di Cristina Barbetta
Conciliating family with professional life
Non Profit ID card: present your project/organisation/campaign
Questions answered by Anne Karine Stocchetti, founder of Optimômes.
- Where are you based? Vannes, a commune in the department of Britanny, France.
- What are you called? Optimômes.
- What are you doing and why? We are a social enterprise that designs and proposes practical solutions to improve the organization and the quality of care services on the territory for children aged 0-13.
- Do you have a website/email: www.optimomes.org.
What makes you so special? We developed the concept of crèche solidaire (solidarity child care), an offer articulating into two services: Les Minuscules, mini nurseries that work during the day, for children from 0 to 4, addressed to small communities and SMEs, and Gepetto, a home childcare for children whose parents work on “odd hours” (very early in the morning, very late at night, week-ends and bank holidays). These services are an answer to a real social need in France, where nurseries close in the evening and lots of parents work on “odd hours “ and therefore need personnel to take care of their children. Our employees are all qualified and families pay according to their revenue.
The turning point
- How did you start? It all started from my personal experience. In 1993 I found myself alone with my children, wanting to conciliate my professional life with my life as a mother. After having worked at Paris’ stock market for 5 years, I was asked to choose between my children and my career. I did not want to choose, I wanted to keep both my children and my career, so I started developing my own projects by myself.
- What keeps you going every day? From 1993 and up until 2000 I worked a lot on various projects. I developed Optimômes and Gepetto. I never stopped and I never thought a single second that my projects would not have worked! When I think back about what I did I think I was crazy! I don’t know where I found the energies to do all this!
- Who is your target? Children and their families. Our centres guarantee access to quality child care to children in their home, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, including when they are ill and independently from parents’ income, thus guaranteeing equal opportunities between children and benefiting families.
- How are you financed? By banks. One could think that banks of social economy are more interested in financing us than affair banks. Nevertheless, it is the affair banks that have financed us up until now. In fact for them it is important, once they have a business plan, that the person who submits the project is reliable. Bankers help me because they know that I am going to keep my word.
- A proud moment? When I received the prestigious Schwab Prize for social entrepreneurship, created by Klaus Schwab, who founded, together with his wife Hilde, the World Economic Forum. It was an important recognition of all my work and helped me increase my self confidence.
- A problem you face? Banks, that are essential to develop a network like ours. The problem with them is that they are mostly concerned with how much the project will earn in economic terms.
- Another cool project/organisation/campaign you would like to recommend? reggio children, a mixed public private company based on an idea by Loris Malaguzzi, Italian pedagogue and educator. Our projects are inspired by his works and our employees in the crèches solidaires are all formed at reggio children.
Go to Vita Europe Non Profit ID card on The Valuing Older People Team, link: http://www.vita.it/news/view/111250
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