October 23, 2008 - Toronto
Pauline Marois, leader of the PQ Honoured as a Champion for Child Care
Toronto – Pauline Marois, leader of the PQ was honoured last night by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care for her decade of commitment to child care. Madame Marois received the inaugural award for ‘Excellence in Advocacy’ at Ryerson University.
Marois passionately stated that, “developing universal child care, was a major step forward for Quebec society as a whole, for parents as well as for children”.
She said that as a result of her government’s commitment, “the population of Quebec has come to see day care facilities on an equal footing with issues such as health, education, road infrastructure and the environment- indispensible.”
She commented that at the time of implementation the “Quebec provincial government was dealing with political, financial and administrative problems, introducing child care was no small task, but we are now equipped with a universal network across Québec, for that I am extremely proud. “
Ontario's politcians like to use fiscal constraint as an excuse not to do the same" said Jenny Robinson, Executive Director of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. “After 10 years, we can say that universal child care has been good for the Quebec economy. It’s also been a success as child poverty has dropped by 50%, and childrens’ test scores are up” added Robinson. Madame Marois explained that the implementation of universal child care happened in conjunction with other significant programs that support parents, "enhanced maternal and parental leave was needed, as was the introduction of full-time kindergarten classes. These were important pieces of the plan.”
Madame Marois was in Toronto to receive the inaugural ‘Excellence in Advocacy’ Award from the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. The evening
marked the eighth annual Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. The day recognizes the incredible contribution and commitment of hard working but undervalued child care staff.