“No magic formula, but social responses”: the City of Montpellier is implementing several measures to serve single-parent families

“No magic formula, but social responses”: the City of Montpellier is implementing several measures to serve single-parent families

La petite enfance est une politique prioritaire pour la ville de Montpellier. Midi Libre – JEAN-MICHEL MART

Childcare solutions for children, access to housing and employment, social rights, support, opening of new crèches: the municipal council of the city of Montpellier voted, on July 11, a series of measures so that single-parent families are no longer in a vulnerable situation.

Managing everything: this is the lot of single women, who have to take care of their children. They would be between 16,000 to 17,000 in Montpellier, more than a third of whom are in poverty. Reconciling professional and personal life can quickly become a challenge. of the Chinese puzzle. A problem that the City of Montpellier has decided to tackle head on in the policy it pursues in favor of early childhood.

"This is a major topic for us. Being a single woman with one or more children can quickly create a space of social vulnerability, but also risks of dropping out of work. This is a subject that is very close to my heart. Even if there is no magic formula, social responses can be provided", said in the preamble the mayor of Montpellier, Michaël Delafosse.< /p>

Priority to single-parent families

Among the measures put in place in 2023 and with already visible results, the new social pricing of the canteen has made it possible to nearly 2,000 children of single parents to benefit from meals for 50 cents. In addition, with the new quotation of requests for nursery places, 65% of admissions concerned single-parent families. And children under 3 can be accommodated free of charge in eight priority neighborhoods.

Likewise, with the aim of helping them define their new life project, at the time of a separation, the City acquired, at the beginning of the year, the former Ehpad Les Violettes, rue du Professor Forgue, to open a dozen temporary housing units there by 2028. Likewise, in the deployment of new projects, a new quotation of the demand for social housing will be applied.

Moreover, so that these mothers also have the right to respite, leisure and respite weekends were organized this spring. These "solo moms" stays will be renewed in 2025 and 2026 (6 weekends per year on the Poseidon leisure center in La Grande-Motte), and will concern nearly 240 families.

Whatever actions are taken, "it's up to us to reach out to single-parent families and adapt our municipal systems to better meet their needs", insists Fatma Nakib, deputy mayor responsible for Equality and women's rights. Among these, access to crèches and different types of childcare is crucial.

Innovation in home care

As part of the Early Childhood social shield, the City will experiment with a system for welcoming children during staggered or even atypical hours (before 7:30 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m.) and at the rate of a public nursery. Concretely, the future "nanny" will pick up the children from daycare or school, and will look after them until 10 p.m., having dinner and bed before leaving.

Only single-parent families with staggered hours and a family quotient of less than or equal to 1 200 euros  will be able to benefit from this system. Also provided that you use a home care organization affiliated with the Early Childhood Social Shield system. Finally, the child looked after must be less than three years old.

More daycare centers, more flexibility

"Atypical hours (6 h – 9 h 30), this is also what will offer the Lisotte crèche, in Port-Marianne, from September, and on request", indicates Tasmine Akbaraly, deputy mayor in charge of Early Childhood. In addition, a new crèche will open in the Pompignane district, offering 48 places. Designed on two levels, this early childhood facility is a mixed program, since there will be the nursery and, upstairs, a senior residence.

In addition to this action oriented towards collective reception, the town hall will strengthen the action of the Relay early childhood in increasing their number. Its objective is to ultimately open 300 nursery places, through construction or extension projects for nurseries.

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