Francophone parents and children will have greater access to support services in their own language thanks to the Network of new provincial Francophone Parent Link Centres.
“It is essential that families have the tools they need to lay the foundation for success during their child’s early years. The Alberta government is committed to supporting early childhood development for all families, and the new Francophone network of Parent Link supports will provide greater access to programs and services in French.”
Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Human Services
“Being able to access help and support in your own language is so important for encouraging a good quality of life and involvement in your community. Alberta’s Francophone population is continually growing, and these additional resources funded in part by the Canada-Alberta Agreement on French-Language Services will help support children and families to maintain and further develop their Francophone identity.”
Maureen Kubinec, Minister of Culture and Tourism
Funded by Human Services, Parent Link Centres (PLCs) provide free parenting and play programs to meet the unique needs of families and communities. To date, services have been offered predominantly in English, with only one Francophone site in Edmonton operated by Institut Guy-Lacombe-de-la famille.
The Francophone population has grown by 40 per cent since 1996, at almost twice the rate of the province’s overall population. After English, French is the second-most spoken language in Alberta.
“The francophone community of Alberta continues to grow. The launch of this program enables us to respond to the many needs of our little ones and their families. We are pleased of the government’s commitment in the early childhood sector and look forward at how this innovative service delivery model can enhance services in French.”
Jean Johnson, President of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta
“We are honoured to be a part of this unique collaborative network model and we look forward to providing leadership on the francophone community’s behalf to ensure a broader support system for our families.”
Claudine Lajoie, President, Fédération des parents francophones de l’Alberta
“These enhanced services further support me in my responsibility as a parent to support my children’s development including help building their identity as a francophone in Alberta. It will mean reduced isolation and supports in French to address questions and stresses that may arise when parenting. ”
Sarah Lessard, Calgary Parent
The priority for 2015-16 will be on establishing Francophone PLC programming in the Calgary area, providing parents and caregivers with free resources and support to develop nurturing environments, which play a key role in early childhood development for Alberta’s children and supports the province’s work in early intervention and prevention.
With the addition of the Francophone Parent Link Network and the three new Centres announced last week, Parent Link Centres will operate in 53 locations that reach more than 185 communities across Alberta.