Toulouse nurseries are adapting as best they can to the fifth wave of Covid-19. Since Monday January 3, the Lalande crèche opens its doors 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Usually, the establishment is accessible from 8 a.m. and closes at 7:30 p.m.
“We were forced to modify the hours, because with the epidemic resurgence, the positive for Covid-19 and the contact cases are increasing, to the detriment of the staff supervision rate”, laments the director of the Lalande crèche, Annabelle Claveyrolles, contacted by Independent Opinion.
The establishment is not the only one to reduce its hours in the face of a shortage of personnel, such as the Bordeblanche crèche, in the Pradettes district, which has also revised its hours.
The virus weakens the sector
“The early childhood sector was already sorely lacking in manpower before the pandemic, we have a hard time recruiting. Result: with the multiplication of Covid cases or contact cases – and isolation measures which are successful. -, we are sometimes forced to reduce our reception offer, or even to close structures “, notes Laurence Katzenmayer, elected in charge of early childhood at Toulouse town hall, interviewed by France 3 Occitanie.
The different waves of Covid-19 have successively changed the way things are done of some 60 nurseries in the city. The Toulouse town hall has authorized the reduction in the hours of day nurseries when the staff supervision rate can no longer be respected. “We take these decisions as a last resort and when we have no choice. We must keep the same quality of reception for the children”, underlines Laurence Katzenmayer.
Nurseries are currently in alert level 2, in other words, the mixing of children is prohibited and their reception is done by separate group. They thus have access to a limited number of spaces and activities. “Children’s awakening takes a hit. At their age, the little ones need contact and increase the number of activities to promote their development ”, regrets Annabelle Claveyrolles, director of the Lalande crèche.
Staff at the end of the line
“We talk a lot about caregivers or teachers, but early childhood staff have also been on the front lines since the start of the health crisis and their commitment is not sufficiently esteemed,” said Annabelle Claveyrolles.
In Toulouse, many nurseries were indeed requisitioned during the first confinement. Two years later, many professionals to deplete and strike movements to demand better working conditions are increasing in the sector. “We feel neglected, deplores Annabelle before continuing, the educational body is redoubling its efforts to face the health crisis, but its capacity to endure this situation is limited.”