MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Early Childhood Week officially begins on November 17 and continues for a full week, ending November 23. It represents a chance for partners, ambassadors and early childhood organizations to come together and call on the public to take concrete action so that all 530,000 children under 6 in Quebec have an equal chance, from birth onward, to realize their full potential.
People will be encouraged to get involved. They can do this by wearing the "blankie square", made of fabric resembling a baby blanket. It sends the message that early childhood is a real priority for our society. In addition, supporters will be asked to send a letter to their municipal and provincial elected officials based on a template posted to the allinforallkids.com website.
Every child deserves an equal chance to realize their potential
Most of our preschoolers are, thankfully, doing just fine. However, some children face formidable barriers to success. More than one in four children started school this year vulnerable in at least one sphere of development – and this number climbs to one in three for children from underprivileged areas. Even now, there are too many families who go through pregnancy and parenthood without outside support. Too many parents who struggle to balance work and family. And too many children who lack access to high-quality early childhood education and appropriate housing, never mind child-friendly health and social services and public play areas. Quebec needs to come together to ensure that all of our children have an equal chance, from birth onward, to get ahead.
"The youngest children in Quebec right now represent our entire future," said Isabelle Lizée, Co-Chair of Early Childhood Week and Executive Director of the Carrefour action municipale et famille. "We know that the environment children are raised in has a fundamental impact on their health, their development, their academic performance and the course of their whole life. Parents play a critical role in this, but they are by no means alone. Together, we – as elected officials, employers and citizens – have the power to act and give every child the best start in life."
Ambassadors for early childhood
Early childhood development is an issue that concerns every member of society. The fourth annual Early Childhood Week is fortunate to have the support of people from many different walks of life who have agreed to act as ambassadors. This year's team is:
"Early Childhood Week is the perfect opportunity to pause and turn our thoughts to the 530,000 children under 6 in Quebec," said Lucie Champagne, Co-Chair of Early Childhood Week and Strategic Advisor for the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance. "It's a chance to focus on their experience and remind ourselves what they need to realize their potential. Together, let's do our utmost to ensure that every child has an equal chance to grow into a well-rounded adult."
Hundreds of outreach events across Quebec
All sorts of activities will take place across the province during Early Childhood Week with the goal of impressing upon policy-makers and the public at large the key role today's young children will play in the future of our society. These include:
- Events organized by early childhood development partners, such as in public libraries and several First Nations communities.
- A number of municipalities will receive their "Municipalité amie des enfants" accreditation, and walks will be held in various communities in conjunction with the Carrefour action municipale et famille.
- The Observatoire des tout-petits is releasing its profile of the environments in which Quebec children are growing up ("Dans quels environnements grandissent les tout-petits québécois?")
- On November 20 – Universal Children's Day – the Carrefour action municipale et famille and UNICEF Canada will celebrate two important milestones: the 10-year anniversary of Quebec's accreditation with the international Child Friendly Cities Initiative and the 30‑year anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To mark the occasion, numerous stakeholders representing municipalities, community groups and non-profit organizations will gather at Montreal's Centre Pierre-Charbonneau.
About Early Childhood Week
Running from November 17 to 23, 2019, Early Childhood Week is an opportunity to share information and open up a dialogue about early childhood development, to shine the spotlight on local and regional initiatives designed to support young children, and to reach out to the entire population. A number of activities and events will take place across the province over the course of the week.
The Early Childhood Week Partner Committee consists of the Association d'éducation préscolaire du Québec, the Association des bibliothèques publiques du Québec, the Association des haltes-garderies communautaires du Québec, the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance, Avenir d'enfants, the Carrefour action municipale et famille, the Community Health and Social Services Network, the Conseil québécois des services éducatifs à la petite enfance, the Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal, the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, the Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille, First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, the Fondation OLO, the Instance de concertation régionale en petite enfance, the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation (Observatoire des tout-petits, Naître et grandir), the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur, the Ministère de la Famille, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Ordre des optométristes du Québec, the Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec, the Regroupement pour la Valorisation de la Paternité, the Réseau des Centres de ressources périnatales du Québec, the Réseau pour un Québec Famille, the Réseau québécois pour la réussite éducative and the Table de concertation nationale en promotion et en prévention.
About All In For All Kids
All In For All Kids champions early childhood development with the support of a number of partners committed to the shared goal of making early childhood a priority in Quebec.
The toddlers of today are the adults of tomorrow. Should that not qualify them for special attention from our society? It is crucial that we take collective action, from conception onward, to provide each child with the best possible conditions to thrive at every stage of development. If we start early, we can help them realize their full potential and become well-rounded adults and contributing members of society. By making sure all young children have the same chance to succeed, we will build a more just, more dynamic, more enlightened and more prosperous society.
SOURCE Early Childhood Week
For further information: Mélodie Nobile, Morin Relations Publiques, [email protected], Office: 514-289-8688 ext. 239, Mobile: 438-889-6084; Claudia Saindon-Courtois, Morin Relations Publiques, [email protected], Office: 514-289-8688 ext. 244, Mobile: 438-884-7702; Josée Massicotte, Communications GSTP, [email protected], Office: 514-388-0169, Mobile: 514-915-0511