The Parti Québécois wants to relaunch Pauline Marois’ initial plan for childcare centers by imposing it across Quebec. A reform that would require the purchase of all private daycares.
“This morning, we announced a 100% CPE network,” said its leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, during a press briefing in the daycare center attended by his children, in Quebec.
History to animate the places in the middle of the weekend, the PQ leader and his candidates had also brought their offspring to the scene and we heard them playing in the background noise while the press briefing was declining just in front.
In addition to allocating all the new places to the CPE network (15,000 more in the first year), the PQ wants to convert all the other daycare centers into CPEs, by taking over their leases. Only family child care centers would be able to survive in their current form. A plan that would cost the Quebec government $768 million, the Party estimates.
For the PQ leader, it’s a matter of fairness. He also wants the right to have a place in CPE for his children to be “guaranteed” in a law, in the same way as access to primary school.
This plan, he said, could indirectly solve another problem, that of the labor shortage, by allowing many parents to return to the labor market.
However, it would take five to 10 years to get there, recognizes Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. Is there, therefore, anything to offer parents in the meantime? The PQ leader recalls that he announced this week one-time financial assistance to help families cope with inflation.
Micro-places to unclog the network
The PQ’s announcement shortly followed an announcement by Québec Solidaire on the creation of new “micro-CPEs” in the regions. Québec solidaire (QS) wants to cut waiting lists by 70% in the early childhood network, which has been short of places for years. To do this, the political formation relies on a new model: the “micro-CPE”.
If elected in October, QS would spend $610 million annually to build 37,000 new early childhood centers in a first term. Among these, CPE “from 8 to 20 places which can be installed in existing premises”, “micro-CPE”.
According to this new kind of model, which “will particularly serve the regions”, the educators would work in “small teams of 2 to 4”. “They will be able to help each other and offer flexible time slots for families,” said Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois in a press release.
According to the latest news, 52,000 young people were waiting for a place in daycare in Quebec.
Further details will follow.
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