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Quebec wants one-stop daycare shopping

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Author: 
Montreal Gazette
Publication Date: 
5 Sep 2013

 

EXCERPTS:

The Quebec government wants to create one-stop shopping for families who sign their children up for subsidized daycare.

Speaking in Longueuil on Thursday, Family Minister Nicole Léger launched a call for proposals to design a province-wide wait-list system that would then be handed over to a "neutral" organization to manage.

"We want to better respond to the needs of families and make life easier," Léger said in a statement. "Currently, parents have to knock on multiple doors to find a place for their children."

There is a patchwork of ways to sign a child up for a place at a $7-a-day Centre de la petite enfance, a subsidized private facility or home daycare. Some regions of Quebec, including the island of Montreal, have centralized waiting lists so parents can register their child for care in their area - but those lists only include facilities that choose to be members.

Many CPEs manage their own waiting lists and the registration process can vary from parents having to go to the daycare in person, send an email, phone or fax a form.

However an association representing CPEs denounced the government's proposal as a red herring that will do nothing to reduce waiting lists and the shortage of available places.

Le Conseil québécois des services de garde éducatifs à l'enfance (CQSGEE) said the government is going ahead with the plan despite several meetings in which it voiced its objections.

Francine Lessard, general manager of the CQSGEE, said the government has already invested millions in pilot projects for various prototypes of centralized waiting lists and they have all been a failure.

"Why not invest the money instead in the creation of new places and meet the real needs of Quebec parents," Lessard said in a statement.

Lèger said that criteria for the winning bid will include migrating all the waiting-list data into a single centralized list.

Lèger said signing up for a $7 daycare place - be it in a CPE, subsidized private facility or subsidized at-home spot - will remain free.

Private daycares will continue to manage their own registration.

Proposals are due by November 2013 and the winning bid will be announced in December.

-reprinted from the Montreal Gazette

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Entered Date: 
6 Sep 2013
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