French Mayor Has Brilliant Idea To Conscript Artists As Unwilling Daycare Providers
If there is anybody I want watching my small children, it is a disinterested 20-something with no training and a room full of sharp objects and toxic chemicals. That does not exactly sound like an ideal childcare situation, but one French mayor is trying to make it a reality by forcing his city’s artists to work as unpaid child minders.
According to The Local, this ridiculous plan comes fromÂ David Rachline, the mayor ofÂ FrÃ©jus in the south of France. Rachline is a member of France’s far-right National Front party, and he does not like the wayÂ FrÃ©jus rents studios to a number of working artists at discounted rates. In an attempt to support the arts, the city previously allowed artists to rent studio space in the old city at a discounted rate of aboutÂ Â â‚¬2.50 per square meter. Now Rachline apparently sees all those artists at work in their studios, and like the lady who sees the work-from-home mom and assumes she has nothing to do, he’s decided to fill the studios with children.
â€œThe Town Hall has decided to make us work for free, it wants us to take care of kids for free!â€ said photographer Olivier Isselin.Â â€œWe have no training in taking care of kids that small. And how will it work considering we often have to go away for exhibitions to do our real work?â€
Undeer Rachline’s plan, the artists will be “volunteer” childcare providers for preschool- and primary school-aged children, so they will receive no money for their child-minding. The fact that the artists have art to do and have no desire or training does not seem to bother him.
â€œThe town finances a large part of the rents of a certain number of these ladies and gentlemen,â€ Rachline allegedly said.Â “There will be no more debate: either this project works out and everyone agrees to take part [in the child-minding activities], or Iâ€™ll put an end to artists not paying the same as everyone else.â€
Artists’ studios tend to be full of expensive and/or kid-unfriendly equipment. I can only assume Rachline thinks all artists’ studios are just full of Tempera paints and macaroni, because a real studio is probably not a safe place to drop off a big group of unattended children. AndÂ I’m sure the parents ofÂ FrÃ©jus are just lining up to leave their preschoolers with a bunch of people who have no training and no desire to be watching children.
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