When you drop off your child at your child’s daycare, you’ll see this t-shirt

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Black for mourning, a diamond held in one hand for fragility and protection. This Thursday, March 31st, the National Union of Early Childhood Professionals (SNPPE) is calling on childminders, childcare workers, kindergarten leaders and the entire sector to mobilize, black t-shirt on the back, a logo diamond on the heart and this middle hashtag: #àmavraievaleur.

Behind this delicate slogan flashes the snout of the profession. The idea of ​​a general strike was tempting, “but not easy to strike given the wages, we have proposed other means of mobilization, like this t-shirt that you can wear in your workplace,” he explains HuffPost Cyrille Godfroy, co-general secretary of the union.

lack of recognition

With this slogan, the industry wants to make it clear how much it lacks recognition both in terms of salary and daily operations. “We’re tired of being the last wheel in the cart,” develops Cyrille Godfroy. Example with the Ségur de la Santé, at the end of which the sector has not received a bonus.

“You are at the intersection of health and the medico-social field, but you are neither one nor the other,” would have explained the union president of the Early Childhood Sector Committee in charge of audit, and Families led by Adrian Taquet. Internal surveys nevertheless revealed clear demands. “Almost 75% of those in employment expect salary increases of at least 150 euros,” it says. Or the equivalent of the Ségur Premium.

“After 30 years of work, a daycare manager can earn 1,700 euros a month”

– Cyrille Godfroy, Co-Secretary of SNPPE

Another problem that pushes to wear this t-shirt: the lack of attractiveness of the profession. The more important the degrees are, the less the profession is valued. The core business is at minimum wage or just above. And the differences are small, whether we are in a managerial position or directly with the children. “After 30 years of work, a kindergarten director can only earn 1,700 euros a month,” says the co-secretary of the SNPPE.

The result was instant. As in public hospitals, more and more professionals are leaving the sector. And fewer and fewer go there, while poor parents are on the waiting lists of the crèches. As a result of this reduction in staff, the care times are increasing. This was the case in Annecy in November 2021. In a press release, the city announced reduced kindergarten hours to compensate for the loss of 66 caregivers and around forty vacancies. “We are more or less mourning our profession – hence the blackness – as we were taught and as we would like to do it,” regrets Cyrille Godfroy.

lack of funds

The mobilization of the day was born in the weary mind of Lucie Robert and her colleagues. “It was a night I couldn’t take it anymore. An evening of very large Ras-le-Bol. It was too complicated, I ran out of resources and I received other certificates in the same genre,” he confides HuffPost this childcare worker in Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire). The mother-to-be tells us that while she wants to take care of other people’s children as best she can, she can no longer bear the pressure to make a profit in her industry.

That evening she heard again: “It must be filled, filled, filled”. Understand: take on more and more children with smaller and smaller resources so that the structure is safe to receive CAF grants. “We cannot agree to only talk about profitability when we are talking about people. We professionals can clean up, we can hear, but we have an obligation to remain responsible for the reception quality. What else happens? We are not babysitters. If we start focusing only on understanding numbers, we won’t get there!” she exclaims.

A cry of urgency to the candidates

Under financial pretense, Lucie Robert and her colleagues are no longer able to work properly. And are sometimes forced to neglect the basic needs of children. “If you have colleagues who find each other for 15, 20 kids in twos… If you’re understaffed… Well, sometimes you have to make the kids wait for basic needs like food,” she regrets. Sometimes the toy budget is missing.

Having taken the full brunt of the Covid-19 health crisis, with health protocols sometimes lasting weeks – because the sector had not been considered in the organization – these professionals also feel invisible in the presidential campaign. The candidates ask them to put care and people at the center of the structures’ financial priorities, a qualification for all health professionals and a reasonable salary increase that reflects their responsibility in this area.

About ten days before the first round, educators, kindergarten leaders and childminders in T-shirts call out in capital letters at their workplaces: “QUE LES CRÉCHES AVOID LES DRIVAGES EPHAD”. With in lower case: “They already exist”.

See also on The HuffPost: “Was it war? We were there!” Childminders, the invisible of the Covid-19 crisis

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