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Conversions of private daycares into CPE: the PQ urges the CAQ to accelerate the pace

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar25,2024

Conversions of private daycares into CPE: the PQ urges the CAQ to accelerate the step

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Jean-Talon's PQ MP, Pascal Paradis. (Archive photo)

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The Parti Québécois (PQ) is urging the Legault government to accelerate the conversion of private daycares into Early Childhood Centers (CPE). He also asks the CAQ to favor the CPE model, rather than that of subsidized daycares.

MPs Pascal Paradis and Joël Arseneau spoke Monday at Villa Montessori, an unsubsidized private daycare in the Sillery district of Quebec. The owner Nolwenn Franchet has been fighting for years to have her conversion project into a CPE accepted by the Ministry of Families, without success.

A situation deplored by his deputy, Pascal Paradis.

What is needed is a national policy which ensures that in all the constituencies where we need it, that is to say everywhere in Quebec, we are able to respond favorably to a project as extraordinary, inspiring as that of the Villa Montessori.

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(From left to right) The owner of Villa Montessori, Nolwenn Franchet, the PQ elected officials Pascal Paradis, Joel Arseneau as well as citizen François Talbot.

The Parti Québécois believes that the Legault government does not respect the spirit of a law that it itself developed. In 2022, the CAQ amended the Educational Childcare Act. The new law provides in particular that when the Minister intends to allocate new places whose childcare services are subsidized to applicants or permit holders, […] this invitation is first addressed to applicants or licensees of early childhood centers.

However, the PQ believes that the government is currently favoring the conversion of private daycares, rather than CPE permit holders, or those who wish to obtain one.

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CPEs are the envy of the whole world, recalled the PQ MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau. In order to preserve this model, he believes that the Quebec government should draw on the $6 billion in compensation that the federal government must pay it, as part of an agreement on the financing of subsidized daycares.

This money should be available to promote the creation of places in CPE and the conversion of current places in unsubsidized daycare centers into places in CPE as well, believes the MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

The exit of the Parti Québécois follows that of the Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centers (AQCPE). At the beginning of March, the organization asked Quebec to commit to converting “at least” 5,000 places in unsubsidized daycare centers to the CPE network in its next call for projects.

The AQCPE was particularly concerned about the fact that only 250 of the 8,850 converted daycare places concerned CPE projects, recalling that 89% of CPEs reach all the quality thresholds set by Quebec since 2019 , compared to 64% and 53% for subsidized daycares and unsubsidized daycares.

Nolwenn Franchet explains that the conversion of her daycare in CPE would make it possible to better serve its mission in the future. The CPE framework is the best for sustainability and offers the best conditions to my fellow educators, she explained at a press conference.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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