More cuts alarm daycares

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Two children from the Mansfield CPE hold a sign drawing
attention to the impact of the cuts.

Allyson Beauregard, Laurent Robillard-Cardinal &
Gaetan Forgues

MRC PONTIAC – Figuring out how to deal with the projected $120


Two children from the Mansfield CPE hold a sign drawing
attention to the impact of the cuts.

Allyson Beauregard, Laurent Robillard-Cardinal &
Gaetan Forgues

MRC PONTIAC – Figuring out how to deal with the projected $120
million in proposed cuts across the CPE network is causing uncertainty and anxiety in the Pontiac’s CPE 1-2-3 network which includes three establishments in Mansfield, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, and Campbell’s Bay. The CPE 1-2-3 currently employs 46 people.
Since 2006, more than $440 million has been slashed across the CPE network. The latest proposed cuts will take effect April 1.
Carole St-Arnaud, CPE 1-2-3 Director General estimates that if the government follows through with the $120 million in cuts, it could boil down to a loss of between $85,000 to $90,000 in budget for the Pontiac, which she says will make the daily operation of the Pontiac’s CPEs even harder.
“Although no salary increases have been awarded since 2014-2015, we have some employees who changed salary levels during the year, so with these inevitable salary increases, the never ending increases in the price of food, and three aging buildings that require expensive maintenance and repairs, the new cuts will have a large impact on our operations,” she explained.
On the ground, previous cuts have directly affected the daily operation of the CPE 1-2-3 network. “When the $60,000 in cuts for the CPE 1-2-3 network was applied for the 2015-2016 year, our budgets had to be revised and reduced.
“Among other things, no training was offered to our educators and administrative staff and the kitchen personnel had to make a tremendous effort to serve balanced meals that met Ministry requirements as cheaply as possible. I’m not sure where we can find room to cut even more, now!” said St-Arnaud.
Mario and Jennifer, parents of five children, all of whom have gone to Pontiac CPEs, are also worried. “The government is cutting money from the most important areas of our society. The future of our children is in question. Our two oldest children were once part of the CPE 1-2-3 and sadly, we find our youngest three are not privileged to have the same services and activities despite us paying more,” they said.