These services are often considered problematic for Francophones because they tend to be offered in English-dominant settings. This can result in bilingual services being perceived as a form of assimilation for French-speaking children, and community groups agree that these services are not an ideal solution. Because of the differences between the issues surrounding services in French and those surrounding bilingual or immersion services, the latter are not included in this report. Preschool programs are not explicitly mentioned in this provision.
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The court cases involving preschool programs have primarily raised three issues relating to the interpretation of section 23 : the constitutional status of preschool programs, how to calculate preschool spaces in order to make a comparison with majority-language schools, and the possibility of awarding remedies regarding preschool programs.
To date, there has been no consensus in the court decisions. Footnote 8 However, there has been discussion suggesting that applying section 23 to early childhood would be consistent with the intent of the constituent. Footnote 9 Regardless of whether they are recognized under section 23 , preschool programs are considered by experts in the field to be important components to meet the objectives under section Footnote 10 Early childhood is a significant source of children who have the right to instruction in the language of the minority, and it is important to maintain this source as a means to support the demographic, linguistic, cultural, institutional, social and community vitality of Francophone communities.
To meet this commitment, every federal institution has a duty to ensure that positive measures are taken to advance the equal status of both official languages in Canadian society and to promote the development and vitality of official language minority communities. Part VII does not define what a positive measure is, nor does it specify the sectors to be targeted. In addition, under subsection 43 1 d of the Act, the Minister of Canadian Heritage must:.
Between and , Commissioner Fraser studied a variety of issues related to education, including high school and post-secondary education, as well as access to second-language instruction and to education in the language of the minority. Located at the beginning of the continuum, early childhood development is an area for positive, preventive and proactive intervention to revitalize the French language and Francophone communities.
In —, the Office of the Commissioner established a dialogue with key partners in the field of early childhood and began to gather information and to identify and better understand the current gaps. These interventions included meetings and discussions with representatives of several communities and federal institutions. The interventions are particularly timely, given the development of the next multi-year official languages plan, the interest in early childhood development expressed by certain parliamentarians, and other upcoming public policy changes that may have an impact on this sector and on the communities.
Early childhood is a crucial period for the cognitive, social and emotional development of children. Footnote 13 A growing body of research recognizes that early childhood education and care bring a wide range of benefits, including better well-being for the child, better learning outcomes, reduced poverty, increased intergenerational social mobility, more female labour market participation and better social and economic development for the society at large. Footnote However, these benefits depend on the quality of the services offered.
Expanding access to services without ensuring quality will not deliver positive outcomes for children or long-term productivity benefits for society. Furthermore, research has shown that poor-quality services can have long-lasting detrimental effects on child development.
Service quality and accessibility are all the more important because most Canadian parents work and have growing needs for services for their children. In nearly three quarters of these families, both parents worked full time. Footnote 18 According to OECD , child and family outcomes in Canada could be improved if affordable and quality-assured child care services were more widely available during the early years and throughout compulsory school.
In minority communities, early childhood is particularly important, on both an individual and a community level. For young children, this is a key time in terms of learning the French language, building identity and developing a sense of belonging to the community. It is also a critical period for community vitality and development. Footnote 20 This phenomenon is even more pronounced among French-speaking Canadians, who transitioned from over-fertility to under-fertility. Footnote 21 In addition, immigration has become the primary driver of Canadian population growth; however, it has not benefited Francophone communities to the same extent, because immigrants settling outside of Quebec are more likely to adopt English as their first official language.
In Francophone communities, this demographic loss is magnified by various factors, including language transmission from French-speaking parents to their children. The data indicates that English is the official language spoken most often at home by over half of children in Francophone communities, except in New Brunswick.
The following statistical portrait presents an overview of the characteristics of young children in Francophone communities. Despite a certain increase in absolute numbers, the proportion of Francophones has been declining for nearly half a century in Canada, outside of Quebec. Between and , for example, the proportion of the population whose mother tongue Footnote 27 is French decreased from 7.
The increase in the number of Canadians outside of Quebec whose mother tongue is French is primarily in populations aged 35 and over. The under population has seen its numbers decrease significantly from to The number of children aged 0 to 4 whose mother tongue is French has decreased by nearly half, from close to 70, in to just under 35, in Between and , the estimated number of children aged 5 to 17 who were eligible for French-language education under section 23 of the Charter decreased continuously by over one quarter see Appendix, Table 2.
This is primarily due to the low birth rate, low levels of Francophone immigration and linguistic assimilation. All of these factors are major trends. Just over half 32, spoke French as their mother tongue see Appendix, table Table 3. Moreover, among all the children, 29, spoke French most often at home, and 7, spoke French regularly, for a total of 36, who spoke French at least regularly at home. A greater number of children 37, had knowledge of French. According to the most recent Census data, there were 1,, children under the age of 5 in Canada outside Quebec in In contrast, the FOLS for over one million French was the mother tongue of 33, 2.
French was the only language spoken most often at home for 31, 2. In summary, demographic trends show a decrease in the proportion of Canadians who speak French, in the number of young Francophones and in the number of children eligible for French-language schooling. In Francophone communities, there are several models for early childhood service centres, and the terminology and types of services available vary from one province or territory to another. For example, there are early childhood and family centres CPEFs , early childhood centres, family and child support centres, and multiservice family and child resource centres.
