200,000 more seats, is it possible?

Emmanuel Macron, in the campaign, was committed to it. The Prime Minister intends to do so. In her general political statement, Elisabeth Borne hammered at her desire to create “a real public service for early childhood” to provide “the 200,000 missing reception places” for children under 3 years.

The effort is not insignificant at a time when the birth rate is falling: young parents want to be able to count on some form of childcare before they have a child, as successive studies show. Gold “that is not the case today, despite significant sums” invested in the sector, remembers sociologist Julien Damon.

Will it be possible to achieve this within five years? Representatives of the sector doubt it, although they welcome the voluntary action taken. “It would be a lie to say that this will see the light of day in the coming months; it’s going to take several years. “ warns Élisabeth Laithier, chair of the Early Childhood Commission of the Association of Mayors of France.

Administrative millefeuille

Tackling the area of ​​early childhood is actually putting a thousand sheets of skills back on track. Today, the municipalities only have optional competence in the area. Result: they grab it with more or less going, and depending on their finances. “We will have to put in place more restrictive mechanisms than today. We know that, despite the aid measures put in place to help the most modest populations and the less affluent areas, supply remains very unequal depending on the territory. ” promotes Michel Villac, at the head of the High Council for the Family of Childhood and Age (HCFEA).

“The organization is shaky, between the departments that are responsible for approvals on the one hand, and the CAF and the mayors who fund on the other. In order to promote the creation of reception methods, it will be necessary to create a mandatory competence, with a clear leader ”, adds Julien Damon.

Another aspect of the problem: human resources, as illustrated by a report by the National Family Allowance Fund (Cnaf) published on Monday, July 11th. The observation is striking: in large cities, such as Paris, Lyon, but also in Guyana, there is a lack of professionals, which sometimes forces companies to close their doors, contrary to the commitments made by subsequent governments. Total, “48.6% of the collective crèches report a shortage of staff for childrenwrites the organization. 9,512 places are permanently closed or unoccupied due to recruitment difficulties. »

“Not enough places in the competitions”

However, this problem is not new, emphasizes Julie Marty-Pichon, from the National Federation of Early Childhood Educators (Fneje): “For years, training organizations have not opened enough places for competitions. » Above all, the young people who leave the training and arrive at the structures “finds that there is a gap between what they have learned – the need for good treatment, listening, observation of the child – and the reality they are discovering: exhausted teams, with less favorable than the European average”.

The same shortage exists, even more acutely, among day care workers, the “nanny” who cares for the children in their homes. Since 2015, their numbers have been declining and it is estimated that 30% will retire by 2030, which bodes well for a real crisis, as it is by far the leading form of childcare in France. , with 900,000 affected children.

But here, too, nothing has changed in fifteen years, laments Sandra Onyszko, spokeswoman for a professional body representing them. Although there are opportunities: to adjust the cost of families to the cost of nurseries, make these professions more attractive by ensuring bridges and career development, fighting isolation. “Often the PMI services, overwhelmed, do not support the day care workers enough in case of difficulties with a family, and they find themselves fragile, easily dismissed. We therefore support the creation of a referent for each of them.” The story, again, to encourage young recruits and reassure them.

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Various measures against staff shortages

On Monday 11 July, the Minister for Solidarity, Jean-Christophe Combe, undertook to fight under a sector committee for young children against the shortage of staff in crèches.

The most controversial measure provides that persons who are not qualified in early childhood may apply for internal training under the responsibility of professionals.

Two envelopes are released to develop job satisfaction : € 500,000 will fund the “Observatory for Quality of Life in the Workplace” and € 6 million will make it possible to spend time on interdisciplinary exchanges around the development of each individual child welcomed in the nursery.

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