What happens to “Le Jardin des Particules”?

The new "Science Gateway" project has just been announced to the personnel and the press but the Staff Association has already experienced the first co-lateral effects: “Le Jardin des Particules” is moving to make way for the "Science Gateway" project.

After 50 years located in the same place, the ’Jardin des Particules’ is looking for a new location for the beginning of the 2020 school year.

A glimpse into the past

It was in the 1960s that a group of parents decided to set up a day-care centre for the children of CERN personnel. In 1977 CERN rented a site to the Staff Association to create a kindergarten and welcome children in a beautiful garden. This is how the adventure began and the ‘Jardin d'enfants’ was set up on the Meyrin site (near the Microcosm) where it is still located today. The ‘Jardin d'enfants’ has since changed its name to ‘Le Jardin des Particules’ (JDP). 

 Today, the JDP is open 39 weeks (43 with the day-care centre) per year, it welcomes about a hundred children from 4 months to 6 years old. Two poles of activity have developed, the ‘crèche’ (from 4 months to 4 years) and two school classes (4 years to 6 years). A 40-place (4 to 6 year old) day-care centre is available to parents during the month of July.

The JDP also has 40 employees with a principal, a pedagogical assistant, teachers assisted by auxiliaries, assistants, canteen staff, and a secretary. The JDP has become a showcase for the Staff Association and an element of the diversity policy for CERN. This is an essential component of CERN's attractiveness to young colleagues.

What about tomorrow?

The Staff Association collaborates with the Site Management and Buildings Department (SMB) to define the plans for the construction of a future building behind Building 5 on the Meyrin site. The latter must comply with the standards of the SASAJ (‘Service d'autorisation et de surveillance de l'accueil de jour’) of Geneva, the competent authority giving operating authorisations once the building has been completed. 

These new premises are planned to keep the same size as today and even to increase the capacity of the ‘crèche’ with a total of 8 babies instead of 4 today.

The building, with a total surface area of 1350 m2, plus a garden is composed of a two-storey L-shaped building with an outdoor garden decorated with games and a discovery area.

The Staff Association expects the new building to respect 3 essential elements: The quality, safety and durability of the JDP for the next 50 years.

by Staff Association