Missing places, shortage of professionals… Another difficult start in nurseries

Missing places shortage of professionals… Another difficult start in nurseries

“The ministers pass but the demands remain”, alerted in the middle of the summer the National Union of Early Childhood Professionals, when the new Minister of Solidarity, Aurore Bergé, had just taken office. The syndicate then noted a dozen mediatized crèche closures in the space of a month throughout France.

A warning cry that does not seem to have changed the situation. The start of the new school year is imminent and many families have still not found their way of childcare. In Bordeaux, for example, 70 positions are vacant and 100 places had to be frozen for the start of the school year in municipal crèches, reports South West. Of the 2,500 families who applied for a crèche place at the start of the 2023 school year, 50% received a favorable response, compared to 57% last year, according to the municipality.

In the capital, the situation is not more enviable. “We have 80% of unsatisfied requests in certain areas of the arrondissement, and there are neighborhoods where there is no equipment to accommodate early childhood”, deplores the mayor LR of the 17ᵉ arrondissement of Paris to France 3 Ile-de-France. At the end of June, the Little Red Riding Hood nursery in Massy, ​​in Essonne, was forced to close its doors for six months due to repeated incidents caused by a lack of resources, according to the families interviewed by The Parisian. 62 families were thus ordered to find a new place in another establishment.

A loss of 50,000 places in three years

Last year, the National Fund for Family Affairs (CAF) noted that nearly half of collective crèches in France were affected by the lack of professionals. Among them, three quarters of these crèches were located in the Paris region. In March, the High Council for Childhood and the Family in turn sounded the alarm. He listed, in the country, a loss of 50,000 places in these establishments between 2017 and 2020. The High Council then suggested creating a public service for early childhood, so that the municipalities could have an equivalent reception solution throughout France.

The government wanted to take things in hand by concluding, last June, the National Council for Refoundation dedicated to early childhood. The observation was clear: there is a lack of 200,000 additional reception places to cover all the needs. The shortage of professionals is the main cause and is getting worse every year. For the time being, there is a shortage of 10,000 crèche professionals, and 120,000 childminders will retire by 2030. Some parts of the territory are much more affected by these difficulties since 12 departments have coverage rates below 50 %, especially in rural areas.

To remedy the situation, the State had announced before the summer that it would support up to 200 million euros per year in salary increases for early childhood staff. The objective is also to succeed in creating the 200,000 additional places for 2030. A long-term undertaking which will not bear fruit for several years. In the meantime, families will have to look for other solutions by opting, for example, for care by a childminder, sometimes just as difficult to find as a place in a crèche, care by grandparents or the request for parental leave.