(Quebec) Requested for years by many elected officials, a daycare center was inaugurated Wednesday at the Quebec parliament as part of a pilot project.
The small 10-place facility will provide occasional childcare for the children of elected officials and political and administrative staff. It will be open until late in the evening during parliamentary work such as committees.
“This is a first in the history of parliament in Quebec. When I arrived in 2012 at the National Assembly, I was very surprised that elected officials and political staff did not have access to daycare. It’s the People’s House and there wasn’t a place for children! », recalled the President of the National Assembly, Nathalie Roy.
Mme Roy recalls that a record number of 58 women were elected in the last Quebec elections. “This service could help recruit more,” she thinks. The National Assembly has also already installed changing tables, opened a family room and a breastfeeding room.
The Council of Little Treasures, as the place is called, was set up in a building located just opposite the parliament. It can accommodate up to 10 children aged 10 and under, including 4 babies aged 0 to 18 months. Rates are $20 for a morning or afternoon, and $10 for an evening.
Present at the inauguration on Wednesday, solidarity chef Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was delighted with this novelty. He recalls that the former solidarity MP for Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, fought for a daycare in parliament.
“We talked about it so often. It would have changed his life if it had existed during his mandate. I saw her not only under pressure, but downright sad at not being able to spend time with her family,” explained Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who thinks he uses the service occasionally for his daughter.
In one year, the pilot project will be submitted for review. The daycare could then be made permanent.