Quebec bans religious teaching in public child care | National Union of Public and General Employees

Quebec bans religious teaching in public child care

Private child care centres will not be affected but all those receiving public funding will be required to ban religious teaching as of next June.

Quebec City (22 Dec. 2010) - The Quebec government is banning religious teaching at all of its publicly-funded child care centres, prohibiting everything from group prayers to craft projects involving religious symbols.

Family Minister Yolande James has released new guidelines that take effect next June.

Religious symbols, such as a crucifix or menorah or Christmas trees, will continue to be allowed, James says. But teaching about the symbols will be considered violation.

Centres will prohibited from teaching prayers or any religious doctrine. Those that continue to do so will face sanctions, including loss of government subsidies.

"We clearly say that our (child care) services that are subsidized are not places to teach faith," says James.

An estimated 100 child care centres across the province currently have a religious focus, including those teaching the Muslim or Jewish faiths. Private child care centres will not be affected by the new rules.

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