Quebec calculating how many subsidized daycare spots it can offer refugees

MONTREAL -- The Quebec government is assessing how many subsidized daycare spaces in its already crowded network it can offer Syrian refugees, but a spokesperson for the family minister says current waiting lists will be respected.

See Full Article

All of Quebec's so-called institutional childcare centres are full, and some parents have been waiting years to place their children in one of the highly coveted spots.

The only available subsidized daycare spaces are in family-run centres, which are located in private homes and can receive up to six children a day, said Nadia Caron, a spokeswoman for Quebec's family minister.

She added however, that the government doesn't know how many of those spots are free.

Affordable daycare services will become increasingly important for many of the 7,000 Syrian refugees expected to arrive in Quebec by the end of 2016 as parents begin French-language courses and integrate into the labour market.

Quebec heavily subsidizes roughly 228,000 daycare spaces across the province and charges parents on a sliding scale, depending on family income.

The cheapest spots are $7.55 a day, per child. Parents who benefit from government assistance don't pay for three days out of five.

Caron said Syrian refugees are eligible for subsidized daycare spaces and also for government assistance, which would reduce significantly the price of a spot - if they can find one.

She said, however, that refugees will not be skipping the line.

"It's clear the waiting lists that exist will remain, out of respect for the families who are already waiting for the subsidized spots," she said.

There are roughly 137,000 so-called institutional subsidized daycare spots in Quebec. All are wait list-only.

Additionally, according to Caron, family, home-run daycares have 91,000 places available, and her department is trying to assess how many spots are open in the regions where the bulk of the refugees are expected to settle in the coming months.

"The count is happening now," she said. "We will then create a brochure and have all the information, including how and where to find a daycare space for the Syrian families who request it."

It is unclear exactly how many Syrians in Quebec require daycare spaces. The United Nations Refugee Agency estimates 52 per cent of Syrian refugees are under the age of 18.

Marie-Eve Dolbec, a spokeswoman for the organization that co-ordinates subsidized daycare spots for the government, said refugees will not be given special treatment in the hunt for the prized reduced-rate spot.

She said certain daycare centres that have ties to community organizations could, in theory, give priority to Syrian refugees.

"But I have not heard of any request to do that," she said.

There are also reduced-rate daycare spots in some community centres where refugees and immigrants learn French, but those places are temporary and parents can no longer have access to the system once they complete their language courses.

Chantal Hudson, with the Syrian Canadian Council, said 98 per cent of the roughly 2,600 Syrian refugees who have already arrived in Quebec have been privately sponsored by families or community organizations.

She said as more government-sponsored refugees arrive over the next weeks and months - people who have minimal contacts in the province - there will likely be more pressure on the province for childcare options.

Hudson said her organization has already helped roughly 60 Syrian refugees "and the majority of the families we have so far worked with have children who are quite young."

The Quebec government has set aside $29 million to settle 7,000 refugees by the end of 2016. It is unclear if that sum includes funds for daycare or if the province will be asking the federal government for financial help for additional child services.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Duterte threatens to arrest Filipinos who refuse vaccination

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- The Philippine president has threatened to order the arrest of Filipinos who refuse COVID-19 vaccination and told them to leave the country if they would not cooperate with the efforts to contain the pandemic. Source
  • Former CEO of Aga Khan Museum to lead Canadian Museum of History

    Canada News CBC News
    Henry Kim, the former director of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, has been chosen to be the new chief executive officer for the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., Radio-Canada has learned. The national museum has been without an official leader since CEO Mark O'Neill resigned in April, two months before his planned retirement date. Source
  • Vaccinated Brits could be back on Europe's beaches soon: minister

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain is working on easing travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated to allow people to enjoy a summer holiday on Europe's beaches but the plans are not finalized yet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday. Source
  • Biologist estimates helium balloons are ending up in Great Lakes by the hundreds of thousands

    Canada News CBC News
    The plastic balloons we use to mark some of the biggest milestones in our lives — births, deaths, graduations, homecomings, engagements, gender reveal parties — are ending up in the Great Lakes by the hundreds of thousands, according to an Ontario biologist who spent two weeks gathering trash. Source
  • 3-year-old Ontario girl in urgent need of rare mixed-ethnicity stem-cell donor

    Canada News CBC News
    Three-year-old Leia Fallico's life depends on a stem-cell donation — the only cure for a rare genetic disorder that's causing her bone marrow to fail. But of the 40 million registered donors worldwide, not a single one was a perfect match for Leia this spring. Source
  • U.S. watchdog: Nursing home deaths up 32 per cent in 2020 amid pandemic

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims. Source
  • U.S. official to address legacy of Indigenous boarding schools

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other federal officials are expected Tuesday to announce steps the federal government plans to take to reconcile the troubled legacy of boarding school policies on Indigenous families and communities. Source
  • Kim sister derides U.S. official, dismisses chances for talks

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dismissed prospects for an early resumption of diplomacy with the United States, saying Tuesday that U.S. expectations of talks would "plunge them into a greater disappointment. Source
  • Manitoba homicide suspect now also faces attempted murder investigation in Ontario

    Canada News CBC News
    A Manitoba homicide suspect who led police on a days-long hunt that ended in Ontario a few days ago is now facing attempted murder charges due to allegedly firing at Ontario Provincial Police officers before his arrest. Eric Wildman was wanted in the disappearance of his neighbour Clifford Joseph, 40, who last seen at his home in the rural municipality of St. Source
  • Trump Organization sues NYC after golf course contract canceled in wake of U.S. Capitol attack

    World News CTV News
    The Trump Organization on Monday sued the city of New York after it ended its contract for a golf course at Ferry Point Park in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. Source