Montreal

Daycare groups to file 40,000-strong petition opposing CAQ's pre-K plan

Representatives from the province's daycares will file a petition in Quebec City today, on the eve of the provincial budget, with over 40,000 names opposing the Legault government's pre-kindergarten plan.

Organizations say parents don't want the Legault government's proposed program

Two organizations representing daycare centres in Quebec want the government to invest more money in public child care rather than inject money into a plan to make pre-K classes available to four-year-olds. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Representatives from the province's daycares will file a petition in Quebec City today, on the eve of the provincial budget, with over 40,000 names opposing the Legault government's pre-kindergarten plan.

They're also demanding a public consultation into the proposal.

"40,000 names speaks volumes," said Valérie Grenon, president of the daycare workers' union (FIPEQ-CSQ).

"We are asking to stop the deployment of pre-kindergarten for all because it doesn't meet a need," she said. "Parents have made this clear, both in the petition or in conversation. It is clear that François Legault hasn't listened to the parents."

The CAQ government has promised to offer a public school program for four-year-olds across the province within five years, starting with 250 more classrooms by next fall.

Officials from FIPEQ-CSQ and the Quebec council of early childhood education services (CQSEPE), in concert with the province's opposition parties, have travelled across Quebec building support for the petition, which launched in December.

The director of CQSEPE, Francine Lessard, said that Quebec must listen to the province's parents.

"We are asking the government to be bold enough to hear the families and ask them the question: Do they really want pre-kindergarten and if so, why? "

Both organizations want the government to invest more money in public child care rather than inject money into a plan to make pre-K classes available to four-year-olds.

As it stands, pre-K classes are available only in schools in areas that qualify as low-income.

If passed, Bill 5 would also require the service to be offered by "all school boards according to the general framework provided for in the Education Act."

With files from Radio-Canada

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