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(en) France, UCL AL #314 - Antipatriarchy, Care professions: early childhood prepares for the fight (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 9 Apr 2021 09:11:29 +0300

The health crisis was an incredible revelation and made visible the reproductive work, that which allows the reproduction of life. Through caring for others in all its dimensions, we can survive capitalism and its crises. On these bases of mutual aid can be born a society founded on needs rather than on profits. ---- Early childhood jobs are 97% "predominantly female". For these professional categories called care (personal care), professional inferiorization is explained by the fact that their work is considered as an extension of their social role as mothers. In short, it would be a "natural" activity which does not necessarily call for remuneration. Teaching little girls from an early age to take care of others would thus constitute training.

As early as 2019, early childhood professionals denounced what was called the simplification of the normative framework applicable to the different types of care for young children, which the government intended to carry out by ordinances. This was already a downward alignment of regulatory standards: reduction in the supervision rate (one professional for six or seven babies), the level of diplomas required for professionals and the area minimum of premises where children are accommodated.

For its part, the general direction of social cohesion refuted any desire to sacrifice the quality of childcare and deregulation of the sector. He said he wanted to reconcile quality of reception, simplicity and flexibility. You speak!

A reform, initiated by the Secretary of State for Children and Families, Adrien Taquet, will be implemented gradually throughout the first half of 2021.

The ongoing protest movement among early childhood staff - a thousand people demonstrated in Paris, several hundred in some thirty provincial towns, without being heard by their ministry - denounces measures whose main purpose is to create better profitability for the lucrative private sector.

Concerns of 2019 have become realities: every day, 15% of excess children in crèche, possibility of a single supervision rate of 1 to 6 applied to babies, 5.5 m 2 per child in dense areas, a half an hour per month of analysis of practice in nursery and nothing guaranteed for childminders. [1]

Despised and invisible
The employees mobilized describe all the same context: assembly line work, less time to take care of children, to awaken them, more responsibilities... but also an aggravating health context. A lasting malaise settles in this poorly valued and poorly paid sector.

In this sector as in others, we are fighting today not to lose more when we should be able to claim much more than acceptable working conditions and a good minimum quality of reception. The supervision rate should be increased, material and technical resources required, the replacement of absent professionals, recognition of the arduous nature of early childhood jobs by, for example, demanding a reduction in working time to 32 hours per week, early retirement at age 55 and an increase in wages.

This March 8 will put the spotlight on the material conditions of existence of women, low wages, imposed part-time work, precariousness, essential professions known as "predominantly female" underpaid and invisible.

Nanou (UCL Montpellier)


[1] See the Pasdebebesalaconsigne.com site .

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