Government to allow Quebec daycares to open in temporary locations
MONTREAL -- There are more than 50,000 children waiting for a spot in Quebec's subsidized daycare system and those numbers have not really changed in the last decade.
Parents often ask to be put on a waiting list the minute they get pregnant and then keep their fingers crossed.
The government just adopted a short-term solution: they'll allow daycares to open in temporary locations, such as community halls or church basements.
“A temporary location might not bring the same level of quality, but it's a solution proposed by qualified educators,” said Geneviève Bélisle, director general of the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance (AQCPE).
The government said such permissions will only be granted to daycares with detailed plans to build permanent facilities within two years.
The first temporary site will open in the town of Bonaventure on the Gaspe coast.
“This is a first project today and we want to send a message that it's possible to do a temporary location and if we are able to do it in other projects,” said Quebec's Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe.
But the lack of facilities is only a part of the problem. Daycares are often facing staff shortages and high turnaround because salaries and working conditions aren't competitive.
The CAQ said negotiations are underway, but won't commit to what it will do.
“We need to work on the challenge that we have for recruiting people to work in those daycares,” Lacombe said.
So far, little has changed for educators despite promises of improvements.