November 9, 2022
7th Annual Early Childhood Week - This year’s theme: Upholding the rights of young children so they can bounce back better!
Quebec City, November 9, 2022 — Spearheaded by the Collectif petite enfance, the 7th annual Early Childhood Week will take place November 14 to 20, 2022, with close to 300 activities across the province revolving around the central theme of the rights of young children. The Collectif petite enfance is committed to taking the lead in ensuring these rights are upheld at every level of society. Early Childhood Week is an ideal opportunity to open up a dialogue about social inequalities, raise public awareness, spark new ways of thinking and identify potential solutions to emphasize the importance of children’s rights as a means of preventing and redressing these inequalities.
“All children — regardless of their gender, parents, origin, culture, birthplace, living situation, language, religion, or mental or physical health — deserve to be treated fairly and equitably. Because children are more vulnerable than adults, because they cannot vote or exercise any political or economic influence and because the healthy development of the next generation is vital to the future of our society, it is our collective duty to ensure that the rights of all young children are upheld. We can contribute to their well-being by understanding and respecting these rights. This event is the perfect opportunity to bring early childhood development advocates together and deliver a message to the rest of Quebec how vital it is for everyone to work together for our littlest citizens.”
Elise Bonneville, Director, Collectif petite enfance
“I am pleased to be taking part in the official launch of this 7th edition of Early Childhood Week, an event that drives home the importance of putting the right conditions in place so that children can grow and thrive. As Minister of Families, I am determined to work with partners across the board because families in Quebec deserve the best possible support to be everything they can be.”
Suzanne Roy, Minister of Families
Protecting young children’s rights: A responsibility we cannot ignore
The events of the past few years have exacerbated numerous societal issues that have a direct impact on young children. These include inflation, environmental concerns, the dwindling availability of services and the lack of affordable housing. It is critical to ensure these issues do not undermine their most basic rights: they are fundamentally entitled to receive a quality education and the best possible health care; to be fed and clothed and to have a safe place to live; to be raised by adults who do what is best for them; to have their rights protected by the government; and to play, rest and relax.
Although most young children are doing just fine and living in environments conducive to their development, some face formidable barriers to fulfilling their potential. One in four — or one in three in low-income communities — exhibits vulnerability in at least one sphere of development by the time they start kindergarten. This may undermine their academic progress and impact their whole life.
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. Partners across the province will be hosting workshops, presentations and other activities, alongside an array of regional and province-wide initiatives, including:
November 14: Webinar: “Nouveau cadre de référence du suivi Olo : pour de saines habitudes alimentaires chez nos tout-petits dans les 1000 premiers jours de vie,” presented by Fondation Olo
November 15: Presentation of the Early Childhood Observatory’s survey results, “Développement des tout-petits : quelles sont les attentes des Québécois à l’égard du gouvernement?”
November 16: Launch of the Trouve-livre project by the Quebec Public Library Association
November 16: Workshop/panel: “Comment engager les parents dans l’éveil à la lecture de leur enfant?” presented by Réseau réussite Montréal
November 17: La grande matinée des tout-petits, led by the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale
November 17: Webinar: “Vulnerability of English-speaking Families,” presented by the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN)
Ambassadors and champions of early childhood development
- Nancy Audet, journalist, presenter, author and speaker
- Kim Boutin, Olympic medalist, short track speed skating
- Sylvana Côté, Professor, School of Public Health, Université de Montreal; Researcher, CHU Sainte-Justine; and Director, Observatory for Children’s Education and Health
- Martine Desjardins, Chair, Watchdog Committee, Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection
- Gabrielle Fontaine, actress
- André Lebon, consultant; 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