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17 November 2016

Early Childhood Week (Grande semaine des tout-petits)

Let's give Québec's little ones the big place that they deserve

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 16, 2017 - Across Québec, nearly 550 000 toddlers are busy taking their first steps and speaking their first words. We all want them to grow up into well-rounded and engaged citizens. The Grande semaine des tout-petits (GSTP, or Early Childhood Week), scheduled to take place from November 19 to 25, will give 20 partners and ten ambassadors from various walks of life the opportunity to shine a spotlight on children aged 0 to 5 and thereby make them a true social priority.

"We don't always hear our little ones … But seeing how our earliest childhood experiences follow us around for the rest of our lives, it is crucial that we give these young children a voice. I may not have children of my own, but I firmly believe that we all have a role to play in the lives of the little ones around us-it makes no difference whether or not you are a parent. This week-long event is an opportunity to make our children the focus of our discussions so that they all stand the same chances of success. No matter who these little ones are or where they come from, let's give them all the big place that they deserve," states Annie-Soleil Proteau, GSTP facilitator and spokeswoman.

Just 7% of the population, 100% of our future

The situation of young children in Québec is generally favourable.  Most children aged 0 to 5 are doing fine and live in environments conducive to their development-thanks to the range of measures and services that have been implemented over the years. Nevertheless, many of them still live in difficult circumstances. As such, the GSTP offers a perfect opportunity for getting out the message and mobilizing all members of society about early childhood issues, including community groups, elected officials, and employers.

"The early childhood years are anything but insignificant for society. In terms of development, this stage in life represents an extraordinary window of opportunity. Getting a good start in life helps to develop adults that are in better health, more confident, and also more socially engaged citizens. It reduces the risk of developing a number of problems as an adult. It is therefore crucial that we make a collective effort to implement measures that will enable our little ones to develop their full potential," points out Jean-Pierre Hotte, Co-chairman of the Grande semaine des tout-petits and Chairman of the Board of Avenir d'enfants.

All in the name of our little ones: mobilizing actors from all walks of life

For the second edition of the GSTP, we can count on the support of ambassadors from various fields: Marie-Ève Brunet, generator of social change; Nathalie Bondil, Director, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes and Chairman of Carrefour action municipale et famille; Martine Desjardins, commission member, Commission sur l'éducation à la petite enfance and columnist; Vincent Graton, actor and columnist; Marie Grégoire, columnist and editor; Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal; Jean-François Parenteau, Mayor of Verdun, Montréal; and Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief, Québec/Labrador.

Diversified activities program focused on children aged 0 to 5

The Grande semaine des tout-petits, above all else, relies on a rich and diversified activities program, ranging from social mobilization initiatives to data releases. Overall, nearly 400 initiatives will be rolled out across Québec, including:

  • Distribution of A letter from grown-ups to our little ones, signed by 52 public figures and organizations. All Quebecers are encouraged to sign the letter. The English version can be accessed here:
  • Launch - on November 21 - of the Observatoire des tout-petits' second annual preschoolers profile How are they doing?, which looks at young children's situation at birth, their physical and mental health, and their development
  • Citizens' marches in collaboration with Carrefour action municipale et famille in several municipalities
  • Dissemination of a video featuring three business leaders (heading the companies GIRO, GSOFT and SOPREMA) on the subject of family-work balance measures in business environments
  • Activities organized by partners involved in early childhood matters, including in public libraries and in several Aboriginal communities
  • Launch - on November 24 - of Naître et grandir's latest public awareness campaign to highlight the importance of family and friends for children's positive development

To consult the full program lineup of the Grande semaine des tout-petits, please visit

About the Grande semaine des tout-petits

Scheduled between November 19 and 25, the Grande semaine des tout-petits is an opportunity to encourage discussion and dialogue about young children's development, showcase local and regional initiatives that are beneficial to young children's development, and mobilize all members of society. Many events and activities are scheduled throughout Québec all week.

Membres du comité de partenaires de la Grande semaine des tout-petits:
  • Association des haltes-garderies communautaires du Québec,
  • Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance,
  • Avenir d'enfants,
  • Carrefour action municipale et famille,
  • Community Health and Social Services Network,
  • Conseil québécois des services éducatifs à la petite enfance,
  • Commission de la santé et des services sociaux des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador,
  • Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon (Observatoire des tout-petits, Naître et grandir),
  • Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille,
  • Journées de la persévérance scolaire,
  • Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur,
  • Ministère de la Famille,
  • Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux,
  • Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec,
  • Réseau des Centres de ressources périnatales du Québec
  • Réseau pour un Québec Famille.
Its key allies:
  • Association des bibliothèques publiques du Québec,
  • Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain,
  • Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse,
  • Conseil du patronat du Québec,
  • FADOQ,
  • Fondation du Dr Julien,
  • Groupe d'action en persévérance et réussite scolaires,
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

To find out more, please visit

SOURCE : La Grande semaine des tout-petits

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