The final report of Quebec’s commission on early childhood education released on February 21, 2017 says it is time to reposition child care as part of a system of early childhood education that integrates seamlessly with preschool and primary education and enshrine the principles of universality and free access.
The independent Commission, initiated by the Association Québécoise des centres de la petite enfance (AQCPE) in response to significant cuts in provincial funding of the Centres de la petite enfance, visited 14 cities and consulted 23 experts, 135 groups and 400 citizens. The report makes five key recommendations:
- The government should clearly state that child daycare services are above all educational services
- Early childhood educational services for 0-4 year-olds should be free, just like school
- The quality of early childhood educational services must be improved
- Early childhood educational services must reach and include children from disadvantaged communities and vulnerable situations
- Cohesion and complementarity must be enhanced among all stakeholders involved in early childhood services.