In September, 19-year-old Manon found a job in a crèche even before she graduated as a childcare assistant. She even took the luxury of refusing the permanent contract offered to her in this establishment located in Ain: “It wasn’t full time. However, the job does not pay a lot either, around the minimum wage for a first job. I preferred a 35-hour fixed-term contract for six months. We’ll see after… “ Passionate about her new job “at the service of the awakening and care of children, and the relationship with parents”, she knows how much the “AP”, as they are called in the sector, are sought after. In particular in establishments for young children (nursery, drop-in daycare, etc.), the number of which has increased sharply in recent years, and where the majority of holders of this state diploma land.
In July, a study of the National Family Allowance Fund has put figures on this shortage of early childhood professionals in France. Of the half of the establishments surveyed declaring that they are short of staff, 45% of recruitment needs (8,900 vacant positions) concerned childcare assistant positions, and 17% of early childhood educator positions. The Paris region, the departments of the Rhône and Guyana are those for which the shortages are the most glaring. A problematic deficit, while these establishments must justify at least 40% of State graduates in childcare (childcare nurse, AP or educators of young children), the remaining 60% may have a diploma in early childhood, of the CAP.
Declining number of applicants
These staff shortages, which have increased with the health crisis and its share of resignations and burn-outs, “weigh on working conditions”, the document noted. In the areas most affected, these difficulties permeate the one-year training of future childcare assistants. While she was in training, Manon had to several times “replacing absent staff alone”. “I was hearing ‘This AP isn’t here? It doesn’t matter, exceptionally Manon will manage the group”. It’s not easy to refuse.” she says – even if this is the instruction she received in her childcare assistant training institute (IFAP).
“I do not hide from you that finding internship sites for our students is complicated at the moment”, says Morgane Bourda-Couhet, trainer in an IFAP, in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis). Not that the host establishments are missing, because the crèches really need these “extra” hands. But “Teams sometimes tell us ‘we are not complete, we cannot properly supervise your students’…”
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