Orford, September 7, 2021 – The Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions, Dominique Anglade, was accompanied by Marc Tanguay, Critic for Families, Justice, Access to Information and Electoral Reform, as well as Jennifer Maccarone, Critic for Social Solidarity, Diversity and Inclusion, Persons Living with a Disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Fight Against Poverty and for the LGBTQ2 Community, to propose that access to child care services becomes a right.
Over time, Quebec’s network of childcare services has proven its worth, including by allowing thousands of parents, particularly women, to return to the labour market after the arrival of their child (ren). In spite of it all, it remains difficult for families to find spaces; a situation that is further exacerbated in subsidized environments.
The situation has deteriorated since François Legault’s arrival. Quebec has reached a new high with over 51,000 children waiting for a spot; 8,000 more than in October of 2018. Each child waiting for a space in child care means one more family experiencing anxiety. These are parents who cannot return to the workforce.
That is why all of Quebec’s children, regardless of their region or their parents’ incomes, should have access to childcare. We would never accept a 6-year-old child on a waiting list to attend school. The same principle should apply to childcare services. It’s time for a paradigm shift. The deployment of childcare service spaces must become a government obligation, no matter what has to be done to achieve it.
Getting a place in childcare services should not be a lottery! We have an obligation to find solutions so that each child is able to fulfill their potential. François Legault needs to acknowledge the magnitude of this situation and work to ensure that access to childcare services becomes a right for all children.
– Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic for the Charter for Regions.
After over three years in power, the CAQ government needs to take stock of its progress; wait list times have exploded, early childhood educators are jumping ship and the creation of childcare spaces is advancing at a snail’s pace. It needs to change. Our proposal seeks to enshrine into law a legal obligation for the government to provide a space for every child that needs one. It’s major.
– Marc Tanguay, Critic for Families.
Access to the childcare network is difficult for families, but when those families include handicapped children, it’s almost impossible! These children and their families need access to child care services and should not have to experience discrimination. This situation is unacceptable and we must ensure that all of Quebec’s children have access to quality educational services.
– Jennifer Maccarone, Critic for Persons Living with a Disability or an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Highlights of the announcement:
In order to implement this right, we must undertake the necessary means:
- Modify the Educational Childcare Act to integrate the right to a space in childcare services, a right similar to the provision within the Education Act.
- Complete the network within the next 5 years so that the 51,000 children on wait lists for childcare services are all provided with a space, including through prioritizing the creation of nursery spaces (0-18 months) and workplace spaces;
- Convert 67,000 non-subsidized childcare spaces into subsidized spaces within 5 years;
- Enhance salaries for all childcare service educators and implement a separate salary scale for those who possess technical or university training in early childhood education;
- Create an accelerated training program for early childhood education that is similar to that created for beneficiary attendants during the COVID pandemic in an effort to recruit and train 10,000 educators.