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Who are the children enrolled in French daycare centres?

Population and Societies

514, September 2014

Daycare centres are very popular among parents of young children in France, yet in 2011 only 16% of preschoolers aged below 3 had a place. Beyond the fact that demand far outstrips supply, are some children, such as those from disadvantaged families, more likely to get a place than others? Analysing data from the 2011 family and housing survey (Famille et Logements), Nathalie Le Bouteillec, Lamia Kandil and Anne Solaz examine the profiles of the children who attend these centres.

Children born early in the year are more likely to get a place in collective daycare than those born in the autumn. Places are allocated equally, however to boys and girls, and to children of biological or adoptive parents. Third children more frequently get a place in collective daycare than first or second children, the aim being to help mothers with large families who wish to stay in work. Likewise, twins and triplets are more likely to have a place than singletons. Children of unemployed mothers are over-represented, while children from lone-parent families do not appear to take priority, despite a policy to favour their enrolment.

  • Nathalie Le Bouteillec -  Université de Picardie Jules Verne et Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined)
  • Lamia Kandil - Université de Picardie Jules Verne et Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined)

Anne Solaz - Institut national d‘études démographiques (Ined)

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