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

  • Spain dismantles migrants' "dock of shame" in Canary Islands

    World News CTV News
    ARGUINEGUIN, SPAIN -- Spanish authorities have dismantled the bulk of a makeshift camp for migrant processing that for over three months wasknown as the "dock of shame" for holding in unfit conditions thousands of Africans who arrived recently in the Canary Islands. Source
  • Russia under renewed pressure to explain Navalny poisoning

    World News CTV News
    THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS -- Russia came under renewed pressure Monday to explain the nerve agent attack on opposition figure Alexei Navalny as the annual meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog got underway amid measures aimed at reining in the spread of coronavirus. Source
  • Charity says shelling kills 11 civilians in Yemen's Hodeida

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- Artillery fire killed at least 11 civilians, including four children, near Yemen's strategic port city of Hodeida amid that country's grinding war, an international charity said Monday. Yemen's internationally recognized government blamed the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels for the attack. Source
  • Quebec reports 1,333 new cases of COVID-19, 23 more deaths

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec health authorities reported 1,333 more cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the province since the start of the pandemic to 142,371. Of them, 12,138 are active. The province's seven-day average now stands at 1,309 new cases per day. Source
  • 'Thank you for keeping our world safe': Grade 3 students pen letters of support to Manitoba health-care workers

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Following a COVID-19 exposure in their school, a group of Grade 3 students in Manitoba decided to take some control by sending their gratitude to workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Linda Andres, the teacher of the Grade 3 class at Happy Thoughts School in Selkirk, Man. Source
  • A man fatally shot a teenager in Oregon for playing loud music Thanksgiving week, police say

    World News CTV News
    A man in Oregon fatally shot a teenager Thanksgiving week after getting upset that the 19-year-old was playing music loudly in the parking lot of an inn that the two were staying at, police said. Source
  • Ontario logs more than 1,700 new cases of COVID-19 as positivity rate inches higher

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting more than 1,700 new COVID-19 infections Monday morning as the province’s positivity rate inches closer to five per cent. Health officials added 1,746 cases, which is up slightly from the 1,708 infections added a day earlier Source
  • B.C. report on anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system to be released Monday

    Canada News CBC News
    An independent investigation into the extent of anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system in B.C. is complete, and the findings are set to be released on Monday at 11 a.m. PT. The report is expected to include findings of fact and specific recommendations. Source
  • Senators ponder how far to go to protect charter rights in assisted-dying bill

    Canada News CBC News
    There was a strong message conveyed to cabinet ministers last week as senators grilled them on the Trudeau government's bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying. We told you so. Ministers were repeatedly reminded that when the federal government introduced its first bill in 2016 to legalize doctor-assisted death in Canada, senators warned it was unconstitutional and predicted it would be struck down by the courts. Source
  • CBC News journalists deported from Uganda, despite having press credentials

    World News CBC News
    A CBC News crew was deported from Uganda this weekend despite following protocols laid out for foreign journalists entering the country. The deportation, which occurred on Friday, happened about a month before the country's elections. Opposition parties and election observers have expressed concerns the vote won't be free or fair. Source