Problems afoot for the CERN kindergarten (EVEE)?

You might have noticed that recently the Kindergarten changed names, it’s is now known under the name of EVEE which stands for ‘Espace de Vie Enfantine et École’ and currently welcomes 150 children between 4 months and 6 years of age.

This establishment which is under the aegis of the Staff Association is governed by a committee composed of a mixture of the following: employers (from the Staff Association), employees, parents and the Headmistress who is an ex officio member (see Echo 238:

Great strides have been made in the past decade

Over the previous decade in conjuction with the CERN Administration several new services have been proposed, including:

  • the establishment of a canteen with a capacity of up to 60 children/day;
  • the setting-up of a creche for infants ranging between 4 months and 3 years (approx 35 infants);
  • the creation of a day-camp with the capacity to welcome up to 40 children during July.

These advances are quite obviously beneficial for the children’s’ well-being as well as the work-life balance for the parents concerned.

Of course the EVEE doesn’t run itself for free

As with all Swiss schools, the EVEE is obliged to adhere to and respect legislation with regards to matters related to pedagogic supervision. In addition, the age for compulsory education was recently lowered, thus requiring the recruitment of supplementary staff.

Following the creation of both the canteen and creche, the EVEE has been facing budgetary difficulties. Neither the current financial support provided by the Organization nor the increase in school fees has been sufficient to cover these increasing costs, for improved social conditions.

In 2015 the Management Committee attempted with great difficulties to optimise revenue and contain costs in order to balance the budget.

An audit was also carried out at the request of the Staff Association, which showed that its management is generally sound and accurate but that optimisation measures alone are not sufficient to restore a balanced budget.

This indispensable social institution, which has already celebrated 50 years, must continue to exist and it is therefore urgent to find a lasting solution.

by Staff Association