Early childhood: ways to address staffing shortages

Salary increases, new training places, opening up to professionals from other professions: nurseries need urgent reforms to make up for a serious shortage of manpower, pleaded on Wednesday June 29 a committee charged by the government with floor on the lack of attractiveness in this sector.

Governments should “to commit“to support a”ambitious salary increase trajectory“, underlined this committee bringing together representatives of early childhood professionals, unions, professional and family associations, as well as managers of structures – public and private. In view of the current major recruitment difficulties – which also concern childcare at home by childminders – it is necessary to increase the number of places available in initial training for these professions, but also to go “seek vocations, energies and talents wherever they are“argues the committee, according to a press release summarizing its proposals.

Attract to encourage hiring

It would thus be necessary to launch in September a campaign to promote the sector, to attract people in professional retraining, or even to facilitate the hiring of holders of foreign diplomas, proposes the committee. Professionals in the sector also plead for certain administrative simplifications, such as that of the procedures allowing a “validation of acquired experience(VAE) or recruitment competitions for early childhood educators in the territorial public service.

The committee also suggests that childminders – the “nannies“who look after the children at home – can work in a crèche”from the third year of experience“, but also the “Atsem“, who assist teachers in nursery schools, or even school teachers. “I am now going to challenge the competent authorities by presenting them with these pragmatic and demanding proposals“, told AFP the president of the committee, Elisabeth Laithier, a former local elected official in Nancy who followed this file for 12 years within the association of mayors of France.

The extent of the labor shortage must be known more precisely thanks to a study carried out by the National Family Allowance Fund (Cnaf), the results of which must be announced on July 11, according to Elisabeth Laithier. The problem “does not date from yesterday but has increased with the Covid crisis“, and “we wanted to answer them without affecting the quality of the reception“, she developed. “But it was also a question of thinking about deeper reforms, to avoid that we decide today on a bandage and that we find ourselves in the same situation in three years“.

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