Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

October 03, 2016 14:00 ET

The Commissioner of Official Languages Recommends that the Government Prioritize Early Childhood Development in Francophone Communities

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2016) - A lack of resources, a shortage of early childhood educators and the fragmentation of services are only some of the shortcomings hindering early childhood development in Francophone minority communities, according to a report released today by Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser.

"Early childhood development is crucial to the vitality of Francophone communities," said Mr. Fraser. "Accessible, quality services 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, titled Early Childhood: Fostering the Vitality of Francophone Minority Communities, presents a portrait of the issues related to early childhood development, an area that is of particular importance for the vitality of Francophone communities.

Mr. Fraser would like to see the federal government fund initiatives supporting early childhood 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.

In his report, Mr. Fraser issues four recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

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Early Childhood: Fostering the Vitality of Francophone Minority Communities

COMMISSIONER'S RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development consult Francophone minority communities and provincial and territorial governments in order to ensure that the next official languages plan contains adequate, stable and sustained investment in early childhood development in these communities.

Recommendation 2

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development ensure that Francophone minority communities are consulted as part of the development of the national framework on early learning and child care and that a Francophone component is included in the framework.

Recommendation 3

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, in cooperation with Francophone minority communities and appropriate federal institutions such as the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Public Health Agency of Canada, set up a national awareness initiative on early childhood development for parents and service providers in these communities.

Recommendation 4

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development report by March 31, 2018, on the measures taken to implement the above recommendations.

Contact Information

  • Nelson Kalil
    Manager, Strategic Communications and Media Relations
    Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
    819-420-4714, Cellular: 613-324-0999
    Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
    nelson.kalil@clo-ocol.gc.ca