Educational Childcare Act

Overview

The Educational Childcare Act (CQLR c S-4.1.1) protects any person who has disclosed a wrongdoing to the Minister of Education. The Act also protects against reprisals for making a disclosure, seeking advice or cooperating with the Minister.

What kind of disclosure is protected?

The Act protects any person who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has disclosed information to the Minister of Education regarding a wrongdoing committed or about to be committed s. 101.21.

Under the Act, a wrongdoing s. 101.21refers to a wrongdoing within the meaning of s.4 of the Act to Facilitate the Disclosure of Wrongdoings relating to Public Bodies and includes in particular, acts committed or about to be committed by:

  • a staff member, director or shareholder of a day care permit holder delivering childcare.
  • a home childcare coordinating office, in the exercise of his or her functions
  • any person, partnership, group or other entity in the preparation or performance of a contract, including a grant of financial assistance entered into with a day care permit holder

Any person who is considering the possibility of making a disclosure may request advice from the Minister of Education s.101.23

Who is eligible for protection?

The Act protects any person who has made a disclosure or cooperated in an investigation regarding a disclosure s.101.22.

The identity of a person making a disclosure shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the need to conduct a proper investigation s.101.26.

How are whistleblowers protected?

The Act protects any person who has made a protected disclosure, sought advice about making a disclosure, or cooperated in an investigation regarding a disclosure against any kind of reprisal s. 101.31.

Under the Act, a reprisal s. 101.32 includes:

  • a demotion, suspension, dismissal or transfer;
  • any measure, other than the ones mentioned above, that adversely affects the person's employment or working conditions; or
  • if the person is a child attending a childcare centre, depriving the person of any right or subjecting the person to differential treatment or suspending or expelling the person's child.

Any person who believes a reprisal has been taken against them may file a complaint with the Minister in order to conduct an investigation s. 101.33.

The Act does not authorize the disclosure of information relating to information protected by solicitor-client privilege s. 101.22

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

The disclosure must be made in the prescribed form to the Minister of Education.

For additional information on how to disclose a wrongdoing, please visit http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/en/the-ministere/access-to-information/contracts-and-financial-commitments/complaints-and-disclosures/