Finding a place, not an easy task

Finding a place for a child in a childcare center, a private daycare center or a home childcare service is not an easy task. It takes time, patience and often a lot of effort to successfully find a place to accommodate a new toddler. The situation is frustrating for parents, but also for workers working in the network.
M era of a child of nine months, Mylene Tremblay began to seek a place in childcare there is a year and a half. However, his quest continued until mid-December.

“I signed up for the one-stop shop list for 0-5 year-olds to get a place around the middle of 2018. And, last June, I started to take steps more seriously. I return to work in January and my boyfriend will then take a few weeks with our child. We found something in the private sector just before the Christmas break, but before that we were really in front of the unknown, ”reveals Mrs. Tremblay.

The young mother claims to have spent dozens of hours in the past months researching. “I looked a lot on Facebook and child care sites. In addition, I made at least 120 calls. And I couldn’t find anything, ”she laments.

Mylène Tremblay says that her long research has led her to experience “a lot of stress. We want a safe place where our child can thrive and we face a serious lack of places. We end up thinking that we will have to throw ourselves at the first opportunity that presents itself. On the contrary, it seems to me that we should be able to shop ”.

A selection

In recent months, Ms. Tremblay has nevertheless had the opportunity to visit a small number of home childcare services. Two of her visits, however, puzzled her.

“In one of the two places, there were four cats that were not declawed and the lady said that the children only had to not touch them so as not to be scratched. Then, at another daycare, the woman had planned 18 parent visits to find the right family and the young person who would be suitable for her. It didn’t give everyone a lot of chances, ”she explains.

And that’s not all, because she found that the daycare providers ask specific questions to parents looking for a place for a child. “They ask us for example if he eats by himself or if he walks. They are selective ”, she underlines, while admitting that several of them are nevertheless disappointed to constantly refuse requests.

In addition, Mylène Tremblay maintains that it is even more difficult for children born in the spring to join the network. “I was told that I was not at the right time. My son is from March. It was a problem, considering that everything is based on the school system. It was in September that he should have started at daycare, but it was not the right time for us. ”

Finally, Ms. Tremblay believes that the Quebec government badly planned the follow-up when it tightened the rules to which unsubsidized family childcare services are subject in recent months. Among other things, their owners are now required to have public liability insurance and a clean record for intervention with young children. “There have been closings because of this. It is a pity that government officials did not plan the coup. ”

“I sympathize”

Lucie Therriault, Director General of the Eastern Townships Regrouping (RCPECE), obviously knows the reality on the ground. She admits that the situation is difficult for young parents at the moment.

“We have parents who call us to help them. We try hard to give them a hand, but it’s practically impossible because there are no more places available at the moment. I sympathize with them ”, assures the great patron of RCPECE, an organization whose primary mission is to support childcare services in the region.

Lucie Therriault reminds, however, that many new UEY projects will soon be authorized by the provincial government. If this news is encouraging, the Director General of RCPECE takes care to stress that family services should not be neglected.

“In small, more remote villages, it is sometimes the best solution to offer quality services to families. And, even in town, some people prefer this formula. It is not necessarily easy for parents to access the type of service that appeals to them the most at the moment. It would be a good thing to remedy this problem in the months and years to come, ”she pleads.

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