How does your child's daycare rate? Study finds many have "poor or very poor quality" services

How does your child's daycare rate?

A study supported by the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation that helps underprivileged children suggests that nearly a quarter of the province's 300,000 young children who go to daycare find themselves in facilities with poor or very poor quality services and equipment.

"Overall, we should be concerned the network that we develop is not at the quality we expect as a society," said Sylvana Côté, co-researcher and Université de Montréal professor.

The foundation's Early Childhood Observatory compiled early childcare studies in Quebec over the past 15 years that suggest that, on average, quality is worse in private non-subsidized daycares than in CPE's - everything from meals and playgrounds to available books and games and educators.

Their study found:

- quality in private non-subsidized daycares was poor or very poor: 39%; quality was acceptable: 52%; quality was excellent: 9%

- quality in private subsidized daycares was poor or very poor: 33%; quality was acceptable: 57%; quality was excellent: 10%

- quality in CPE's was poor or very poor: 3%; quality was acceptable: 41%; quality was excellent: 56%

- quality in home daycares was poor or very poor: 21%; quality was acceptable: 60%; quality was excellent: 19%.

Côté said the quality in services can make or break a child's development and success in adulthood since they are "related to better school performance and better social development for children from low-income families."

And while more subsidies for a daycare makes a difference, Côté said there are things parents can do to make up for it.

"Be close to the care provider and work with them," said Côté in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

Côté said improving quality means more government investment,  including more training and better salary and working conditions for educators who are taking care of your children and how they'll develop into productive adults.

"Early childhood education is expensive and it's expensive because it's worth a lot," said Côté.