Background information

For over 10 years, more than 30,000 people have been living in social hotels [hotels providing temporary accommodation for up to three months] in Ile-de-France, including 15,000 children with an average age of 6 years old. In Seine-Saint-Denis, there are 4,357 children, of whom 2,471 are between 0 and 6 years old, who live in 127 social hotels.

Living conditions in social hotels are quite precarious and disturb children’s cognitive and psychomotor development. For example: promiscuity, the need to not make noise, limited movement, lack of games, frequently changing hotels, no school monitoring and risk of exposure to domestic violence.

Origin of the project

In 2006, Asmae opened La Chrysalide, a housing centre for very vulnerable single women with young children. Ten years later, in the family nursery of that establishment, a Reception Centre For Parents And Children (Lieu d’Accueil Enfants-Parents, LAEP) was created, inspired by Francoise Dolto’s Green Houses, where a place for listening, discussion, and free games is offered to children 0 to 6 years old, along with their parents. A team of early childhood specialists and volunteers welcomed families from the neighbourhood who were in very precarious situations.

From January to May of 2018, a Reception Centre for Parents and Children with an innovative concept was put into place. Basically, every Saturday morning, it went to a social hotel that housed numerous families near department 115 in department 93, and attendance was much higher there. The positive feedback from parents confirmed our approach – the experience was successful.



Project start date: 2020

Beneficiaries: families housed in social hotels in department 93

Admission criteria: The centre is accessible for free, without sign-up, anonymously, and without a time limit.

Hours of operation: Saturday morning and travelling from Monday to Friday


  • SAMU Social
  • Amicale du Nid day centre
  • University Hospital

The project:

In 2020, continuing the projects put in place in Bobigny, Asmae relaunched a travelling Reception Centre for Parents And Children, to go and meet families housed in social hotels in department 93.

This mobile unit began to travel to 2 social hotels and a women’s university hospital in 2020. The team has a mobile games kit to rapidly transform any available room into a play area.

Sessions are organised to welcome children in a space dedicated to free play, adapted to discovery and listening. L’Espace Petits Pas allows them move about freely, yell, jump, play, and run around safely with adult supervision. The children can go at their own pace of discovery without adult direction. The game enables them to develop thinking, reflecting and socialisation skills, as well as to have new experiences.

One of the 2 parents must be present on site because the space is also intended to strengthen parent-child bonds. These times, which are primarily focused on supporting parenthood, allow them to exchange ideas as well as letting the children meet and understand each other.

The team is made up of a project coordinator and early childhood specialists. They ensure that the play area is set up and that families are supported. It provides a welcoming atmosphere for listening, respectfulness, and a guarantee of anonymity for the families in the space. The welcoming team is discreet, empathetic, understanding and non-judgemental.


For more information, contact Juliette Fouché, Director of La Chrysalide Maternal Centre – L’Île Aux Enfants Family Nursery:

01 41 50 57 00 or by email to

Little Footsteps, contact Christelle Adragna :