The federal government’s Commissioner of Official Languages is recommending that the government prioritise early childhood development in Francophone communities.
According to a report released by Mr. Graham Fraser on October 3, 2016, early childhood education services are crucial to the vitality of Francophone communities because they “not only help Francophone parents pass on their language to their children, but also support the transition to French-language schools, and develop a sense of belonging to the community.”
The report notes that French-language early childhood services suffer from a systemic shortage of resources meaning “that, in many communities, child care centres, early childhood centres and existing family and childhood centres cannot meet the rising demand for early childhood services in French.” While, this issue “affects the entire early childhood sector … the impact on Francophone communities is much more pronounced.”
Mr. Fraser is calling on the federal government to fund initiatives supporting early childhood education in its next official languages plan.
“The inclusion of early childhood in the official languages plan would enable us to address the challenges outlined in my report. Adequate, stable and sustained investment in early childhood development will have a significant impact on Francophone communities across the country,” the Commissioner added.