After the scandal linked to the poisoning of a baby in a People & Baby crèche, the group’s establishment where the tragedy took place has been permanently closed.
Last June, the poisoning of an 11-month-old girl in a People and Baby crèche, which led to her death, triggered a scandal and a wave of emotions. In the process, acts of abuse and violence committed against young children were reported to the authorities by several families. Since then, a few months after the events, France Info teaches us that the People & Baby crèche in question, located in the 3rd arrondissement in Lyon, has closed its doors permanently. An advance decision by the group on August 8, 2022, when the metropolis of Lyon recently requested it from the Rhône prefecture. Other elements related to the day of the drama have also just been revealed.
Baby poisoned at Destop in a People & Baby crèche: what happened?
In this case, in addition to the judicial inquiry, an administrative inquiry had been launched by the city of Lyon. According to the conclusions rendered recently, several breaches have occurred in recent years on the part of the People & Baby group. According to France Info, which had access to this information, on the day of the tragedy, June 22, 2022, “the composition of the team and the management of the crèche complied with the regulations”, even if the PMI, authorized to control the crèches, did not know precisely who was working in the establishment at that time. Because for the past two years the crèche group has not updated the changes that have taken place in the teams. For example, the name of the head of the Lyon structure was not known.
As a reminder, the baby died after being sprayed and forced to ingest caustic soda. The nursery nurse in charge of the baby said she was overwhelmed by her crying. The baby then died without being able to be resuscitated and the childcare worker was indicted for “intentional homicide on a minor under 15 years old.” For his lawyer, the fragile psychological state as well as possible errors of assessment as to his skills are at the origin of the drama, rather than an intention to kill. Given its fragility and “of a particular personal context“, she should never have been alone with the baby, he says. On July 2, the Rhône prefecture for its part recorded the administrative closure of the establishment for three months. Before the end of this period, the structure is however definitively closed, by unilateral decision of the group.
Nearly 5,000 euros to withdraw your child from the crèche
After the death of a baby poisoned with Destop in a People & Baby nursery in Lyon last June, parents wanted to withdraw their child from nurseries belonging to this group. This is the case of Alizée, mother of a 12-month-old baby, who told RMC that she had been very surprised, even shocked, by the response of the structure where her child was received. “We sent them an email, we sent our termination request (…) We thought it was going to work, that we wanted to finish at the end of the month, that they were bound to find someone in September… The group’s answer is no. It’s 90 days and before June 1st, so we’re going to withdraw your deposit. It’s a deposit of 2,500 euros and twice a Smic, since a month at the crèche is a Smic. So almost 5000 euros“, explained the young mother who decided to seize a lawyer even if the conditions of termination are noted black and white in the registration contract.
Recruitment of unqualified staff in nurseries
While the early childhood sector has shown a decline in attractiveness in recent years, materialized by nearly 9,000 vacant positions according to a survey by the National Family Allowance Fund, a decree, which came into force on August 31, 2022, authorizes henceforth the recruitment of unqualified personnel. If the decree specifies that this is an exceptional measure, the relaxation of the conditions of employment in nurseries and other early childhood establishments will allow all-comers to apply there, and to to be employed. No need for the diplomas and training necessarily required to be able to take care of the little ones : it is up to the crèche which is understaffed to organize a 120-hour integration course for its new recruit.
Another mandatory criterion to be able to recruit inexperienced profiles is to prove an unsuccessful search for staff for at least three weeks. A measure that only very partially satisfies professionals in the sector, having identified the origin of the crisis. If childcare no longer appeals, it is because in view of the responsibilities and the commitment it requires, the work is not valued with a salary of 2,000 euros gross per month on average.
To revive the sector, the Minister of Education announced last July the release of two million euros to finance a campaign to promote and attract early childhood professions. He had also mentioned several ways to guarantee the quality of reception for toddlers, such as the obligation to create a parents’ council in all crèches, the creation of a national reporting and monitoring system for incidents, or even checks and evaluations of establishments and staff not only reinforced, but also taking into account the satisfaction of parents. Tracks mentioned alongside the members of the Early Childhood Sector Committee, after the People and Baby scandal.