The government announced Wednesday that it will create 2,500 new subsidized daycare spaces. That’s on top of another 11,000 spaces that were already promised by the previous Liberal government.
“I would say we are a new government and we want to do the best for our kids,” said Quebec’s Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe.
Lacombe said the money for these spaces has already been set aside, but he couldn’t say how much it will cost.
“I can get back to you with the amount,” he said during a press conference at the National Assembly.
“We do not calculate the the price per place,” he also added.
However, the minister’s press secretary later provided Global News with the exact figures.
The cost of one place in a CPE, for instance, is $63 dollars a day. One place in a subsidized daycare costs the government $53 a day. It costs $32 a day per place in a home daycare.
The government says 75 to 85 per cent of the new spaces will be in CPE’s and the rest will be in subsidized day care. Lacombe also said he wants to create 8,000 new places in home daycares.
Based on these figures, the government’s plan could cost more than $280 million a year.
“Their numbers aren’t right, they change their position. We deserve more in terms of consistency from our government,” said Liberal MNA, Dominique Anglade.
The government denied that Lacombe’s announcement was rushed together in order to lessen criticism of its 4-year-old preschool plan, which the premier announced last week.
“It was our plan to extend the pre-K four years and to develop the CPE’s. We just do what we say and say what we do,” said Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge.
There was even more criticism Wednesday after a government impact analysis showed its plans could lead to the closure of over 2,000 home daycares.
“Private daycare owners feel threatened,” said Liberal MNA Carlos Leitao.
The Liberal opposition said the government needs to re-evaluate.
“Our system is a delicate balance of CPE, private daycares, non-subsidized daycares, home setting daycares, so all this ecosystem has to be well thought out. Otherwise, when you come in with a big announcement, you are going to unbalance the whole system,” Leitao said.
Watch below: Preschool on the way for Quebec schools