Quebec to review the resale of daycare permits

WATCH: The value of daycare licenses in Quebec is sky-rocketing and as Caroline Plante reports, the Parti Québécois is concerned the Liberals are creating speculation on the backs of children.

QUEBEC CITY — The value of daycare licenses in Quebec is sky-rocketing.

According to the province’s family ministry, this is because private subsidized daycares can generate an average annual profit of about $370,000; one such daycare in Quebec City, L’Oasis Enfantin, has been valued at $1.8 million.

In Question Period on Thursday, the Parti Québécois accused the Liberals of creating speculation on the backs of children.

The PQ blamed the Liberals for transforming daycares into cash cows. After obtaining a permit, and thousands of dollars in government subsidies, daycare owners can then sell their licenses to the highest bidder.

“They essentially win the lottery.”

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“Once they get a permit, they’re set for life, guaranteed to live comfortably,” said the PQ’s Family Critic, Mathieu Traversy.

Traversy added many of the people currently getting rich off daycares have licenses because they donated to the Liberal party.

“It’s clear, there are still remnants of the Tony Tomassi affair and favouritism,” he said.

In 2010, Tony Tomassi, Jean Charest’s then-Family Minister, was at the centre of revelations made by the daycare owner and Liberal party donor,  Ezio Carosielli, who accused the government of not awarding daycare permits fairly.

Françoise David of Québec Solidaire said she agreed with the PQ’s assessment. “In the past, we saw they have many friends in the private daycares.”

The current Family Minister, Francine Charbonneau, rejected the claims and argued the owners of privately subsidized daycares could do what they want.

“It is a private business.” 

“It is a private daycare that receives money from the government to give services to children,” she said. “We didn’t pay for the place, we didn’t pay for the equipment.”

Still, parties have agreed to send the matter to committee for further study.

The PQ has proposed that daycare licenses are returned to the Family ministry when they’re no longer needed by the permit holder.

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The Association des garderies privées du Québec (AGPQ), Quebec’s association of private daycares, could not be reached for comment.