Daycare: Charbonneau Minister refuses to negotiate

ministre-famille-francine-charbonneau(Quebec) The Minister of Family, Francine Charbonneau, said no to associations of centers that require the creation of a “real negotiating table” on funding reform. She is ready to “discuss” and “exchange” with them on the cuts of 120 million, but there is no question of negotiating.

“I do not negotiate, because right now we are not in a period of negotiation, we are in a trading period,” Ms. Charbonneau said during question period in the National Assembly on Wednesday. She reiterated her message before the parliamentary press: “I’m not negotiating, I am in discussion”.

Moments earlier, in the company of members Sylvain Pagé (PQ) and Françoise David (QS), the four associations CPE and subsidized private daycares have made a public appearance to ask a “real negotiating table.” Current discussions with the Ministry of Family are a “farce” and only serve to introduce the reform in preparation. “It’s a one-way discussion” Does summarizes. The eighth and final meeting between the associations and the Ministry will be held Thursday. Press the government presented the scenario in the last days.

The associations are asking the minister to back the cuts that they would reach by 320 million, not 120 million as the government says. The Director General of AQCPE Louis Senécal, said he was “conscious that there is need for modernization in terms of funding” and that “optimization” is possible. But the savings should be reinvested in the network, he said.

The associations accuse the government of wanting to “choke” the network. Its reform will cause closures of nurseries, according to them. They believe that government seeks to promote non-subsidized child care, where the number of spaces increased from 4,700 in 2008 to 54,000 today. The improvement to the tax credit for child care expenses incurred during the last years and, most recently, modulation rate by family income in the subsidized network have caused this increase, say associations. There are 91,000 seats in the CPE and 46,000 in subsidized private daycares. Child care in a family setting, subsidized too, in counting nearly 92,000.

Francine Charbonneau argued that funding for CPE and subsidized private day care is now based on a “third party performance,” child care that have the lowest costs and therefore cost less to the government. According to them, the centers that are part of the third performance “outperform administratively collectively in all they offer as a service.”

“Speak of the third performance, it can worry. At the same time, why there are CPE that work very well, coming very, very well, that have surplus, and others who have difficulty, who can not and who, at the end of month and year, wondering if they are able to survive another year? “was she asked. The Minister argued that network funding arrangements have not been revised in the last 18 years. She briefly met with leaders of the four associations before answering some questions from reporters during a three-minute scrum.

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