November 20, 2023

Press Release | Simultaneous flag-raising ceremonies to be held in more than 400 communities across Quebec

A stirring province-wide show of support for young children gets Early Childhood Week festivities underway

Montreal, November 20, 2023 — On today, World Children’s Day, more than 400 cities and towns across Quebec will together raise the Early Childhood Week flag in a spirit of pride and solidarity. To mark the event, which promises to become an annual tradition, Suzanne Roy, Quebec Minister of Families, attended the ceremony at the Varennes city hall, alongside Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes and President of the Union des municipalités du Québec, Doreen Assaad, Mayor of Brossard and Chair of the Board of Espace MUNI, and representatives of various early childhood organizations. Children and educators from the Centre de la petite enfance Matin Soleil were also on hand for this very special occasion.

“The timing for this flag-raising ceremony simply couldn’t be any better, with this being both World Children’s Day and the first day of Early Childhood Week. This new initiative has been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm across the province, and we are delighted to see this incredible outpouring of support for young children. That is precisely the objective of Early Childhood Week: to get a conversation going about the issues that have a direct impact on our babies, toddlers and preschoolers, to raise public awareness, to provide food for thought and to identify potential solutions that we can explore to together ensure children’s rights are fully leveraged as a means of preventing and addressing social inequalities.”

Elise Bonneville, Director, Collectif petite enfance

“Quebec is stepping up today to celebrate our children. It’s so important that we take the time to reflect as a society on how we can do even more for our little ones, who are the most precious gift we have. World Children’s Day is also a reminder that Quebec is a trailblazer when it comes to early childhood issues. Thank you to the Collectif petite enfance for leading the way. Wishing you all a happy Early Childhood Week!”

Suzanne Roy, Minister of Families, Minister Responsible for the Montérégie Region and Member for Verchères

“Early years development in our community is a commitment we take seriously. I applaud our childcare educators and volunteers for their invaluable contributions to the well-being of our children. I am also very proud of the outstanding family- and child-friendly infrastructure and activity programs we have in Varennes that give our kids the chance to thrive.”

Martin Damphousse, Mayor of Varennes and President of the Union des municipalités du Québec

“At Espace MUNI, we are proud to have administered and built on UNICEF’s Child-Friendly City recognition program here in Quebec for close to 15 years now. A child-friendly community is one that strives to ensure its environment is accessible to children and conducive to their well-being, encourages their participation within the community and endeavours to reach out to them, listen to them and actively include them in the decisions and projects that involve them.”

Doreen Assaad, Chair of the Board, Espace MUNI, and Mayor of Brossard


About the Collectif petite enfance

The Collectif petite enfance is made up of 23 partners and expert allies, together representing thousands of early childhood development advocates who are determined to make this issue a priority for Quebec. The Collectif petite enfance is committed to taking the lead on various matters central to the future and well-being of young children across the province, from the womb through to preschool years.

Social inequalities in Quebec have many tangible impacts on society as a whole, and young children in particular. The latest statistics show that one out of every four children in the province — one out of three in some communities — exhibits vulnerability in at least one sphere of development by the time they start kindergarten. These numbers are even more alarming in some specific contexts and only confirm that immediate action is needed. Young children are the adults of the future. It is essential to give them the best possible start in life and an equal chance to thrive, while taking into account each child’s unique strengths and the diverse experiences to which they are exposed.

Facebook: @Collectifpetiteenfance

Twitter: @CollectifPE

LinkedIn: @Collectif petite enfance

#EarlyChildhoodWeek #MakeEarlyChildhoodAPriority


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For more information:

Josée Massicotte

Office 514-388-0169 / Mobile 514-915-0511 / [email protected]

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