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Montreal daycares can increase to 75% capacity as coronavirus pandemic continues

The number of children permitted in daycare facilities in the Greater Montreal area is increasing.
The number of children permitted in daycare facilities in the Greater Montreal area is increasing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Daycares in the Greater Montreal area are allowed to operate at 75 per cent capacity as of Monday morning as restrictions implemented to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to be lifted across Quebec.

The Quebec government announced over the weekend that daycares in hard-hit regions are permitted to welcome more children, up from 50 per cent capacity. This includes the areas of Épiphanie and Joliette.

“This new phase of reopening child-care services in hot areas will give parents more flexibility to balance their family and professional responsibilities,” said Families Minister Mathieu Lacombe in a statement.

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READ MORE: Montreal daycares reopen as Quebec continues to ease coronavirus measures

The boost comes with the approval of public health authorities, according to the government. Home daycare services may accommodate up to five children and a maximum of seven if an assistant is present.

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The province announced last week that it was relaxing physical-distancing measures among toddlers in daycares. Lacombe said doing so is beneficial for the social and emotional development of young children.

However, daycare providers are still encouraged to wear masks and visors to stop the spread of the virus.

After being closed for two months due to the pandemic, daycares across Quebec reopened in May amid strict measures. Montreal, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada, followed suit in June.

With files from the Canadian Press