Ottawa, September 25 2017. A unique strategic alliance was signed today by the ACUFC (Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne), the CNPF (Commission nationale des parents francophones), and RDÉE Canada (Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité) to enhance the offer of early childhood services in French across the country.
Building on the complementarity of their respective mandates, the three national organizations have joined forces to explore and implement innovative solutions, and improve access to quality early childhood services in French in Francophone communities across Canada. This alliance will promote an inclusive approach to strategies combining education, employability and entrepreneurial components.
Canadian Francophones are facing an unprecedented lack of access to early childhood services in French in Francophone minority communities (FMCs). Demand exceeds the services offered, infrastructure is inadequate or non-existent, and human resources are limited and underskilled, resulting in longer waiting lists for families wanting to enroll their children.
“The member colleges of the ACUFC offer excellent early childhood education and services programs in French. We are therefore very pleased to team up with our two partners because, together, we can introduce positive measures to train a skilled workforce to meet market needs in this area,” said ACUFC Co-Chairs Lise Bourgeois, President of Collège La Cité, and Allister Surette, President and Vice-Chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne.
Early childhood services and education prepare young children to learn and continue their studies in French, from the elementary to postsecondary levels, allowing them to better integrate into their Francophone communities. “Parents from Francophone minority communities should have the choice of registering their children in early childhood centres offering services in French. That is why we are proud today to sign this strategic alliance that will contribute to making preschool education part of an overarching vision promoting the linguistic and cultural development of Francophone minorities across Canada,” said Véronique Legault, President of the CNPF.
Research also shows that because the early years are the building blocks for a child’s future, they are an especially critical time for investing in human capital. This investment is the key to innovation and creativity for a strong economy with sustainable structuring outcomes.
“Developing French-language early learning and child care systems in Canada is one of the best investments we can make to bolster the vitality of our Francophone communities and strengthen their, and Canada’s, economy. I strongly believe that today’s strategic alliance will contribute to the prosperity of FMCs and the entire country,” said Michel Matifat, RDÉE Canada Board Chair.
About the partners…
ACUFC is a consortium of 21 Francophone or bilingual postsecondary institutions outside Quebec that promotes increased access to quality higher learning in French across Canada. It collaborates with its members for training and research initiatives, and represents their common interests by partnering with national organizations to ensure visibility within Canada and abroad. For more information: www.acufc.ca.
CNPF is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to bring together, represent, and support provincial and territorial organizations, and strengthen their capacity to partner with parents at home and in the community. The CNPF works closely with a large number of national partners that work in the fields of education and early childhood development and represent the Francophone and Acadian communities of Canada. For more information: www.cnpf.ca.
For 20 years, RDÉE Canada has promoted the economic development of Francophone and Acadian communities by supporting the collective actions of its members and by providing national leadership based on cooperation and partnerships. RDÉE Canada maintains a presence in every province and territory via provincial and territorial organizations. Together, they form the national Network and support two main areas of the Canadian economy: business development and employability. For more information: www.rdee.ca.
Communications Manager, RDÉE Canada