Minister Mathieu Lacombe believes that CPEs have “nothing to envy to 4-year-old kindergarten classes”, yet a flagship commitment of the Legault government.

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A very first study comparing the two formulas concludes that the quality of educational services in 4-year-old kindergarten is not higher than in CPEs. Lecturer and doctoral student at UQAM, Maude Roy-Vallières will present her research this week at the Acfas congress.

Results that do not surprise the Minister of the Family. I’m very, very proud of that, but we knew very well that the level of quality in the CPEs was very high and that we had nothing to envy to the 4-year-old kindergarten classes, which are complementary, to what we we offer,” he said on Monday.

A speech that contrasts with that of its leader. At the start of his mandate, when he defended the increase in the cost of 4-year-old kindergarten classes, François Legault predicted that preschool would offer better service than CPEs and daycare centres. “You have the choice between a daycare center with two-thirds of employees who are daycare technicians, or a 4-year-old kindergarten, teachers with the entire team of primary school specialists,” he said in 2019.

Mathieu Lacombe nevertheless points out that the preschool classes have made it possible to reach children who previously did not attend any childcare service. If three-quarters of toddlers admitted this year to 4-year-old kindergarten come from the early childhood network, 26% were “outside the networks, recently revealed his colleague from Education Jean-François Roberge.

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“Sometimes there is a transfer and there, we see it, the services are of good quality in both cases”, insisted Monday the Minister of the Family, on the sidelines of an announcement to offer more places in daycare centers with atypical hours.

As part of a pilot project, Quebec will authorize childcare services that will open in the evening, at night and on weekends to be more flexible on educator-child ratios. Moreover, 4% bonuses will be offered to employees who agree to work during these atypical hours.

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