1703976753 Administrative burden Building a CPE can take up to 10

Administrative burden: Building a CPE can take up to 10 years –

Stalled projects, endless deadlines and skyrocketing costs: small communities sometimes have to wait 5 to 10 years before opening the doors of a new early childhood center (CPE).

• Also read: Shortage of Educators: CPEs must regularly reject children on the same day

Since 2022, this has been the case with two municipalities in Bas-Saint-Laurent, whose main actors have had to show great perseverance and resilience to make their project a success.

Last November, more than five years after submitting its documents to the Ministry of Family Affairs, the small community of Saint-Modeste inaugurated new facilities to accommodate 26 children.

Photos taken during the inauguration of the new CPE Les Amis de la Forêt facilities in Saint-Modeste in November 2023.

The deputy of Rivière-du-Loup-Témiscouata, Amélie Dionne, the mayor of Saint-Modeste, Louis-Marie Bastille and the director of the CPE Jardins Jolis, Mary-Eve Gauvin, during the inauguration of the new facilities of the CPE Les Amis des Forests . Photo credit: MP Amélie Dionne's Facebook page

More specifically, since the project was submitted in March 2018 and the first toddlers arrived in October 2023, it took five years and seven months for the project to come to fruition.

Discussions with the ministry, allocation of daycare places, examination of the feasibility of a location permit, negotiations with the Quebec Agricultural Land Protection Commission: the journey was long and arduous.

Waiting almost 10 years

The citizens of Saint-Arsène also had to be patient in the neighboring community, as almost 10 years passed between the government allocating the places and the construction of a CPE.

In fact, in December 2013, the Parti Québécois, through its then minister Pascal Bérubé, announced 34 new places for the small community following a call for projects.

After several pitfalls, including skyrocketing costs and negotiations with three different governing parties, the new CPE finally opened its doors on November 17, 2022.

Around Trois-Pistoles

On December 8, we learned that it was the turn of the leaders of a CPE in Trois-Pistoles to make the effort to complete an expansion project.

The director of the CPE la Baleine bricoleuse, Laurie Vaillancourt, told local media that the project was in jeopardy due to the lack of flexibility of officials in the Family Ministry.

After the government approved 21 new places in August 2022, the expansion project is currently blocked, although the plans were presented in May 2023.

“The rest of us are ready, we have plans that work and we want to create places […] There the project is completely blocked because it costs too much, but it is because it is the ministry that does not adapt to the cost of living,” explains the director.

Ms Vaillancourt was due to learn more about the government's intentions with her project in January, but the official inauguration of her much-anticipated subsidized places could be several months away.

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