Affordable Access To French-Language Child Care



    McGuinty Government Adds 266 Spaces In French-Language Schools

    ORLEANS, ON, Sept. 11 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Francophone families now have improved access to quality, affordable
child care with the creation of 266 new French-language spaces.
    These new spaces are part of the government's plan to help increase
access to affordable, licensed child care. Eligibility for financial
assistance (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/click.cgi?id=54003d377def057) is
based on net family income.
    Expanding the number of child care spaces will help attract students to
French-language schools and promote the vitality of Ontario's vibrant
Francophone communities. Parents are more likely to send their child to a
French-language school if they have already developed a good relationship with
the school through the child care centre.
    The creation of these new spaces stems from a recommendation of the
Minister's Permanent Task Force on French-language Education. The task force
found that Francophone children who attend French-language child care centres
can acquire solid French-language skills that are critical to their success in
school.
    Making child care more affordable builds on the McGuinty government's
commitment to develop a poverty reduction strategy that will expand
opportunities for children and low-income families so they can reach their
full potential and contribute to a strong economy.

    QUOTES

    "Adding child care centres in French-language schools will help
Francophone children to develop language skills sooner and be more successful.
And it will make our French-language schools more responsive to the needs of
parents," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

    "We know that high quality, affordable child care increases opportunities
for the whole family," said Children and Youth Services
(http://www.gov.on.ca/children) Minister Deb Matthews
(http://www.gov.on.ca/children/english/ministry/minister/index.html).
"Increasing access to quality French language early learning will help parents
balance the demands of work and raising their kids."

    "I am delighted that Francophones will have better access to child care,
in their own language and in their own schools," said Madeleine Meilleur,
Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. "These new child care spaces are
just some of the concrete actions that demonstrate this government's
commitment to Francophones in Ontario."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Funding is being provided through the ministries of Education -
        $4 million and Children and Youth Services - $2 million.

    -   Children and Youth Services announced a $23 million-investment
        earlier this year to help 3,000 children benefit from licensed care.

    -   Ontario has created more than 22,000 new child care spaces over the
        past three years and is investing more than $869 million in child
        care in 2008-09.

    LEARN MORE

    Choose the right child care
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/click.cgi?id=24ecdcbd48f8a81)
    for your child and find licensed child care
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/click.cgi?id=ca38735d04a2ced)
    near you.

    What are the eligibility requirements for financial assistance
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/click.cgi?id=54003d377def057).

    Learn more about French-language education
    (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/amenagement) in Ontario.

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                                                   ontario.ca/education-news
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                FRENCH-LANGUAGE EDUCATION - FACTS AND FIGURES
    

    The McGuinty government has made significant investments in
French-language education over the past 5 years. Since 2002-03, total funding
for French-language boards has increased by $362 million. In 2008-09,
French-language boards are projected to receive more than $1.1 billion in
funding, an increase of 4% over last year.
    These investments are just part of the McGuinty government's overall
strategy to provide Francophone students with the support they need to
succeed. Other initiatives include:

    
    -   Launching the Politique d'aménagement linguistique. This policy aims
        to improve retention in French-language schools, enhance students'
        oral communications skills and build capacity among school staff
        working in a linguistic minority setting.
    -   Creating the Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task
        Force to help ensure that francophones play a greater role in the
        overall development of a high quality education system in Ontario.
    -   Breaking down barriers between French-language schools, postsecondary
        education and training.
    -   Providing $70 million in cumulative enhancements in the Language
        Grant for French-language boards, including $10 million to hire
        additional teachers and increase unique course offerings in French-
        language secondary schools.
    -   Investing in school construction projects worth $220 million over
        four years to address the accommodation needs of French-language
        boards.
    -   Delivering on the commitment to create an independent TFO network
        that will meet the specific cultural and educational needs of the
        Francophone community.
    -   Expanding access to postsecondary education for French-language
        students by supporting the construction of two college campuses in
        Timmins.
    -   Investing $20 million for a new Centre of Excellence for Francophone
        and Bilingual Postsecondary Education at Glendon College.
    -   Investing $6.75 million for a new research and training centre in the
        construction trades at La Cité Collégiale in Orleans.
    -   Setting aside $1 million in initial funding to improve awareness of
        French-language education in Ontario.

    And student achievement continues to improve.

    -   In 2007-08 provincewide assessments:
           -  Grade 6 French-language students are already exceeding the
              provincial standard in all assessment areas
           -  French-language students with special needs improved in all
              subjects by between 13 and 28 percentage points since 2002-03.

    -   In 2007-08, the percentage of first-time eligible French-language
        students who passed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
        (OSSLT) remains at a record high of 83 per cent - 5 percentage points
        higher than five years ago.

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                                                   ontario.ca/education-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY 1-800-263-2892

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