CPE La Passerelle Des Mousses in Knowlton will have 30 new daycare spots opening up and according to the daycare’s director, Alexandra Roy, they are expected to be made available by the end of January 2023. The new spots are a result of the provincial government’s “Grand chantier pour les familles” action plan. The action plan, which has created 305 new daycare spots across Brome-Missisquoi, is the first re-evaluation of le réseau des services de garde éducatifs à l’enfance since its creation almost 25 years ago and will provide financial support to CPE La Passerelle Des Mousses to expand their space and accommodate more families in Brome Lake.
“There has been a space issue in daycares around Quebec so the government opened up 18,000 spots I believe. We made our request and they are allowing for 30 more spots in Knowlton,” said Roy. “We have 70 children, but we can have a maximum 100 so we needed those 30 spots.”
The 30 new spots will be made possible with expansions to the building. “The government will finance the expansion, but if we make more modifications we will have to pay with our own money,” said Roy. “We will have 10 more spaces for babies and 20 others for children 18 months and up.”
The expansion will require more staff and create new jobs. “For younger babies, the ratio is five babies for one educator. For older kids it’s eight children for one educator and for four-year olds it’s 10 children maximum,” emphasized Roy. “Of course, with more spots we need more staff. The issue is that there are not a lot of people available to work in a daycare, like most places, so we need to find staff.
Hopefully it will be qualified staff, so they have their training classes and CEGEP, or at least staff we train ourselves to work in the daycare. So, it will create at least maybe four new jobs.”
With a long waiting list that keeps on building, the new spots are desperately needed.
“We have a pretty long waiting list like most of the daycares, especially now since Covid we have a lot of people moving around,” she said. “We have a lot of new families coming from Montreal to the area so we need more spots to respond to that demand. During Covid, there was not a lot of space available for families and a lot of parents could not go back to work because they didn’t have spots for their kids, so it’s really a problem right now.”
Roy added that the expansion will also help vulnerable families. “We have partnerships with the CIUSSS so this help families that have other issues.”
In terms of how the new spots will directly benefit the daycare, Roy said that they will be able to create a nice space for the children, they will be able to cover their fees, and it will benefit their partner daycare Centre de la Petite Enfance La Passerelle Des Mousses in Sutton in terms of staffing.
“In one way, it’s going to give us more money so we will be able to hire extra support on the floor, for example maybe a specialized educator,” explained Roy. “And because we have more spots, we have more money to buy more toys, to plan more activities with educators and the children, and to expand the yard outside.
Both Roy and the daycare educators are looking forward to the expansion and welcoming new families with open arms. “I’m really glad that we can accommodate more families because I think we are really appreciated in the community and the staff as well,” said Roy. “We will probably make some modifications inside too.
To sign up to CPE La Passerelle Des Mousses’ waiting list, visit https://www.laplace0-5.com.