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Quebec parents and organizations stage a sit in for the thousands of children without daycare spaces

Organizations and citizens staged a sit in in Quebec City to advocate for more daycare spaces on June 2, 2024. (Ma place au travail) Organizations and citizens staged a sit in in Quebec City to advocate for more daycare spaces on June 2, 2024. (Ma place au travail)

The Ma Place au Travail organization organized a sit-in in front of the National Assembly for a third consecutive year to demand not only more childcare spaces but also better-quality childcare and an appreciation of the work of childcare workers.

Marylin Dion, one of the organizers of the event, which took place on Sunday morning, points out that nearly 30,000 children are on a waiting list for a childcare space.

"We're making progress, but at a snail's pace," she told The Canadian Press in an interview. "It's going much too slowly. So, unfortunately, it's still just as relevant to mobilize, because there's still this urgency for Quebec families."

The organization works to ensure that no young parent is forced to give up going back to work because they don't have a place for their child.

Ma Place au Travail is calling on the government to enshrine in law "the unconditional and universal right to attend an educational day-care centre".

Dion is critical of the fact that this need of families is at the mercy of "the priorities of the moment of the party in power."

The non-profit organization argues that, despite the government's initiatives, it is trying to "fill a leaky bucket".

"There are communities that are closing, and we know that," said Dion. "It's directly linked to the lack of recognition for educators and early childhood workers, who are currently in negotiations and who haven't had a collective agreement for over a year."

The Ma Place au Travail logic is simple: revalue the work of educators in order to retain those already in the network and attract new ones, thereby creating new daycare places for young children.

The organization was joined on Sunday by the unions representing early childhood educators, who are in negotiations for the renewal of their work contracts.

Parti Québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS) representatives, the Mères au front organization and organizations for migrants and refugees, who are also suffering from the network's deficits, also joined the sit in.

The Ministry of Families did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 2, 2024. Top Stories

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