Not en­ough day­care spots

Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent - - ACTUALITÉS - Im­pacts (S.N.)

You find it dif­fi­cult to find a spot in day­care for you lit­tle bundle of joy? You're not alone. Un­der the pres­sure of a ne­ver seen be­fore po­pu­la­tion in­crease, Saint-Laurent has 2334 kids on the wai­ting list to start at a Centre de la pe­tite en­fance (CPE) and 785 other chil­dren on the wai­ting list for home child­care ser­vice.

"The pro­blem is that there are ma­ny CPE in the work­place, whose spots are ta­ken by non­re­si­dents. So the ac­tual spots for Saint-Laurent's chil­dren are li­mi­ted while the de­mand is high," says Ga­briele Guay, co­or­di­na­tor of COSSL's plan d'ac­tion pe­tite en­fance.

Ms. Guay, is concer­ned about the lack of qua­li­ty and af­for­dable day­care ser­vice for vul­ne­rable fa­mi­lies "pri­vate day­care, can cost up to $ 42 per day," says the co­or­di­na­tor. "Since the go­vern­ment reim­bur­se­ment is on­ly done from time to time, fa­mi­lies who have a mo­ney flow pro­blem or just mo­ney pro­blem sim­ply can­not af­ford to put their child in a day­care" she says.

The last day­care ser­vices crea­ted are not ne­ces­sa­ri­ly ac­ces­sible to fa­mi­lies in need. From 2007 to 2011, 175 sub­si­dizes spots ope­ned up while 1290 spots in non-sub­si­di­sed day­care were crea­ted.

This may af­fect vul­ne­rable chil­dren. «"It is dif­fi­cult to do fol­low-up with chil­dren when they are not in the sys­tem, it is more dif­fi­cult to ful­fill their needs," said Ms. Guay.

Child care pro­fes­sio­nal can dis­co­ver vul­ne­ra­bi­li­ties. "While pa­rents are ful­filling the needs of their chil­dren, the day­care ser­vice pro­vi­der is trai­ned to de­tect spe­cial needs and is connec­ted to the res­sources. It is a key per­son for pa­rents be­cause they can re­fer a child to a spe­cia­list", said the co­or­di­na­tor.

"In or­der to pre­pare a kid to school, it is im­por­tant that they at­tend a day­care who has a go­vern­ment li­cense, ei­ther a CPE, pri­vate and sub­si­di­zed day­care cen­ter or home day­care ser­vice su­per­vise by a co­or­di­na­ting of­fices" says Ms. Guay. It is be­cause these en­vi­ron­ments pro­vide sti­mu­la­tion for an ear­ly start in lear­ning how to read and write.

Ac­cor­ding to the co­or­di­na­tor, this al­so has an im­pact on the pa­rents, es­pe­cial­ly if they are loo­king for a job, recent im­mi­grants, in pre­ca­rious em­ploy­ment or work part-time or ir­re­gu­lar hours.

(Pho­to: Syl­vain Ga­gnon)

Saint-Laurent has 2852 spots in dif­ferent type day­care ser­vices.

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