Fourth annual Early Childhood Week: Let's join together to ensure that every child in Quebec has an equal chance to succeed
MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2019 - 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:
- Doreen Assaad, Mayor of Brossard and Chair of the Carrefour action municipale et famille
- Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Simon Boucher, Mayor of Sainte-Clotilde-de-Horton and representative in charge of youth affairs for MRC Arthabaska
- Kim Boutin, Canadian Olympic team member and multiple Olympic medal winner in short track speed skating
- Louise Deschâtelets, actor and columnist (Courrier de Louise, Journal de Montréal)
- Martine Desjardins, columnist and Executive Director of the Mouvement national des Québécoises et Québécois
- Christiane Germain, Co-President of Group Germain Hotels
- Vincent Graton, actor
- Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
- Monique Leroux, Former President of Desjardins Group and Chair of the Board of Investissement Québec
- David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada
- Jean-François Parenteau, Mayor of Verdun
- Marie-Josée Richer, Co-Founder, PRANA
- Jean-Louis Roy, Chief Executive Officer of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
- Kim St-Pierre, Olympic athlete (hockey goaltender), Business Development Manager, BOKS Canada
- Guillaume Vermette, philanthropic clown
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.