Spouses and children of foreign students in Canada can obtain a work or study permit or a visitor status to accompany students during their stay.
To have all the information, look on immigration web page of University Laval.
Child care services
Child care services are available in all Québec City neighbourhoods. They are divided into four different categories—early childhood centres («Centres de petite enfance» or CPE), subsidized and private daycares, and home child care.
Certain child care spaces are partially funded by the Québec government and are available at a reduced cost of $8.25 or more a day, depending on family income. To be eligible as an international student, you must have a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), a study permit, and a Québec government scholarship (Merit Scholarship Program for International Students – PBEEE).
Holder of work permits or Québec Selection Certificate (CSQ) are eligible for these reduced cost spaces.
In private daycares and home care facilities, costs generally vary from $35 to $50 a day. However, many parents are eligible for tax credits that reduce the net cost of the service.
You can use the calculator on the Ministère des Finances website to determine the net cost of child care services and evaluate the various options available.
Finding child care services
To put your name on the waiting lists for subsidized child care services (CPEs, daycares, and some home child care facilities), visit the «La place 0-5» website. Both CPEs on the Laval campus, «La Petite Cité» and «CPE Centre Jour», use this waiting list.
Private daycares and home child care facilities (which may or may not offer subsidized child care spaces) can use the waiting lists compiled by «La place 0-5» or they may have their own waiting lists. Contact them directly to find out if they have space available or how their waiting lists work.
To find a CPE, daycare, or home child care facility in your neighbourhood, go to the following websites:
Ministère de la Famille
«Services de garde» section, «Localiser un service de garde» (on the right)
Child care services provided at school
Kindergarten and elementary school schedules rarely coincide with those of parents who study or work. In addition, school holidays sometimes fall on workdays. Most schools offer childcare services at the school before classes start in the morning, at lunchtime, and after school. Children who attend these services after school can use the time to do their homework.
Parents who send their children to school childcare services must pay fees. Contact your school or school board to find out which schools provide these services.
Primary or secondary school
Québec has public and private primary and secondary schools. To enroll your child in a private school, directly contact the school administration. To enroll your child in a public school, contact your local school board. School boards are organizations that manage the public schools. Four school boards cover the territory of Québec City.
To enroll your child, you will need to present various legal documents such as the child’s birth certificate and your study permit and CAQ.
- Commission scolaire de la Capitale
1900, rue Côté
- Commission scolaire des Découvreurs
100-945, avenue Wolfe
- Commission scolaire des Premières-Seigneuries
643, avenue du Cénacle
Collège Stanislas de Québec is distinctive in that it is subject to Quebec law based on an agreement with Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Étranger and it educates students from kindergarten to the French baccalauréat (Collegial II) according to the programs and methods of the French ministry of education. To register your child, please contact the school’s management directly.
Association des parents-étudiants de l’Université Laval (APÉTUL)
APÉTUL, an association of parents who study at Université Laval, focuses on the interests and values of parents and their children. On campus, it refers parents to specialized resources available to them and works to increase student parent visibility in order to create mutual help networks. It offers a series of activities designed to significantly facilitate parents’ life, including an annual bazaar. APÉTUL also provides a place where its members can study, breast feed, eat lunch as a family, or carry out a team project with their children. The location is designed to meet the needs of families. Lastly, the APÉTUL website is full of useful information on being a student parent and balancing studies, work, and family.
Accès-Loisirs is a non-profit organization who aim at providing free leisure activity (cultural, sports, outdoor) for low income family. For more information, visit the «inscription» section of their website (French only).
As a family living in Québec and Canada, you may be eligible for a number of tax benefits. For example, the Canadian government offers the Canada child benefit (CCB), and the Québec government provides child assistance.
Both levels of government also offer numerous family-friendly tax measures such as tax credits for childcare expenses or the cost of your children’s artistic and sports activities. Check the Revenu Québec and Canada Revenue Agency websites for more information on the various programs and how to access them.
Québec education system
The Québec education system comprises four levels: primary, secondary, college, and university.
Primary school education begins with a year of optional kindergarten (la maternelle). Five-year-olds attend full time. Kindergarten is free, as is elementary and secondary public education. Elementary school begins at age six and lasts six years, followed by secondary school, which generally lasts five years, leading to a secondary school diploma. Students who so wish can take a one or two-year vocational program to earn a diploma of vocational studies (DEP), which prepares them for the job market.
Otherwise, they may continue on to a college education, which is the first level of higher education. A diploma of collegial studies (DEC) is awarded upon the completion of these studies. Collegial studies usually last two years for those who want to pursue university studies (preuniversity training) or three years for those who want to directly enter the labor market (technical training).
University education is divided into three levels: the first (three to four years) leads to a bachelor’s degree, the second (around two years) leads to a master’s degree, and the third (three to five years) leads to a doctoral degree.
To learn more about family life in Quebec, you can read the Raising your children in Quebec Webmagazine (in French only).