The Legault government “lacks ambition” when it comes to the expansion of the subsidized daycare network in Quebec, according to opposition party Québec solidaire.
The province has received proposals to create four times as many spots as it wants to fund, which QS says proves the Coalition Avenir Québec party is to blame for the lack of daycare spots Quebec parents desperately need.
In October, Families Minister Mathieu Lacombe launched an appeal to create 4,359 subsidized daycare spots in some 50 restricted territories. But according to data obtained by La Presse Canadienne, 319 projects have been submitted to create a total of 17,808 subsidized spots across the province.
QS family spokesperson Christine Labrie says the Legault government no longer has any excuses that justify slowing down the development of the network.
“The obstacle to the development of places now is the CAQ,” Labrie said on Monday afternoon. “The CAQ lacks ambition. It must absolutely be more ambitious in the development of childcare centres: there is room to triple — literally — the number of places it had planned to develop.”
She added that thousands of parents are currently waiting for daycare spaces to open to be able to go back to work, which means employers are also suffering the repercussions of the government’s procrastination.
Labrie said the government maintains “partisan reluctance” to finance the expansion of the network simply because “the childcare centres are not the CAQ’s invention.”
According to recent data, more than 40,000 children are waiting for a place in the subsidized network across Quebec.
Labrie is demanding for the treasury board to release funds quickly to finance the 17,808 proposed spots.
A shortage of qualified staff is also impacting daycare services in the province, Lacombe has said in the past. Parti Québécois MNA Véronique Hivon attributes the lack of staff to unattractive working conditions that need to be improved.