Childcare services: Quebec creates a project acceleration office

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Childcare services: Quebec creates a project acceleration office

Quebec announces a project to accelerate the creation of places in daycare services.

Determined to speed up the creation of places in daycare services at a time when thousands of children are on a waiting list, Quebec is setting up a project acceleration office. More than 33,300 children were on a waiting list for a place on August 31.

In October 2021, Quebec launched a major project for families which aimed to ensure a place for all children by 2024-2025. Projects have therefore been submitted to the Ministry of the Family, but the delays are sometimes long before they materialize, for various reasons. Quebec is therefore creating this office for the acceleration of projects to hasten the pace.

In an interview on Monday, the Minister of Families, Suzanne Roy, specified that the office will meet a first time this month, then every two weeks. Its decisions will be binding, the Minister stressed.

So that there are really decisions that are made more quickly, to avoid back and forth when there are difficulties, exceptions or special cases, it will really be an office that will do an enforceable follow-up. He will make decisions and things will change, launched Minister Roy.

She wants to avoid at all costs projects that exceed the two-year deadline to be carried out. This time frame often includes drawing up the plans, construction and everything else.

Currently, 700 projects are underway. Minister Roy could not specify how many of these are actually blocked since it fluctuates and depends on various factors.

She noted that since the launch of the “big site for families”, in October 2021, more than 8,000 places were created, a record for 20 years, she said. But the needs are even greater, hence the need to speed things up.

For its part, the Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centers (AQCPE) welcomed Minister Roy's initiative.

C' x27; is to go faster, to unlock [projects]. We, we had asked Mathieu Lacombe, the previous minister. So, for the minister to quickly put it in place at the start of her mandate, for us, this is very good news, exclaimed Hélène Gosselin, president of the board of directors of the ;AQCPE.

Ms. Gosselin gave examples of projects that can be delayed or blocked due to a land problem that is too big, notary work or a change of development adviser, which causes several round trips with civil servants.

She also hopes that when a solution is found for a particular project, it can serve as a model for other projects that would be struggling with a similar problem.