French Day Care Thrives Despite Social Service Cuts

Despite cuts in social services in France, high-quality subsidized day-care has grown. Unlike in the U.S. where parents are unsure whether day care is good for children, French parents believe day care helps children become more outgoing and better socialized. Recent studies have shown that children who attended day care and pre-school do better in elementary school.

French day care centers receive enough funding to properly staff and equip the centers. For example, one Paris day care center has 25 trained employees for 88 children — a ratio of one adult to 3.5 children. Parents usually pay on a sliding scale depending on their salaries.

Although more and more day care centers have opened in recent years, demand continues to outstrip supply, with parents waiting up to a year for a spot in a day care center.


New York Times - December 31, 1997

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