Brussels is full of associative, sporting or cultural structures as well as services which enhance the creation of social links, the participation to social life, the well-being of the population, the practice of sports and an access to cultural or creative activities .
Amongst various activities proposed in Brussels, numerous are free of charge or cheaply accessible.
Neighborhood Houses (Maisons de quartier/Buurthuizen) : Neighborhood Houses are spread out all around Brussels. Their aim is to offer welcoming areas to all inhabitants, social actions, proximity services and socio-cultural events promoting social, family, intergenerational and intercultural cohesion. Each Community Centre has its own identity, depending on its location, its public and its projects. Each month, they propose numerous activities (excursions, concerts, visits, parties, animations, homework schools, French courses) as well as social projects.
Community Centers : There are French-speaking or Dutch-speaking community centers. The aim of your neighborhood center is to get people to meet each other, to get acquainted. You will meet people from different generations, neighbors from various cultures… Everyone has a place, anyone can act. The teams are there, servicing the inhabitants, stimulating links, along with other local institutions or associations.
The Associative Network : Numerous associations (non-profit associations) exist in the Brussels region. These propose various activities such as continuous education, creative or social cohesion activities (for instance, school support for kids, French courses. Their actions and target public vary (seniors, families, youngsters, isolated persons,…).
SINGA Belgium : SINGA creates meeting spaces (Buddy system, sport or cultural activities “à la carte”, sheltering, …) between Brussels inhabitants and newcomers. These encounters favorize access to new opportunities for newcomers and help to construct a society rich in diversity where everyone can achieve his/her potential by finding his/her place
Many sports are available in Brussels : tennis, volleyball, football, swimming,… Sporting infrastructures regroup sport complexes and sports centers, outdoor sport fields, sport halls, gymnasiums, pools, etc. As sport depends on the competences of linguistic communities, all relevant information concerning sport activities are available either in French or in Dutch.
On the French-speaking side :In Wallonia and in the Brussels region, physical and sporting activities are organized by the Administration for Physical Education and Sport (French acronym ADEPS, for Administration de l’Éducation Physique et du Sport).
On the Dutch-speaking side : The Dutch community commission (Dutch acronym VGC for Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie) drew up the list of sports associations and collective courses for people of all ages. It also manages a database which relates to sporting infrastructures in the Brussels region.
Academies : Almost every Brussels commune has an art or a music academy. You can take courses in all sorts of artistic fields, as well as music, dance, art of speech courses, for children, teenagers or adults. There are French-speaking and Dutch-speaking academies. Subscription and participation fees are usually very low, some are even free of charge.
Museums : There are numerous museums in Brussels. Many amongst them are free every first Sunday of the month.
Librairies :Each commune has a public libraries’ network which proposes various services and activities for the whole family (children, teenagers, adults) : reading areas, book collections (including some in foreign languages), expositions, creative workshops and digital areas (with internet access).
After school activities are organized for kids aged from 2 to 16 years of age. They vary from day care before or after school hours to sporting, cultural, artistic or school remediation activities, organized after school hours and during the holidays too. After school activities are not only reserved to parents who work. There are activities for all budgets and, for certain activities, degressive social rates are applied (they can also be taken care of by the social services (French acronym, CPAS for Centre Public d’Aide Sociale)).
During school period :« Day care » time, before or after school period or sporting, cultural, artistic or school remediation activities are regularly set up by other organizations during the week.
During school holidays :Whether for courses, in camps or in playgrounds, children are welcomed each day of the week and supervised by an animating team who organizes their day.
After school activities can be organized by various structures : the communes (Jeunesse à Bruxelles asbl, Parascolaire d’Uccle, Parascolaire de Forest,...), private associations (internships/stays/holiday plains), Youth structures (Youth Houses (Maisons des Jeunes), Kids Houses (Maisons des Enfants),... ), private sports clubs or dutch-speaking after school activities organized in the Brussels region by the VGC.
Nursery / Foster care
Many families are looking for a place which shall care for their kids, as from a very young age, during the day, because they work or they follow a traineeship, or on an exceptional basis, to give them some time for some administrative processes, or merely to favorize an harmonious awakening and development of the child. A nursery is the place where you can have your baby cared for, aged from a few months to 3 years old. It is not mandatory to put your child in a hosting environment. Hosting environments are very popular in Brussels though. Their aim is the fulfillment, self-belief, intellectual/physical/social well-being of your child and we advise you to subscribe him/her even before his/her birth (as early as the 3rd month of pregnancy).
Various hosting places exist :
Collective daycare with other children : nurseries, pre-kindergarten, kids houses …
Fostering families: Foster care, specially arranged for hosting 1 to 4 kids.
If the hosting environment is subsidized by the “Birth and Children’s Office” (French acronym ONE, for Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance) for the French-speaking side or by “Child & Family” (Dutch acronym, K&G, for “Kind En Gezin”) for the Dutch-speaking side, the price shall be calculated according to parents’ revenues. Otherwise, the price shall be agreed on between the structure and the parents. Do not hesitate to visit the website of the commune you are residing in to find various hosting environments existing on the territory of the commune.