Ped-day daycare fees to go up after Quebec cuts funding

Parents may have to pay more for in-school daycare service on pedagogical days.

Lester B. Pearson School Board says it cannot absorb the cost of the cutback

Quebec's Education Ministry is cutting the funding it gives to school boards to subsidize in-school daycare during pedagogical days. (CBC)

Parents who use school daycare services on pedagogical days may soon find themselves paying double for the service after the Quebec government slashed funding for those days in half.

The so-called "ped days" are used for training workshops and other professional development activities for teachers.

School daycare on those days used to cost about $8 a day.

However, school boards across the province are looking at how they can continue offering the service after the Education Ministry cut the funding for ped-day childcare. 

"The government has instructed us to get this from the parents," wrote Lester B. Pearson chair Suanne Stein Day in an email to CBC News.

She said that in 2014-2015, the school board received $16.39 per child per ped day; next year, the school board will receive $7.93 per student per day.

Stein Day said only 11 of the 20 scheduled ped days next year would be affected by the hike.

Schools or parents: Who pays?

Meanwhile, the head of the New Frontiers School Board, which administers schools in southwestern Quebec, will not charge more for daycare during pedagogical days.

However, David D'Aoust said many other boards may not be able to follow suit.

"As the government continues to increase its cutbacks, it will always have an effect on parents because school boards have cut to the bone as far as eliminating expenses that are not necessary, and trying to be even more efficient," said D'Aoust.

The news of the cuts will come as a surprise for many parents, said Gabrielle Neveu-Duhaime, spokeswoman for L'Association des services de garde en milieu scolaire du Québec, the association which represents school daycares.

Neveu-Duhaime said word of the new cuts came at the end of July, while staff and parents were on vacation, and it's still unclear how many boards will charge parents more for the service.

"For some schools it's going to stay around the same that's what we learned," said Neveu-Duhaime. "But for most of the schools it's going to be around $16."

A spokeswoman for the education minister said parents will receive a tax credit for the additional fees.

The Quebec English School Boards Association is advising parents to check with their individual boards before their children go back to school to find out how much they will charge for daycare during pedagogical days.


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