medical social worker (Partenaires Enfants-Parents or PEP's).
  • PEP's provide information on pregnancy, delivery, birth, diet, and assist with administrative paperwork.
  • PEP's are child health experts, offering free services in medical centers, hospitals, or at home upon request. Prenatal and postnatal services are interconnected.

Contact information:

  • Details of prenatal centers are available at local ONE administrations and "Subregional Administrations" in Brussels, Brabant Wallon, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, and Namur.

For further information: Consultations prénatales

Consultation points by ONE

ONE oversees postnatal care for mothers and newborns upon their return home, providing consultation points for young children in Brussels and Wallonia. There is an extensive network of over 600 consultation points, with mobile clinics organized in less accessible areas, offering services similar to regular clinics.

Services provided:

  • Consultations for children aged 0 to 6 years are free and available to all parents, focusing on preventive care for the child's well-being.
  • No medical treatment is administered; instead, a team including a doctor, a medical social worker (PEP's), and volunteers conducts preventive medical examinations (vaccines, visual and auditory tests/screening, etc.) by appointment.
  • Partenaires Enfants-Partenaires (PEP's) offer home visits and support parents in their role.

Additional activities:

  • Clinics organize various activities such as conferences, game corners, and reading corners, fostering a sense of community among parents.

Child's health notebook:

  • Each child receives a Carnet de santé de 0 à 18 ans at birth, documenting vaccinations, the child's physical and social development, and providing general health advice.

Contact information:

  • Details of consultation points are available at local ONE administrations and "Subregional Administrations" in Brussels, Brabant Wallon, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, and Namur.
  • Parents can visit the website to search for a consultation point.

For further information : Consultations pour enfants

Day care settings by ONE

Wallonia and Brussels boast an extensive network of quality day care centers, including nurseries, kindergartens, and childminders, catering to babies and children aged 3 months to 3 years. All childcare facilities are strictly regulated and controlled by ONE, and no setting is allowed to welcome children without ONE's approval.

Quality assurance:

  • ONE ensures correct operation and quality care in these structures, with some being financially supported by ONE.
  • A "quality code" serves as a compulsory reference for all childcare centers, specifying conditions such as employee training, building quality, accommodation security, and social and psychological attention to each child.

Types of facilities:

  1. Collective facilities (e.g., crèches, nurseries, kindergartens): Children are welcomed into a group supervised by nursery nurses, with at least one adult for every 6 or 7 children.
  2. Childminders in a home setting: Children are welcomed into a childminder's home in small groups, with a maximum of 4 children for one childminder. Two childminders can work together, allowing a maximum of 8 children.

Financial support:

  • Some ONE-accredited day care centers are fully financed by ONE, with the daily rate based on parents' income under specific conditions. Others receive accreditation but no subsidies, determining their daily rate independently.

Supervision by ONE:

  • ONE also oversees flexible day care centers called "haltes accueil," designed for parents who need short-term professional care for their children.
  • Meeting points for parents and children (Dolto model) are supervised by ONE.

Contact information:

  • Contact details for all day care centers are available at local ONE administrations and "Subregional Administrations" in Brussels, Brabant Wallon, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, and Namur.
  • Parents can find a day care center by visiting the website.

For further information, please contact your Subregional Administration.

Initiating a childcare activity in the French speaking community of Belgium

Citizen Mobility in Europe offers essential information on establishing a childcare activity in the French-speaking Community of Belgium. To start the application process, follow this link for general information.

Two types of early childhood day-care facilities:

  1. Childminders or co-childminders.
  2. Crèches (kindergartens) with organizational power in the form of a legal entity and appropriate staff hiring.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Diplomas:
    • Check if you possess the necessary qualifications
    • If your diploma is not from Belgium, apply for its recognition :
  2. Accreditation:
    • Obtain authorization from ONE (Office of Birth and Childhood).
    • Location assessment is crucial for authorization; the application can only be processed with a location within the French-speaking Community of Belgium.
    • ONE offers a preparatory process, and legislation ensures verification of conditions for quality childcare.
  3. Legislation and quality requirements:
    • Comply with legal and quality standards.
    • Develop a childcare activity project.
  4. Funding:
    • Explore the possibility of applying for funding, such as the Stork Plan (Plan Cigogne +5200).
    • Note that subsidies are not automatically granted.

For further details: What do you need to do if you want to set up a childcare activity in the French speaking Community of Belgium?

ONE's quality spare time activities for pupils (aged 3 to 12):

After school activities:

  • Conducted before or after school on Wednesdays and sometimes during weekends;
  • Can take place within or outside the school setting;
  • Aims at supporting child development through various activities like cultural, athletic, artistic, and creative pursuits (e.g., pottery, painting, crafts, theatre, basketball, excursions, and walks).

Collective and individual homework support:

  • Provides assistance with homework, acknowledging that the home environment may not always be conducive to concentration or adult help;
  • Serves as a transition between school and the children's home environment;
  • Offers not only academic support but also diverse cultural, creative, and sports activities, emphasizing cooperation, citizenship education, multicultural aspects, and respect.

