A Daycare Center that Welcomes Handicapped Children

As a rule, establishments for kids don’t admit handicapped children: at this young age, the families expected to retain responsibility. The parents may be forced to leave a job, at the risk of even further upsetting the family balance. An association in Marseille is starting to redress the situation.

Environment and Biodiversity

Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Thierry Pourchon

50,000 euro to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28 Project leader Association provençale d'aide familiale

«  The aim here is to end the existing segregation between able-bodied and handicapped persons, starting with the youngest. Besides, this new daycare center will create 20 jobs requiring minimal skills. »

Thierry Pourchon

In Marseille, Apaf (Association provençale d’aide familiale – Provence Association for Family Aid) has taken charge since 1949 of everything that comes under the heading “personal services”. With its 200 employees, it offers home care for those who can no longer move about, aid to elderly or handicapped persons, and accommodation for little children. Since 2004, it has been managing a daycare center in one of the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Most of the 80 children who attend the daycare center come from disadvantaged families, with nearly 60% of the parents receiving the State Minimum Unemployment Benefit (RMI). And yet demand is steadily growing.

Unaddressed Demand

Apaf has therefore decided to open a second similar establishment, capable of admitting some sixty children, in the new Château-Gombert district. In doing so, it has also decided to address a demand that is more or less ignored: the admission of handicapped children. The future daycare center will be a meeting place for children, two-thirds from the neighborhood, and one-third handicapped children from all over the city.

The city of Marseille has already allocated Apaf the land for building the future eagerly awaited daycare center. And to balance its construction and launch budget, the association has solicited many co-lenders. Among them, teh Veolia foundation has decided to pay 50 000 euros to finance part of the costs of indoor facilities, particularly the upgrading to standards for handicapped children.