Volte-face of Quebec about nurseries child care centres

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The reduction of the administrative tolerance would have generated, according to the ministry of the Family, savings of only $ 2.2 million.

The new minister of the Family, Luc Fortin, surrendered to the arguments of the subsidized child care and acknowledges that the decision of his ministry to limit the number of children of more than 18 months in the nursery, the risk of penalizing the ” infants of the spring “. This is why it comes back on its decision and maintains the administrative tolerance that it had decided to abolish.


“In the light of the discussions I’ve had with different groups and the impact that this decision may have on the children, I announce to you that you will change your approach and maintain the administrative tolerance, as it was prior to the new fiscal rule,” argued the minister of the Family, in the interview, the Duty on Friday.


This administrative tolerance, which allows children between the ages of 18 to 29 months of stay in the groups of babies and to receive the higher grants that come with the status of the infant, had been established in 2012 in order to avoid penalizing the so-called ” infants of the spring “.


These latter often had difficulty finding the place in the CPE or in the private day care centers subsidized because they cost more expensive that what Quebec gave funding.


In fact, when the children reached the age of 18 months, Quebec ceased funding for a place in the nursery — which is more expensive having regard to the ratio teacher-child is higher — even if, in fact, they were stuck in this group due to lack of availability in the older age groups, which are usually full until the following summer.


Québec has therefore adopted a tolerance to allow children 18 to 29 months of continuing to benefit from the full subsidy in the nursery the time that a spot opens up in another group.


But in the last fiscal rules, the ministry of the Family announced that it would now limit the number of tolerances in subsidized day care services.


In an article in le Devoir, published on Monday, the associations of services to guard against this situation, stating that it would have a negative impact for parents and their children.




A few days later, the minister recognizes that it was a mistake on the part of his ministry, stating that this decision had been made before his arrival in office last October.


He adds that this is not a question of money, since the reduction of the administrative tolerance would have generated, according to the department, a savings of just $ 2.2 million. Rather, it was to avoid that the tolerance, which is a exceptional measure, does not become an institutionalized practice, which seems to be the case in some care services, ” he says.


“I understand the goal which was pursued by the department to ensure that the measure is truly exceptional, but, when the balance of advantages and disadvantages of this decision, [we find that]there are children that are going to be hurt. And [that]we will return to an ancient practice that we do not shout from the rooftops, but that meant that the children were selected by child care services according to their date of birth. This is really not what I want as minister of the Family, this is not what I wish and not as the father of a family. This is why you will change your approach and cancel this change of direction. “


The Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance, we are saying “very satisfied” with this reversal of the situation.

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