Back to the press releases
Government announcement
January 16, 2018

Giving the 800,000 children aged 0 to 8 the same opportunities for success


QUÉBEC CITY, Jan. 16, 2018 – Today the Government of Quebec unveiled the strategy regarding educational services for children aged 0 to 8. Titled Tout pour nos enfants (“Everything For Our Kids”), this strategy was developed in line with the Policy on Educational Success. By 2022, nearly $1.4 billion will be invested to give the 800,000 children aged 0 to 8 the same opportunities for success.

The strategy has five goals:

  • To promote equal chances for all children ($1.135B);
  • To ensure children aged 0 to 8 follow a continuous educational path with smooth transitions ($30.3M);
  • To implement or reinforce high-quality educational and pedagogical practices ($96.9M);
  • To allow all children to acquire essential skills in reading, writing and arithmetic by the end of second grade ($32.2M);
  • To support parents and encourage all actors to mobilize and work together ($97.1M).

Quotes:

In Quebec, 800,000 children are aged 0 to 8, representing one tenth of our population. In our eyes, there’s nothing more precious; they are our pride and our future. Our young people are our greatest collective asset. We therefore have a duty to these children to do everything we can to help them reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. We must give them equal opportunities to reach the future destinations they’ll have chosen. Together, let’s ensure that each child can grow up in a confident, prosperous and fairer Quebec that is able to provide a solid foundation on the road to success!

– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec

Between the ages of 0 and 8, children undergo crucial phases in their development that will influence their future. We’re intervening early so that our little ones can benefit from all the support they need, whether in terms of social-emotional, cognitive, linguistic or physical and motor development. Through this strategy, parents will be better equipped to support their children, especially thanks to the assistance granted to family-related community organizations. It’s good news for our little ones, their families and the entire early childhood network!

– Luc Fortin, Minister of Families

More specialized human resources in schools, the creation of a new kindergarten cycle for 4- and 5-year-olds, nutritious breakfasts provided to children from disadvantaged areas, early screening for vision problems, innovative activities for family literacy, the availability of books: all this will allow children to develop their full potential. We strongly believe that our actions will give all children the same opportunities for success and for achieving their greatest dreams.

– Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports

Key facts: 

The strategy contains several structuring actions, which will be carried out by 2022:

Screening for vulnerability factors early and addressing them quickly: more staff and materials

  • More resources will be available in educational childcare services to detect and assist children experiencing difficulties.
  • Official mechanisms for collaboration will be established, aiming for continuity and fluidity within the network of educational childcare services. Better alignment between the educational childcare network and the health and social services network will make it possible to address the needs of struggling children more quickly.
  • Nearly 8,000 additional specialized staff will support elementary schools across the province (speech therapists, occupational therapists, special needs teachers, etc.).
  • A nutritious breakfast will be given to all children in the first cycle of elementary school who come from disadvantaged areas, and a pilot project will be conducted in educational childcare services.
  • An eye exam will be given to preschool children directly at school, and parents of children aged 3 to 5 will be educated on the importance of an eye exam before starting school.

Kindergarten: expansion and consolidation of preschool education 

  • A new preschool cycle to ensure the continuity of 4-year-old and 5-year-old kindergarten. Educational staff will be guided and supported to this effect.
  • This new cycle will give children skills to favour their later success in reading and writing, especially for learning the letters of the alphabet, and they will benefit from educational material adapted to their needs.
  • The launch of new 4-year-old kindergarten classes will continue in underprivileged areas in order to support children who don’t attend an educational childcare service in their first steps at school.

Innovative literacy initiatives for all ages: better access to reading material

  • Children in preschool and the first cycle of elementary school will have access to more books suited to their reading level to help them learn.
  • A magazine for children aged 3 to 5 and another for children aged 6 to 8 will be published to encourage interest in reading.
  • Parents of young children will have access to a family literacy program in public libraries and to a program for reading development and learning in school libraries.

Better-informed and better-equipped parents

  • Interactive online maps will be developed to help locate family services.
  • An educational record will be created for parents so that they can follow their child’s development from daycare onwards.
  • A financial support program will be created to promote and facilitate parental involvement.