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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Chassidim to lose control of $7-a-day home daycares

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MONTREAL — The management of its network of subsidized in-home daycares is being taken out of the hands of the chassidic community.

Radio-Canada reported that Quebec’s Ministry for the Family and Seniors will close the office that runs the network on Feb. 11 because of non-conformity with a number of regulations.

There is no accusation of misappropriation of funds.

The network, which has been in existence since 2006, consists of 122 daycares in private homes providing 487 places for preschool children at the government-subsidized rate of $7 a day.

Those spots will remain available, but the running of the network is to be the responsibility of two bureaus that manage daycares in the Côte des Neiges district.

Radio-Canada reported that the network has received close to $20 million in funding since its creation under Premier Jean Charest’s Liberal government.

Through the access to information law, the public broadcaster learned that ministry inspections found “hundreds” of administrative infractions by the network’s office, such as incomplete files, non-existent agreements with parents, the absence of an “educational project” and references on those responsible for the daycares.

The office also failed to provide the ministry with its enrolment figures, which are essential to determine the level of subsidization.

Alex Werzberger, head of the Coalition of Chassidic Organizations of Outrement, told The CJN that the “community will try to negotiate a solution with the government whereby the daycares can remain under chassidic control.

“Nothing so wrong has been done. The children are well taken care for,” he said. “The problem is really one of not keeping up with the paperwork.

“Even some non-Jewish organizations are with us. They feel we have been wronged.”

Family Minister Nicole Léger’s press attaché Bruno-Pierre Cyr did not return messages from The CJN for comment on this story.

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