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School daycare closures must match school closings, say unions

Kids playing at a daycare facility.
Kids playing at a daycare facility. Global News

The government must close school daycare services if it closes schools, Quebec labour unions said Thursday.

The government is considering extending the holiday break for schools in the province to counter the spread of the coronavirus. Yet so far, there are no indications that similar safety measures would apply to school daycare services.

In a joint statement Thursday morning, the CSQ, the CSN, and the FTQ said that extending the holiday break to schools and not daycares will make efforts to stop the spread of the virus only half effective.

Read more: Quebec looks at temporarily closing schools

The unions also claim that “class bubbles,” a form of social distancing used to prevent the spread of the virus in schools, cannot be practically enforced in daycares.

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According to CSQ president Sonia Éthier, keeping school daycare services open while closing schools would compromise public health measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The unions are calling for “consistency” in government decisions, asking Quebec to also close school daycares if the provincial government chooses to keep schools closed before and after Christmas.

Thursday’s comments come ahead of a public health update scheduled for 5 p.m. later in the day, when it is rumoured the Legault government will announce plans to extend the holiday vacation for schools.

— with files from CP