The Parti Québécois (PQ) promises to return to a single daily rate for daycare if they’re elected in October. They made the announcement on Thursday at a caucus retreat in Shawinigan.
The PQ says they will return to a single fee for all families regardless of income at $8.05 a day.
“For the second child, it’s going to be half the price, so $4 and for the third and other children, it’s going to be free,” said PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée.
Daycare will also be free for families who earn less than $34,000 a year.
When it comes to universal health care or public education, no one questions how much income your family earns — it should be the same with daycare, argued the CEO of Association Québecoise des Centres de la Petite Enfance (AQCEP), Louis Senécal.
“We tend to forget that the services are provided for the benefit of the child,” Senécal said. “And investing public dollars in childcare is for the benefit of society on the whole,” he added.
“Every single expense related to a young child is an expense, but you’re investing in the future. Studies have shown that it will reduce all the future costs, social costs,” Senécal said.
In 2015, the Liberal government brought in changes to Quebec’s provincial daycare program. Some families pay as much as $21 a day depending on income.
“Also, what we’ve seen is they really took the decision to encourage the development of private daycare and this comes at a cost, the cost of quality,” said PQ family critic, Véronique Hivon.
A 2014 study by the Quebec Statistics Institute titled Grandir en qualité backs up this claim. It gave a higher rating to publicly subsidized daycares, than private ones. The PQ says the public system is where they’ll put government resources.
The only problem? They have to find a way to pay for it.
“It’s $130 million. And as we say, we’re not going to do this on the first day. We’re going to spread it out in four years,” Lisée said.