Grand Rally for Our Little One - 650 decision-makers to gather to voice their support for early childhood November 20 and 21 in Quebec City

Quebec City, November 20, 2018 – Some 650 decision-makers from various regions across the province will gather at the Quebec City Convention Centre on November 20 and 21 for the Grand Rally for Our Little Ones, in conjunction with Early Childhood Week. Stakeholders from the municipal, school, health, community, association and educational services sectors, municipal and provincial elected officials, members of Indigenous communities, and experts from Quebec and elsewhere will come together for the event to examine the current status of early childhood in the province and reflect on measures to be taken to improve conditions for children aged 0 to 5 and their families.

“In 2015, at a similar event attended by 500 early childhood stakeholders and their families, the idea emerged to create Early Childhood Week,” explained Isabelle Lizée, Co-Chair of Early Childhood Week and Executive Director of Carrefour action municipale et famille. “The goal was to raise public awareness on a yearly basis about the importance of early childhood as a pivotal period in young people’s development and one that shapes their success both in school and in life. This year marks the third edition of Early Childhood Week, and the time has come to add an event designed to encourage key decision-makers affected by this issue to take stock of where we are as a society and keep this movement going forward.”

A program that combines research and dialogue to benefit young children

The rich, multifaceted program of the Grand Rally for Our Little Ones features a mix of plenary sessions, workshops, presentations and discussion opportunities that will enable participants to broaden their knowledge of early childhood–related breakthroughs and challenges in Quebec as well as the environment today’s youngsters are growing up in.

Program overview:

Tuesday, November 20

  • Launch of the Grand Rally for Our Little Ones, with Konrad H. Sioui, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation; Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief, Quebec/Labrador, and Early Childhood Week ambassador; Jean-Pierre Hotte, Chair of the Board of Directors of Avenir d'enfants; and Early Childhood Week Co-Chairs Lucie Champagne, Strategic Consultant for the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance, and Isabelle Lizée, Executive Director of Carrefour action municipale et famille.
  • A scientific advisory committee will present a report on the results, progress, issues and opportunities related to early childhood development in Quebec. Experts from a broad array of sectors will convene as a panel to discuss their respective visions of First Nations communities, perinatality and early childhood, family, community engagement, work-family balance, urban planning and development, the economy and public policy.

Wednesday, November 21

  • An international conference will welcome Tim Gill, an independent consultant and longstanding advocate of child-friendly urban planning and design, and J. Leonardo Yánez of the Bernard van Leer Foundation / Urban 95, an expert in early childhood with extensive expertise in forming partnerships with local and municipal governments. Both talks, presented by Carrefour action municipale et famille, will focus on child-friendly communities and cities.
  • Mathieu Lacombe, Quebec Minister of Families, will deliver the closing address.

The full program is available here. Note that certain Grand Rally activities will be webcast and available to the general public.

“The event will encourage participants to engage in a dialogue. It is our hope that the decision-makers in attendance – who are leaders in their respective communities with the power to effect positive change – leave the event inspired and armed with some tangible avenues to explore,” remarked Lucie Champagne, Co-Chair of Early Childhood Week and Strategic Consultant for the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance. “We will also strive to find solutions to break down silos between various regions and organizations in order to further build on this momentum so that we can eventually succeed in reversing the trend and reducing the number of vulnerable children. There is no miracle solution for achieving this goal. We have to strengthen the continuum of services available to children and families and improve their quality and accessibility.”

The Grand Rally for Our Little Ones is made possible by a contribution from Avenir d’enfants, which has been supporting more than a hundred communities in Quebec since 2009 in order to improve the conditions in which young children grow and develop in regions throughout the province.

For more information, go to

About Early Childhood Week
Running from November 18 to 24, 2018, Early Childhood Week is an opportunity to share information and open up a dialogue about early childhood development, to shine the spotlight on local and regional initiatives designed to support young children and to reach out to the entire population. A number of activities and events will take place across the province throughout the week.

The Early Childhood Week Partner Committee consists of the Association des bibliothèques publiques du Québec, the Association des haltes-garderies communautaires du Québec, the Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance, Avenir d’enfants, Carrefour action municipale et famille, the Community Health and Social Services Network / Réseau communautaire de santé et de services sociaux, the Conseil québécois des services éducatifs à la petite enfance, the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, the Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires Famille, First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, the Instance de concertation régionale en petite enfance (Horizon 0-5), the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation (Observatoire des tout-petits, Naître et grandir), the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, the Ministère de la Famille, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec, the Réseau des Centres de ressources périnatales du Québec, the Réseau des instances régionales de concertation (IRC) sur la persévérance scolaire et la réussite éducative du Québec, the Réseau pour un Québec Famille and the Table de concertation nationale en promotion prévention.

About Hand in Hand for the Little Ones
Hand in Hand for the Little Ones champions early childhood development with the support of a number of engaged partners whose shared goal is to make early childhood a social priority for Quebec.
Today’s toddlers are tomorrow’s adults. Does this not qualify them as a group that warrants special attention by our society? It is important to take collective action, from conception onward, to provide the best possible conditions so that every child can thrive at every stage of their development. By starting early, we can help them realize their full potential and become well-rounded, engaged adults. By making sure all young children have the same chances, we will be building a more just, more dynamic, more enlightened and more prosperous society.
About Avenir d’enfants Created through a joint initiative of the Quebec government and the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, Avenir d’enfants is a non-profit organization that provides guidance and support for thousands of partners working together to advocate for young children, including First Nations children, at the local, regional and provincial levels. Avenir d’enfants is dedicated to fostering the overall development of children aged 0 to 5 so they can all start school with every chance for a successful academic experience.

For more information:
Marie-Pier Kenney
Morin Relations publiques
Office: 514 289-8688 poste 237
Mobile: 514 757-8619

Josée Massicotte Communications GSTP
Mobile: 514 915-0511

comments powered by Disqus

Early Childhood Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, promote dialogue and engage society about early childhood matters.