EARLY CHILDHOOD:

THE QUALITY OF
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
IN QUEBEC

Since children’s brains develop very rapidly when they are very young, they are much more receptive to stimulation. Quality educational services in early childhood can complement the stimulation children receive at home from their family.

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HIGHLIGHTS

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE SERVICES IN QUEBEC?

Surveys conducted in Quebec in recent years have revealed issues with respect to the quality of all types of educational childcare and 4-year-old kindergarten in the province. A fairly significant proportion of young children are attending facilities of poor or very poor quality.

HOW CAN QUALITY BE MEASURED ?

Several different evaluation scales have been developed to measure the quality of educational services. Although the criteria used vary from one scale to another,
certain aspects are considered to be especially critical to children’s
development and well-being.

EDUCATIONAL DAYCARE CENTRES AND PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS IN QUEBEC

In 2014, 56.9% of all children under 5 were enrolled in a daycare service recognized by the Ministère de la Famille. Since 2013, full-day kindergarten classes for 4-year-olds have been set up in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to improve children’s school-readiness, prevent dropping out later on, and to fight poverty.

WHY DO WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE SERVICES?

The first few years of a child’s life are particularly critical for their development. Since educational daycare centres and preschool programs take advantage of this window of opportunity, they can have a positive impact on children’s overall health and development. Some effects can continue right through adulthood. They must be of good quality, however, if they are going to make a positive contribution to children’s development.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL CHILDCARE SERVICES?

The scientific literature has shown that certain conditions can be implemented to enable daycares and preschools to offer better quality services. The needs of young children are the same in any environment.

Staff training

Working conditions of educational personnel

Structure of educational service

Conditions for setting up educational services

POLICIES AND FRAMEWORKS TO PROMOTE QUALITY

The importance of quality in educational services has been recognized by several Quebec policies and frameworks.

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