With March break around the corner, the Québec government would like to remind parents that it is not recommended for individuals 65 years of age or older to look after children.
Employers are encouraged to show flexibility during this period and to grant leave to parents who need to look after their children at home in order to limit the risk of spreading the virus.
The COVID-19 government guidelines and health measures may pose a challenge for many families, especially with respect to childcare, essential needs and access to mutual support networks and other services. However, there are resources to support parents in meeting these challenges.
Parents are allowed to have their children looked after at home. However, it is not recommended that children be looked after by individuals 65 years of age or older.
The basic health instructions must be followed by providers of home childcare services.
Services are also offered by community organizations. For more information, consult the directory on the Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille (FQOCF) website (available in French only).
The Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille (FQOCF) provides some practical advice for providing home childcare during the pandemic (available in French only).
For more information regarding this practical advice, consult the Guide pratique – Garde d’enfant à domicile [Practical guide – Home childcare services, available in French only].
Support for parents
Family community organizations
Family community organizations in Québec are neighbourhood organizations that have the necessary expertise to support parents and their children every step of the way, from pregnancy to adulthood.
The in-person and remote services offered by family community organizations include:
- Support for family life (e.g. pregnancy, children under age 5, children ages 5-12, teenagers)
- Parenting support
- Workshops that foster children’s development (e.g. introduction to reading and writing, motor skills workshops, language stimulation)
- Promoting educational success (e.g. homework assistance, preparation for preschool)
- Community drop-in daycare services and respite services for parents
- Mutual support networks for families (e.g. coffee hour, discussion workshops)
- Food assistance and community kitchens
- Support for striking a family-work-study balance
- Family integration services and referrals to community resources
To find the family community organization that is closest to you, consult the interactive map by the Ministère de la Famille (available in French only).
The professional counsellors at LigneParents offer free and confidential services 365 days a year (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) by phone, at 1‑800‑361‑5085.
Priorité Parents is a support service that is confidential, personalized and adapted to your needs. To contact this service, please complete the form available at https://fqocf.org/parents/priorite-parents (available in French only) or call 1‑844‑397‑2695 and leave a voicemail message.
Info-Social 811 – The 24/7 psychosocial phone consultation service
Info-Social 811 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through which you can reach a psychosocial worker quickly if you have a psychosocial problem. Info‑Social 811 service professionals give advice and can answer questions about psychosocial issues. If necessary, they can also refer you to an appropriate resource in the health and social services network or to a community resource.
Absences and benefits for parents
The Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) sets employment standards aimed at supporting certain aspects of family life. This includes standards regarding absences from work to fulfill family or parental obligations.
Consult the list of terms and conditions regarding such absences on the CNESST website .
Last update: March 1, 2021