He had gone on to achieve great things in diverse areas: in 1884 Cazalet founded and chaired the sporting association Société de Gymnastique La Bastidienne, and was chairman of the Union des Sociétés de Gymnastique de France from 1896 to 1930. And, as secretary of a company that was founded in 1892 - Œuvre des Bains-Douches à Bon Marché -, he even played a key role in making public showering facilities available to the masses (the company’s slogan was “La propreté donne la santé”, good health through cleanliness!).
The creation of the La Bastide Crèche was part of a wider phenomenon that began in France earlier in the 19th century. Crèches aimed to relieve “ouvrières” (working mothers) of their daytime childcare commitments (although it was usually possible to return at mealtimes if the child was still being breastfed), thus freeing them up to remain in full-time employment - which at the time meant six days a week.
A crèche was a sensible alternative to leaving their child at home, whether alone or under the supervision of an elder sibling, and a cheaper alternative to hiring a nanny, which was well beyond the financial means of all but the wealthiest families. Many early crèches were funded by local industry entrepreneurs who thus sought to preserve their female workforce. In 1897, a nationwide decree established the precise rules and responsibilities of crèches throughout the land. The Bastide establishment met the criteria established by the State and was therefore officially approved as being "d'utilité publique" (a public-interest organisation), a fact which is proudly recorded on the façade.
|There's nothing quite like a bit of Victor Hugo written on a wall is there? These lines are from the poem "Lorsque l'Enfant Paraît" which appeared in the 1831 collection "Les Feuilles d'Automne".|