According to a survey by the National Family Allowance Fund published at the beginning of July, 48.6% of the 8,000 responding institutions declared that there is a shortage of staff for children. “8,908 positions with children were declared permanently vacant or not replaced on 1 April 2022, i.e. between 6.5% and 8.6% of the total workforce of professionals with children”, sums up Cnaf.
In collective nurseries (including “drop-in nurseries”) and kindergartens (collective reception institutions that only accept children aged 18 months and over), the supervision of children is strict. The average annual number of employees in the institution responsible for the supervision of children is composed in such a way that the following ratios in full-time equivalents are observed:
- for at least 40 percent of the workforce, individuals with the State Diploma in Child Care, State Certified Early Childhood Educators, Qualified Child Care Assistants, State Licensed Nurses, or State Psychomotor Candidates;
- for a maximum of sixty percent of the workforce, established with a qualification defined by order of the minister responsible for the family, who must provide proof of experience or benefit from support defined in the same decree.
Recruitment can therefore be complicated for structures. A decree, promised by the Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and the Disabled, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 4 August. It will enter into force on 31 August 2022.
Its provisions apply to public institutions and services subject to the provisions of the special statutes for the corps and the employment management in the public service. But they do not apply to the situation of personnel under a service agreement or who already have a contract within an institution or childcare service on the date of publication of this decree.
The decree establishes a first list of professionals authorized to practice in these institutions. It’s about :
- people who hold a certificate of professional competence in early childhood or a certificate of professional competence in early childhood educational support;
- people who have a professional baccalaureate in support, care and services for individuals or a professional baccalaureate in services for individuals and territories;
- people with a Certificate of Professional Studies in Support, Care and Personal Services;
- persons with the vocational training certificate, health and social opportunity;
- people who have the certificate as a family worker or the state diploma as a technician for social and family intervention;
- persons with a certificate of suitability for home care functions;
- persons holding the state diploma as a social worker and persons holding the state diploma for educational and social support;
- persons with the state diploma in medical-psychological assistance or proof of suitability for medical-psychological assistance functions;
- individuals who hold the State Certificate of Public Education and Youth Technician Facilitator, Early Childhood Option, or the Professional Certificate of Youth, Popular Education and Sports, Recreation Specialty for All Ages;
- people who have validated blocks 1 and 2 of the certificate of professional suitability for educational support for early children and who have one year of work experience with young children;
- persons who hold the title of family life assistant and have worked in this capacity for three years;
- people who have worked for three years as an approved day care provider;
- persons with three years of professional experience with children in a company or service referred to in Article L. 2324-1, third paragraph, of the Public Health Act or as specialized territorial agents for school nurseries;
- persons who hold the Maternal Assistant/Childcare professional certificate and have worked in this capacity for three years;
- persons who exercise or have exercised management or assistant management functions in a childcare business and holders of diplomas or qualifications as referred to in 1°, 4°, 6°, 7°, 8°, 10°, 11° of article R. 2324- 35 of the same code;
- persons with a State Nursing Assistant who have worked with young children for at least one year;
- persons who hold the state diploma as a family assistant and justify one year’s experience with young children.
In case of shortage
Exceptionally and in a local context with a shortage of these professionals, the decree provides exceptions to the conditions for diploma or experience. These exceptions may be granted in favor of other people, taking into account their education, their previous professional experience, particularly with children, their motivation to participate in the child’s development within a team of early childhood professionals and their ability to adapt. to a new professional environment.
These exemptions are granted:
- for institutions and services managed by a private legal person, by the chairman of the departmental council after consultation with the doctor responsible for the departmental service for maternal and child protection, a doctor or a childcare worker belonging to this service or, in the absence of a qualified professional within the early childhood sector belonging to this service to whom this responsibility is delegated;
- for public institutions and services by the managing public authority after consultation with the chairman of the departmental council.
The local context with a shortage of professionals must be justified. It is considered established when the manager of the childcare business is able to provide:
- two documents certifying the submission of the job offer to a public employment agency or other information communication medium for at least three weeks;
- a document drawn up by the company’s manager stating the lack of applications or the number of applications received, and which certifies that there are no applicants who meet the characteristics of the job offered.
Anyone who is subject to a dispensation or positive opinion benefits from support in employment, called an integration course, during their first 120 hours of professional practice. This integration course, which allows support for professional practice with young children, is monitored by the technical referent of the micro-nursery, the technical manager or the director of the company or service using a follow-up sheet kept in the professional. file, whose proposal is attached to the executive order.
Fear of professionals
The number of people on the integration course at the same time cannot exceed one person, but in very large nurseries, according to article R. 2324-46 of the Public Health Act, this ceiling is increased to two.
The decree describes the steps of this course, the procedures for calculating the experience required with young children.
The collective “Pas de bébés à la consigne” fears that this option will deteriorate the reception conditions for children in ECEC. Even before the publication of the decree, he warned that he would not hesitate to call professionals on strike at the start of the school year “to make the voice of early childhood heard if elected officials do not raise the bar”.