Asked by The newspaper the day after the filing of an open letter to this effect, signed by more than 200 early childhood specialists, the ministry said it was “sensitive” to the development of children in daycare services.
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“We are sensitive to the situation and we are currently continuing discussions on the subject to ensure the well-being of toddlers while respecting the recommendations,” said Minister Mathieu Lacombe’s press secretary, Antoine de la Durantaye. .
On Monday, nearly 200 early childhood specialists sent a letter to Prime Minister François Legault, Minister of Families Mathieu Lacombe, as well as the national director of public health, Dr.r Horacio Arruda.
Psychologists, neuropsychologists, speech therapists and directors of early childhood centers affirm that there is an urgent need to act, by providing masks with transparent windows “as quickly as possible” to workers in childcare settings.
The fact that children are deprived of lip reading and facial expression, in particular, will have “disastrous” impacts, particularly among children 18 months to 5 years old, experts say.
Ready to provide
In addition, the Quebec company Prémont, which manufactures these transparent window masks approved by health authorities, says it can provide “easily” all daycares in Quebec, as of next week.
Co-owner Luc Girard specifies that its production will increase to two million masks per week, in the coming days.
A “timid” meeting also took place last week between members of the cabinet of the Ministry of the Family and his company, he says. However, nothing has been concluded.
“With all the delays that we are doing [sans le port de ces masques à fenêtre transparente pour les éducatrices en garderie], I think it’s worth more than a dollar or two a day for someone who passes knowledge to children, ”said Mr. Girard.
For her part, the solidarity member Christine Labrie affirms that the government does not “respect its commitments”. Last fall, Québec solidaire had a motion adopted to this effect, asking the government to provide educators working with infants, as well as teachers of students with special needs, these procedural masks with transparent windows.
“I do not understand coming from a government that says it is very concerned about integration and success in school, which says it wants to act early. The best way to act early is not to create developmental problems in children by providing access to window masks for educators, ”says Mme Labrie.