At the Liberal convention in Montreal Saturday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced his party’s plans to offer free daycare to four-year-old children in the province.
“At four, children should be in an educational environment, maybe not one as strict as school but at least in some program that can be followed and can be measured,” said Couillard.
The Liberal Leader says the move would make it easier to flag any educational challenges facing children.
The commitment would cost taxpayers an estimated $250 million and would apply to those in government recognized daycare.
Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao says it is an election promise grounded in economic reality.
“We made a commitment that is in the range of $250 million and with the current economic conditions, we can do that,” said Leitao.
Despite being down in the polls ahead of the fall election, the Liberals insist that policies like the one announced Saturday will win over voters in the end.
“Liberals are not the louder people. But they know who to vote for when it comes to real decisions,” Liberal MNA Pierre Moreau told Global News.
The year of free daycare would work in conjunction with the Liberals’ 2017 promise to offer early kindergarten for four-year-old children in low-income neighbourhoods.