01/20/2015 08:37 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Francine Charbonneau scraps plan 'phantom' daycare fines for parents

Quebec has decided not to fine parents who are registered for a full-time daycare spot but use it less than five days a week. 

After three days of consultations, Family Minister Francine Charbonneau said she is eliminating the controversial part of a new bill aimed at getting rid of so-called “phantom” spaces in daycares.

Bill 27 included a provision that would fine their parents $60 per day if they sign up for daily daycare, but keep their kids home on some days.

The planned fines had drawn criticism from Quebec Ombudsman RaymondeSaint-Germain, who argued penalizing parents was unfair and did not address the real problem.

Charbonneau said she will work on a new solution to make the system more flexible.

Gina Gasparrini of the Montreal Association of Public Daycares said she was happy with the decision. 

"We're very relieved they're getting off the backs of the parents because the parents are trying to manage within a system," Gasparrini said. 

Despite the change for parents, daycares who charge the full subsidy even when a child isn't there could still face fines up to $1,000.