Gradual resumption of childcare at "Le Jardin des Particules"

As you know, the Jardin des Particules had to suspend childcare because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

On Monday 18 May 2020, following the authorisation given by the competent Swiss authorities and CERN, we were able to resume childcare at the Jardin des Particules. On Monday 25 May, childcare at the school was also able to begin, all within the framework of strict health regulations.

Carole Dargagnon, director of the structure kindly answered some of our questions.

Hello Carole, can you tell us more about this reopening?

Following the evolution of the directives of the Swiss authorities (SASAJ and DIP) in recent weeks, we were able to open the entire structure to welcome all the children in the crèche. We have worked closely with CERN, in particular with the HR department to manage access to the site and SMB to replenish all the materials and services needed to reopen the Jardin des Particules in the time required.

All the sanitary conditions presented to the parents have been approved by the Management and the HSE Unit (Health Safety & Environment) of CERN.

What was your first step towards ensuring a safe environment for children?

We first made sure that we were able to take in the children and welcome them in a progressive manner. To do this, we first decided to take in the children from the crèche, and then we planned to open the school as of May 25.

We drew up a takeover protocol setting out the health rules which was sent to all parents.

What are your protective equipment?

Thanks to the active mobilization of the Staff Association and CERN, we are supplied with protective equipment and will continue to be supplied as and when required. In addition to protective masks/gloves, we also have specific equipment such as visors, overshirts, overboots and specific bins for the management of this particular waste. Mild soap has been ordered specifically for children and we provide hydroalcoholic gel in the structure.

The offices have also been fitted out in order to respect the barrier gestures with plexi plates. The temperature of children and adults is systematically taken at the entrance of the structure.

How did you prepare this resumption?

The team worked in advance to prepare this important and unprecedented takeover. Even though we were on short-time work and paid 80% of our salary, we remained mobilized, creative and supportive. We communicated with the parents, keeping them regularly informed of developments in the situation and the rules of the Swiss authorities, while respecting CERN's health regulations.

Our teams prepared videos to explain the organization of the structure and the various arrangements put in place to welcome the children in the best possible conditions.

This playful approach was greatly appreciated by the parents and their messages of support were very important to us ("Superb videos! Thank you very much for all the information which is very clear and nicely presented. » )

Feeling supported by the parents in our different steps was really essential for us.

Have the classrooms been refurbished?

Yes, the crèche's pedagogical team prepared the children's return to the crèche the week before and proceeded to rearrangement of the rooms. The material used has been carefully chosen from a pedagogical and sanitary point of view as it is disinfected several times a day.

There are markings on the walls throughout the structure, from the children's entrance to their room, so that the adults respect social distancing. We have also put hydro-alcoholic gel in each room at the disposal of the teachers and the supervising staff. Gel dispensers with free access for parents are installed at the entrance of both buildings.

How are the break-time activities organized?

We follow the usual rhythm of the groups with staggered breaks and class times so that the children in the different groups do not use the same corridors or cross each other.

How was the resumption of the crèche?

The resumption went well, we welcomed 25 children on Monday 18 May, all crèche groups together, i.e.: four babies, four walkers, five in the 2-3 year old group, eight in the 3-4 year old group, four in the 2-4 year old group.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the reopening of the school?

The resumption of school went very well this morning, there was a very good circulation between the parents, the children and the professionals. Everyone is finding their feet and adopt new habits. We are going to maintain the staggered hours for the crèche for at least the next two weeks in order, once again, to ensure a maximum level of safety for the children and adults.

To give you some figures, today, Monday 25 May 2020, we have 62 children present, which corresponds to 2/3 of the workforce. This proves that the parents have confidence and have been reassured by the professionalism of the team to organize this unprecedented reopening as well as possible.


We would like to thank Carole Dargagnon, the school director, for taking the time to answer our few questions. We would also like to thank all the people involved in the success of this resumption and also to the parents for having given us their confidence and adapting to new habits.


Thank you all!

by Staff Association