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Demonstration in front of the National Assembly for access to daycare centers

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(Montreal) Ma place au travail (MPAT), a social movement that has become an activist organization for the accessibility of daycare centres, is celebrating its first anniversary on Saturday by demonstrating in front of the National Assembly.

“What we want to talk about today is the right for every child to have a quality and affordable place in educational childcare,” said MPAT co-spokesperson Evelyn Plante in a telephone interview.

The government of François Legault announced in February that a total of 34,000 new places had already been granted out of the 37,000 promised.

Mme Plante “sees favorably” these advances, but stressed “the urgency of an immediate solution” in the form of financial assistance to families deprived of income by the lack of resources.

“The government thinks that these places will arrive within 24 months if all goes well […]but when you see parents who have already lost their jobs, who have already gone through their savings, who have no options, that there is going to be a place for your child maybe in 24 months, well it’s not enough,” she argued.

According to her, the inability to place one’s child in daycare falls through the cracks of the social net, as “the majority of families will not be entitled to social welfare” as their situation is not considered precarious enough. In addition, to access employment insurance, “you have to prove that you are looking for work, which a mother who does not have daycare cannot do”.

The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) is deemed insufficient. Since 2021, it can be extended to 18 months instead of 12. On the other hand, “we have only extended the period during which you can take the QPIP, but the number of weeks paid remains the same, so there is no really no help,” said M.me Plant.

“All opposition parties” participated in the event, she said.

The opposition on the scene

The Liberal leader, Dominique Anglade, was accompanied by MPs Jennifer Maccarone, spokesperson for the Family, and Isabelle Melançon, spokesperson for the Status of Women.

She announced that her party wishes to extend the QPIP benefits until the 18and months after birth, to cover the period deemed most critical in terms of lack of space. The result would be “compensation in the order of $1,700 per month, and that, for a period of six additional months,” said Ms.me Anglade in a telephone interview.

She also plans to “make space in daycare a right” in the same way as education and “convert all the places that currently exist” in five years, so that all of them cost $8.70 a day.

On the side of Québec solidaire, the spokesperson Manon Massé, the spokesperson for the Family Christine Labrie and the spokesperson for social services, Sol Zanetti, were present.

“I proposed this week an emergency assistance benefit of $870 per month between the end of the QPIP and the moment when the child reaches 18 months,” recalled Ms.me Labrie in a telephone interview, explaining that this is exactly “the amount that is given to people who have a temporary constraint to employment”.

She said she fears that the places announced by the government will be delayed, as they are worth nothing if there is no educator to fill the position: “It will take more than 15,000 educators to be able to offer the places announced and at the moment the registrations are not up to the level of the needs. »

For meme Labrie, just like Mr.me Anglade, the problem still remains the working conditions of the profession.

By e-mail, the office of the Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe, assured that the latter “is currently taking all the necessary steps to ensure that access to childcare services is no longer an issue” and recalled the deployment of the Grand site for families, for 6 billion over five years, which provides “that each child can have a place by March 2025”.

In addition, Bill 1, when it is adopted, will ensure that “the government will now be obliged to develop places as soon as there is a shortage in a territory”.

This article was produced with the financial support of the Facebook and The Canadian Press News Fellowships.

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