Holiday camps and activities:

  • Aimed at children aged 2,5 to 15 (sometimes older) during school holidays, with almost 3,500 camps organized annually;
  • Organizers ensure fun and fulfilling activities supervised by qualified personnel, covering sports, arts, and local biodiversity exploration.

Three types of holiday activities:

  • Holiday activities in the neighbourhood: Day camps with evening return, often held near the children's homes in the municipality. Emphasizes outdoor activities, fostering movement, running, jumping, and, most importantly, fun.

  • A stay abroad or in Belgium: Offers children the chance to visit the Belgian coast, Ardennes, or even travel abroad for several days, promoting communal living and mutual respect.

  • Children holiday camp, summer camp: Allows children enrolled in local youth movements (e.g., scouts) to participate in a significant summer camp, culminating a year of weekly activities and projects.

For further details: Accueil en dehors de l'école

Ensuring well-being in challenging situations:

In instances of medical, psychological, and social difficulties, prioritizing the well-being of the child is paramount. Institutions like foster homes and foster parents play a crucial role in removing children from hazardous home environments.

SOS children teams:

  • Since 1980, ONE has established a dedicated division to prevent and address child abuse through "SOS Children" teams.
  • Financed by ONE, these highly experienced teams provide support in cases of physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse.
  • The teams have also developed a prenatal preventive service.

For more detailed information: Les équipes SOS Enfants

ONE's Adoption Service:

ONE provides adoption services with the aim of facilitating domestic adoptions for babies born in Belgium, ensuring no discrimination based on religious, racial, or political factors. Both biological parents placing their child for adoption and foster parents receive psychological and administrative support through this service.

For more detailed information: ONE Adoption

ONE's commitment to research and data collection:

ONE actively engages in research and data collection to gain a comprehensive understanding of family demographics in the Wallonia & Brussels Federation. A notable scientific tool, the Medical Social Data Bank, collects information related to the medical and social situations of families.

Key aspects:

  • Medical counsellors/advisors: ONE has medical experts, including paediatricians and gynaecologists, in every region. They play a crucial role in ensuring that health policy decisions in sub-regions are based on scientific expertise.

  • Collaboration: The medical and psycho-pedagogic departments collaborate closely with the Research Department, all reporting to ONE’s Central Administration.

Additional resources:

For more information: Recherches

Public awareness initiatives:

  • ONE is committed to raising public awareness about health and preventive actions;
  • Multimedia campaigns, websites, and TV programs are employed to disseminate crucial information.

Educational materials:

  • ONE actively creates, develops, adapts, and publishes a diverse range of brochures and posters;
  • The materials cover topics related to child development and fostering appropriate environments for children.

Professional resources:

  • ONE provides professional resources such as annual reports and other scientific materials to support the ongoing education of childhood professionals;
  • Professionals seeking further information can explore additional resources.

Background and mission:

Established in 1989 by ONE, the Houtman Fund is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Herman Houtman. Its primary mission is to support and finance initiatives and research exclusively aimed at disadvantaged children in the Wallonia & Brussels Federation. While ONE caters to the broader spectrum of families and children, the Houtman Fund narrows its focus to those facing particular challenges.

The fund operates under the guidance of a distinct committee, headed by President Claudia Camut and Deputy Head Marc Vainsel.


Impact and support:

  • Since its inception in 1989, the Houtman Fund has supported approximately 100 projects spanning a wide range of themes.
  • It acknowledges and rewards long-term efforts dedicated to disadvantaged children every five years.


Further information:

Areas of Interest:

ONE actively seeks opportunities for external and international collaborations to enhance its impact. ONE is particularly interested in engaging in the following areas:

  • Scientific research;
  • International collaboration;
  • Health education projects;
  • Exchanges of good practices.

Current Focus: Among its various priorities, ONE is currently emphasizing efforts in:

  1. Fighting against families' poverty and health inequalities
  2. Continuing to develop universal services for pregnant women, parents, and children
  3. Defending children's rights and advancing parenting support

Contact Information: For further information or if you are interested in establishing a new partnership, please reach out to:

  • Nicole Roland, Director
  • Address: 95 Chaussée de Charleroi, 1060 Brussels
  • Tel: +3225421518
  • E-mail:


Since its founding in 1919, the Office of Birth and Childhood (ONE) has changed quite bit, following closely the needs of its social environment. Today, it is not only an organization widely known by the francophone population in Belgium, but also the reference organization for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation for all matters related to childhood policies.

ONE develops and assures quality and diverse host environments for children outside their family milieu. The institution also pursues an ambitious policy of child and family accompaniment via various structures dispersed across southern Belgium and Brussels. By closely abiding to the realities of families themselves, the Office adapts its policies of preventative medicine to local realities, all while offering the population a universal, free service.

This webpage is a part of an EU quality network

Your Europe directs you to the most useful national and EU websites.

0 Brochure(s) sélectionnée(s)