The Quebec government has unveiled a new logo for licensed daycare operators hoping the sign will help parents distinguish legally-recognized daycares from illegal ones.
The sticker logo, which was presented by Family Minister Yolande James on Sunday, will be installed on daycare windows and doors in the next few days.
To be recognized by the government, daycares have to respect the rules limiting the number of children per daycare worker and staff needs to meet qualification requirements. There are also specific rules regulating food served and education programs.
The new logo signifies that a government inspector has visited the daycare and given a stamp of approval.
The Quebec government introduced a new law to crack down on illegal daycares mushrooming across the province in Nov. 2010.
Isaac Sachs, vice-president of the Rassemblement des garderies privées du Québec (RGPQ), a group that represents private daycares in the province, said the logo is only a first step.
He says the problem will only be solved if the minister creates more daycares spots for the more than 15,000 children who can't reserve a space in Quebec's recognized daycares.
"Right now she's just injecting the antidote but you also need to feed the patients," Sachs said.
James said the government's plan to add 15,000 daycare spots is being implemented gradually.
"It's a $558 million investment so we will be calling two projects on that in the fall," James said, adding that the spots should be ready by 2015.
Quebec has 17,500 daycares that are approved by the provincial government.