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School daycare services: Placing quality at the heart of priorities

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Brief to the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports
Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
government document
Publication Date: 
1 Sep 2006

Excerpts from the brief:

In this Brief the focus of the Conseil is not on the issue of family demand for school daycare services, nor on the balancing of work and family, but rather on the service itself. This perspective is in keeping with the Conseil's primary mandate,which is to advise the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports on education-related issues. Therefore, while the Conseil recognizes the need of Québec families to have access to daycare services for their school-age children, it has opted to focus its study on the nature of the mandate of school daycare services, on developing their quality, and how these services can complement the tripartite mandate of Québec's education system (to impart knowledge to students, foster their social development and give them qualifications).

The Conseil has therefore chosen to expand on the considerations begun in 2001 by the Auditor General of Québec, by proposing a motivating approach that would encourage all education stakeholders to include the development of quality of school daycare services at the heart of their priorities. Throughout the preparation of its Brief, the work of the Conseil was based on the scientific literature published to date on the issue, on statistical and financial data, and consultation with daycare stakeholders and experts in the field, but equally on an in-depth analysis of experiments carried out by five school daycare services recognized for their excellence.

In the pages that follow, the Conseil will present a quantitative overview of the network of school daycare services and its recent evolution. It will also introduce the four cornerstones which have provided the foundation for the preparation of the Brief throughout. Following this, the Conseil will propose five challenges for school daycare services which it deems should be the object of particular focus for the next few years. Lastly, to help meet these challenges and achieve overall excellence in school daycare services, the Conseil will formulate 25 recommendations relevant to six levers for the development of quality.