In 2002, Équiterre launched a program to promote organic daycare centers and to make it easier for them to find organic foods supplies. It is, at the same time, a good opportunity to raise awareness in both children and parents for agriculture, health and environment. Since then, the program has also been modified to include schools and hospitals. If, at the beginning, the program included 4 farms and 5 childcare centers, today it is about 40 childcare centers that are associated with a local organic farm in 8 regions of Quebec. It means that over 2,000 children eat certified organic food every day in their daycare center!
Équiterre is open to supporting new projects.
- Speak of your project to others in the childcare center.
- Create an “Organic” committee.
- Evaluate your needs and resources.
- Choose which type of food supply you would like to use.
- Find your organic farm.
- Make a deal with the farm.
- Make sure to follow-up with the farm owners: communicate!
- Create an educational program.
- At the end of the season, write an assessment report.
From the document Pourquoi et comment devenir une garderie Bio (Why and how to become an organic daycare, in French only).
Child Care Services in the Workplace
In 1980, the National Bank was the first private institution to offer a workplace daycare in Quebec. The services of three workplace daycares (1980, 1994, and 2000) regrouped in a childcare center are offered to employees working in the Montreal headquarters and the surrounding branches of the company. A third of the 175 places are destined to children aged from 3 to 18 months and it is possible to use part-time services. The National Bank covers all of the related fees (premises, maintenance, repair, phone and photocopies) while the government pays for the salary of the 40 employees. In fact, the daycare center budget is over 2 million dollars! Bombardier Aeronautics, Merck Frost, Ericsson and Canadian National also offer a similar service to their employees.
Source: MFA Quebec
Implementing such types of daycare requires long term planning and lot of patience given that approximately 18 to 24 months are necessary to realise such a project. A study led by the federal governmental clearly states the advantages (increased motivation and happiness of employees, punctuality, quick intervention in case of illness, etc.) and the disadvantages (harder to quit your job, greater number of work hours imposed, etc.) of such a service.
Integrating handicapped children
It is not always easy for parents of handicapped children to find a daycare center that can or accepts to take care of their child with all the support that is required. The most recent statistics come from a 1998-1999 survey stating that, at the time, only 1,517 handicapped children were included into different childcare centers, representing less than 1.38% of all children using daycare services that year.