MONTREAL, Nov. 17, 2023 /CNW/ - The Collectif petite enfance is proud to kick off Early Childhood Week, now in its eighth year. From November 20 to 26, more than 400 activities related to this year's theme of championing the rights of young children are planned in communities across Quebec. In keeping with its commitment to taking the lead on key early childhood issues, the Collectif petite enfance invites people at all levels of society to work together to ensure that the rights of our little citizens are upheld.
Developments in recent weeks have driven home how vital it is to make young children's rights a top priority.
"The recently tabled Bill 37, which aims to create the position of Commissioner for Children's Rights and Well-Being, and the first recommendation of the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection,1 speak to the paramount importance of safeguarding the rights of young children. Moreover, the findings of the Quebec Survey of Child Development in Kindergarten should shock us all into action: close to 29% of five-year-olds in kindergarten are considered 'vulnerable' in at least one area of development, which is three percentage points higher than a decade ago. In fact, the rates in some disadvantaged areas and regions of Quebec range from 30.2% to as high as 33.9%! Because children are more vulnerable than adults and 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."
Elise Bonneville, Director, Collectif petite enfance
Early Childhood Week affords a singular opportunity to engage in a conversation about social inequalities, to raise awareness, to provide food for thought and to identify potential solutions that we can explore to together ensure children's rights are fully leveraged as a means of preventing and addressing any such 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.
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.
On Monday, November 20, World Children's Day, more than 400 municipalities will together raise the Early Childhood Week flag in a province-wide show of solidarity. Suzanne Roy, the Minister of Families, will be on hand for the ceremony at the Varennes city hall, alongside a group of local elected officials and representatives of early childhood organizations.
The members of the National Assembly will all be wearing a blankie square on Tuesday, November 21, to show their support for the youngest members of society. The blankie square is a symbol of our collective commitment to looking after children and families in their early years.
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:
The Collectif petite enfance is made up of 23 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
Collectif petite enfance
Early Childhood Week
1 First recommendation in the report of the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection: https://www.csdepj.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/Fichiers_clients/Rapport_final_3_mai_2021/2021_CSDEPJ_Rapport_version_finale_numerique.pdf
SOURCE Collectif petite enfance