Influences on educational care in France are state, community, family, economy and religion.
'Childcare is the national administrative responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs' (Lindon, 2000, p.89)
Early childhood education has been a major part of the country's tradition since 1881, it has gone from strength to strength through the years, yet still the child care is held completely separate from early years education. The 'Law on family' of 1994 has provided France with many new ideals and incentives towards the care of their children. Among many aspects surrounding care it has helped to improve the standards of parental leave by giving major funding to day care facilities, parents will now receive more financial help in the form of tax relief and some allowances for charged services. The legislation favours care for young children at home or with a family day carer thus encouraging mothers to stay out of the labour market.
The Law on Educational Orientation of 1989 brought forward changes in the overall set up of pre-primary and primary education. It instigated the change of the 'ecole maternelles role in education. Previously they were in charge of two and a half to six year olds, where as now they must provide an integral education system for children up to the age of eleven, all under the responsibility of the National Ministry of Education.
Schooling in France starts at six years of age, finishing when the child is sixteen, it is closely connected with the pre-primary education through the cycles of learning. These cycles are described below.
One: Cycle des apprentissages premiers. Pre-schooling for children aged two to five years old. This includes lower, middle and upper sections of 'ecole maternelle. During this period there is a strong sense of emphasis on the social, emotional and cognitive...