03/18/2013 06:01 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Parti Québécois will work with daycare providers, Marois says

Premier Pauline Marois said today that her party would work with the province’s daycare providers, who are facing $56 million in budget cuts.

“I will defend, like I always have, daycare services in Quebec,” Marois said.

“There’s a scheduled meeting between the minister and representatives of the organizations responsible for daycare services, and I’m certain we will find a path that will allow us to respect the budget and to help them [...] offer spots in daycares for children.”

Family Minister Nicole Léger said last Thursday that the government will slash $37.9 million from the government-subsidized non-profit daycare system (CPE) budget effective July 1.

This represents 3.5 per cent of the entire budget allocated to the non-profit daycare system.

The other $18.3 million will be taken out of the subsidies given to private daycares.

The cuts come despite the 3.2 per cent increase promised to the family ministry in the provincial budget tabled last fall.

Léger said the ministry was given the increase in order to pay for the 28,000 daycare spots promised by Marois during the Parti Québécois’s election campaign last fall.

"We have to remember that the family ministry also has to comply with budgetary efforts – all ministries have to – to counter the $1.6 billion deficit left behind by the previous Liberal government," said Léger.