The government must act “now” to improve the working conditions of daycare educators whose environment is in the grip of a crisis “as serious as that of patient attendants,” said the leader of the Parti Québécois.
By subtracting the new establishments from those which have closed, Quebec definitively lost 845 childcare services, of all types, between March and October 2020. A particularly difficult situation, while 46,000 children are waiting for a place.
“I want to cry out from the heart because early childhood daycare settings are literally in short supply. We are in front of thousands and thousands of parents who do not have access to this essential service whereas they are asked to work from home! ”, Deplores the leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon.
Recently moved to the Quebec City region and father of two young children, Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon saw firsthand the difficulty of finding a daycare.
The owner of the daycare where he was finally able to look after his children told him that she had received 40 requests from parents in the space of 4 hours when she announced that she had room.
“This shortage is as serious as the crisis we experienced with the patient care attendants in the spring,” he insists. What do we say to the mother who has to earn a living while the children are at home because she cannot find a place? ”
Mr. St-Pierre-Plamondon believes that it is the poor working conditions, the salary and the government’s lack of listening to the needs of educators that led to this problem.
“The Parti Québécois has been saying for two years that there is a shortage of places and that the government must realize the gravity of the situation. We have often questioned the fact that the government has put all its money in kindergartens for 4 years and that it does not send resources to the childcare center and family daycare system, ”he says.
All of this, added to the context of a pandemic where daycare centers must operate in a more complex manner, “when the government did not provide them with adequate support” would also have weighed in the balance.
“We must improve the salaries of educators […], listen to their needs and give them the tools to make it work. It is all of these measures that will make it possible to attract workers and keep them, ”says the head of the PQ, stressing that educators also deserve COVID bonuses.