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“More places in early childhood education centres and kindergartens for 4-year-olds in low-income neighbourhoods”

« Plus de places en CPE et en maternelles 4 ans dans les quartiers défavorisés »

Brief presented to the parliamentary commission on Bill 5

Bill no. 5: An Act to amend the Education Act and other provisions regarding preschool education services for students 4 years of age

 

Dr. Mylène Drouin, Director, Montréal regional public health department: 

“Our latest analysis of services offered in early childhood education centres and kindergartens for 4-year-olds has revealed serious access problems in low-income neighbourhoods, especially in the east end of the island. Yet, all studies show that children in low-income areas benefit the most from early childhood education services. We’ve noted this incoherence for the past 10 years, and it is still ongoing today.”

Considerations

Montréal’s regional public health department (DRSP) would like to see action taken as early as possible, well before age 4; children in low-income areas should be prioritized, and the same quality standards should apply everywhere.

We know that good quality educational childcare services improve children’s development, especially in kids from low-income neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, children who would benefit the most from early childhood education centres often have the least access.  

The DRSP’s findings demonstrate that in many low-income neighbourhoods in Montréal, there is a definite shortage of places in early childhood education centres and kindergartens for 4-year-olds, compared to other neighbourhoods (see map and data).

Recommendations

In a brief presented to Ministers Roberge, Lacombe and Carmant, the DRSP recommends they work together to provide the following:

  • New places in early childhood education centres and kindergartens for 4-year-olds in low-income neighbourhoods
  • Free places in early childhood education centres for families living below the low income cutoff point
  • More support in childcare settings from CLSC professionals (speech therapists, psychoeducators)
  • In kindergartens for 4-year-olds, reduction of teacher-child ratios to 1 teacher for 10 children, as is the case in early childhood education centres

See also

See the brief presented to the parliamentary commission on Bill 5 (only in french).

In the media

Source

Public, Children's Health, News, Professionnel, Direction de santé publique

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Last Update : 21 June 2019