To add more than 37,000 places to the educational childcare services network by 2025-2026, Quebec had to end – and quickly – closures in family daycares. According to the data provided by the Ministère de la Famille, the incentives put in place seem to be bearing fruit. In 2015-2016, there were 89,853 places in this category. Since then, they have continued to decline, reaching 66,338 in 2021-2022. However, in 2022-2023, this number finally rose to 69,709, up 3,371 places. The government explains this recovery because of the emergency measures that were implemented in the spring of 2021, such as an increase in compensation and new financial incentives.
Other positive data: Quebec announces that in 2022-2023 it has achieved the largest annual increase in subsidized places in its network since the creation of the Ministry of the Family in 1997. Last year, 8,478 subsidized places in facilities (in CPE and in private daycares) were added, which includes the conversion of 1,782 existing non-subsidized places which are now subsidized.
Despite these encouraging figures, the challenge remains immense for the Legault government if it wishes to achieve its objective of having created 37,000 new subsidized spaces between 2021-2022 and 2025-2026. According to data from March 31, 26,931 places were under construction. Quebec had set itself the goal of achieving a place within 24 months, rather than the 48 months that were necessary before the launch of the “big project” for families, in the fall of 2021. , the average lead time is down to 36 months. Until the network is completed, parents are still waiting for a place to become available, whether it is subsidized or not.
This shortage of places, which has still not been corrected, is frequently decried by families who have to delay a return to work, once parental leave is over. According to the most up-to-date data, as of November 30, 29,801 children registered with the one-stop access network did not have a childcare space when they needed it. In addition to this number, 38,615 children born, but who did not need a place at the time the data was collected, were also registered on the waiting list. In addition, 27,708 pregnant women were pre-registered for a child care space. Remember that Quebec recently changed the way it calculates this waiting list. On average, 55,000 spaces become available each year in the daycare network.