November 11, 2021
Press release - Spotlight on Prevention and Creating Caring Communities
6th Annual Early Childhood Week
Spotlight on Prevention and Creating Caring Communities, Aligned Directly with the Recommendations of the Laurent Commission
Montreal, November 11, 2021 – The 6th annual Early Childhood Week will take place from November 15 to 21, with a focus on the themes of prevention and creating caring communities. All told, the event will feature a lineup of close to 300 activities across the province. As the driving force behind Early Childhood Week, the Collectif petite enfance is committed to taking the lead on matters related to the well-being of young children in Quebec. As such, the organization plans to keep a close eye on the status of the each of the actions outlined in the Laurent Commission’s report, especially as they pertain to prevention, as this is one of the keys to protecting our most vulnerable babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Creating caring communities for our youngest children
Engaging people at every level of society and emphasizing the importance of early intervention has been central to the mission of the Collectif petite enfance since day one. Taking action from pregnancy onward is vital to initiating early screening, identifying socioeconomic conditions that impact early childhood development and implementing various efforts to support parents in their role as their children’s first teachers. But we all have to work together to build the caring communities young children need. Early Childhood Week is a central hub for partners, allies and elected officials to share their knowledge and first-hand experience and to use these insights to forge the foundations for these communities moving forward.
“It’s more critical than ever for us all to team up and leverage the many strengths we have as a society in terms of prevention so we can create an environment where young children and their families can thrive, especially those conditions that let us knock down silos and better connect with vulnerable families during these formative years, from conception to age 5. Early Childhood Week is a chance to check in on how our littlest citizens are faring. It also affords us an opportunity to raise public awareness about the importance of taking collective action to support them. Plus, it lets us celebrate what early childhood and perinatal stakeholders have achieved and stress how crucial their involvement is. Through Early Childhood Week, we can encourage and empower people to join forces to make early childhood development a true priority.”
Elise Bonneville, Director, Collectif petite enfance
Early Childhood Week is an opportunity to engage in a dialogue, promote awareness about this critical stage of development and inspire decision-makers and the public at large to seek out concrete ways to show their support. ECW partners across the province will be hosting workshops, presentations and other activities, alongside an array of regional and province-wide initiatives, including:
November 15: Webinar: “Le bien-être des tout-petits du Québec : Où en sommes-nous? Regards croisés sur des rapports phares,” a discussion between Camil Bouchard, psychologist and author of the report Un Québec fou de ses enfants (1991), and André Lebon, former Vice-President, Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection, and co-author of the report Bringing About a Caring Society for Our Children and Our Youth (2021)
November 16: Update to the 2017 Portrait “Comment se portent les tout-petits québécois?” presented by the Early Childhood Observatory
November 16: Webinar: “Changer les règles du jeu : passer à l’action et offrir la ville aux tout-petits” presented by Espace MUNI with the collaboration of the Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal
November 16: Virtual launch of the book “Mes droits et moi” presented by the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission
November 18: Report by the Université de Montréal: Attention! Enfants en mouvement AEM, presented by Plateau Lanaudois (regional roundtable)
November 18: Webinar on Le Project Alex an initiative exploring education by and through nature, presented by the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance
November 19: Virtual event: “Comment les parents d’expression anglaise vivent-ils les services au Québec?” presented by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN)
Ambassadors and champions of early childhood development
- Martine Desjardins, General Manager, Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec
- Gabrielle Fontaine, Actor
- Pierre Fortin, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Université du Québec à Montréal
- Catherine Haeck, Professor of Economics, Université du Québec à Montréal; Academic Director, CIQSS-UQAM-INRS Laboratory; Co-Director, Observatory for Children’s Education and Health, CHU Sainte-Justine
- Michel Leblanc, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
- André Lebon, former Vice-President, Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection
About the Collectif petite enfance
The Collectif petite enfance is made up of 24 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.
LinkedIn: @Collectif petite enfance
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