QUEBEC CITY -- The Quebec association in charge of the industry says child-care workers should be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
In a news brief from Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance (AQCPE) presented Friday to the parliamentary commission evaluating the relevance of extending mandatory vaccination to workers other than those in the health-care sector, the CPE group said it was "in favour of imposing vaccination" on all educational daycare staff.
In the event of a refusal to vaccinate, the AQCPE does not advocate imposing disciplinary sanctions on recalcitrant workers, such as leave without pay, but rather requiring them to undergo frequent screening tests.
The announcement comes amid serious staffing shortages in Quebec's child-care system.
The association is also asking the government to take a closer look at the situation for self-employed family child-care providers who set up daycares in their homes, and to take into consideration the fact that children in these daycares "are entitled to the same protection as others."
Earlier, Quebec MNAs heard from two major unions linked to the education sector, the Fédération autonome de l'enseignement (FAE) and the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ).
Unlike the AQCPE, the two unions refused to take a position on mandatory teacher vaccination.
Mandatory vaccination of teachers may give parents and the public "a false sense of security," according to FAE president Sylvain Mallette.
"The eventual recourse to mandatory vaccination must remain an exceptional measure based on a body of data that does not yet exist," argued CSQ president Éric Gingras.
Both unions said they did not know how many of their members caught the virus, how many were already fully vaccinated and how many were in favour of having the vaccination imposed.