MONTREAL – Demonstrators of all ages braved the snow Monday to protest budget cuts to public daycares.
Protesters attempted to form human chains around the daycares after operators said they were told the provincial government plans to reduce their budget by $120 million.
That means valuable time with parents will have to be cut, which is bad news to Pascal Martel, whose son, Hubert, is just 14 months old.
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“It’s amazing how he learns a lot while he’s here [at the daycare] and we’re surprised when he comes home that he knows some language,” he told Global News.
Marie-Claude Lemieux from the Association Québécoise des CPE (AQCPE) insisted the cuts are putting the education of Quebec’s youngest at risk.
“Those are very important moments in the day for the parents to learn about their children,” she said.
“It’s not unusual that children will do their first steps here or pronounce new words here.”
Lemieux said the budgets are already at a bare minimum; it’s going to be hard to maintain services.
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“Every CPE has to face, on average, $85,000 of cuts this year and two educators will be let go,” she said.
“It will have a direct impact on children and their families.”
Families like the Martels said they’re worried about what will happen to their children’s educations.
“I think it’s the start of a great life, to have good services at this age, so I don’t want to minimize those services,” he told Global News.
More protests are planned across the province, including one at Place du Canada on Feb. 7.