Starting at the early childhood stage, these centres welcome and assist French-speaking families by providing family services such as reading and play groups. Footnote 31 In Manitoba, for example, CPEFs provide a full range of integrated services and resources for French-speaking parents and children from 0 to 6 in 12 schools within the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine. A satellite CPEF service is also provided in two schools. Early childhood services can range from prenatal services to various educational, cultural and social services. In Canada, there are two broad categories of child care services: licensed and unlicensed.
Licensed centres are regulated provincially and inspected regularly by the province to ensure compliance with provincial standards. Unlicensed child care providers, which are often home-based, are not regulated, although some home-based child care providers are also licensed and therefore regulated and monitored.
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Funding transfer agreements may be made in areas such a health, family support, post-secondary education and social programs. Footnote 37 Since —, the Canada Social Transfer has been the primary federal-provincial-territorial transfer mechanism for early childhood development and early learning and child care. The federal government can also support early childhood through specific transfers e. In , as part of the Action Plan for Official Languages , coordinated by Canadian Heritage, the federal government announced investments in early childhood development in Francophone communities.
They were intended to promote awareness of the importance of early childhood development, as well as to strengthen and improve access to programs and services available in official language minority communities. This initiative targets a broader clientele than early childhood, including youth, seniors and vulnerable populations. A language can be transmitted to a child in several ways over time. It can be done by parents, by contemporaries siblings or peers or even by grandparents, and can take place both within and outside of the family environment.
When the minority language is not widely spoken at home, child care, kindergarten and school may be the only socialization opportunities where the minority language is dominant. Among exogamous families, the rate varied, depending on the family structure, but was higher when the mother was Francophone. It also grew steadily and significantly, regardless of the family structure.
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The increase in transmission of French among exogamous families may be attributable to the knowledge of French among an increasing number of non-Francophone spouses or to an increase in the status of the French language. While it is often associated with a low transmission rate, exogamy does not in and of itself prevent the transmission of the French language. Footnote 48 Language transmission may depend on various factors, including the family structure see Appendix, Tables table 3 and table 8 and the language dynamic within the family.
For many, the very notion of exogamy has evolved as a result of the growing diversity of Francophone communities. However, exogamy in also includes couples with one French-speaking spouse and one spouse whose mother tongue is neither English nor French and who may identify as an Anglophone or a Francophone. In an exogamous situation, the acquisition of French is not necessarily exclusive; it can occur at the same time as the acquisition of English or of another language.
We also have to think of transmission as a long process that begins during pregnancy and continues throughout childhood and adolescence. The working group considered several factors that contribute to increased transmission of French to young Francophones in minority communities. Footnote 53 Because of the issues related to language transmission and exogamy, Francophone community representatives would particularly like to have the capacity to give parents—including those from exogamous families—the resources, guidance and support they need.
Programs and services for young children have been developed with various systems of governance, funding streams and training for staff. As a result, families face a highly fragmented early childhood landscape of unconnected options, diverse eligibility criteria and payment requirements. Footnote 54 All provincial and territorial governments provide early childhood services, but the models vary widely from one province or territory to the next, or even within the same province, depending on the service and the provider.
We would like our health services, literacy services for parents and maternity services, for example, to be attached to a Francophone community that would be near the school. This is thought to have a wide variety of benefits, including better coordination of services, easy access to a wide variety of French-language services, approaches tailored to the needs and circumstances of each community, and a solid sense of the family being a part of the community.
This fragmentation leads to disparities in service delivery, isolation of child care centres and CPEFs , a lack of accessibility and resources, and the absence of national standards. Community representatives also decried the absence of a provincial or territorial service structure or grouping of services.
Provinces establish their own guidelines for spending and programs.
The organizations consulted agreed that in order to address this issue, there needs to be a national cross-sector policy on early childhood development in Francophone communities, and that the policy should be based on federal-provincial-territorial cooperation. This would require a common approach to early childhood development with consistent goals, and clearly-defined roles and responsibilities for governments and communities.
During the formal consultation conducted by the Office of the Commissioner on February 10, , the lack of funding emerged as the most pressing issue in terms of early childhood services. The organizations that were consulted stressed that this issue is not specific to Francophone communities—it affects the entire early childhood sector. However, the impact on Francophone communities is much more pronounced. The organizations also said that in the absence of sufficient public funding, services depend on limited private funding that often comes from the parents.
However, these were not renewed in the — Roadmap. Therefore, given the broader clientele targeted by the Social Partnership Initiative in Official Language Minority Communities, coupled with the substantial reduction in the budget envelope compared with what was allocated in the previous five-year plans, communities have received little federal funding specifically for early childhood development since Three additional issues arise from the lack of funding: a shortage of staff and training, insufficient infrastructure and a lack of awareness among parents and service providers.
One of the key challenges is finding French-speaking staff trained in early childhood education, especially in rural areas. It is also difficult to retain educators in minority communities because sometimes they can be better paid in equivalent positions in majority communities. It is even more difficult in disadvantaged areas and in small child care centres, where salaries are often lower than in larger centres.
In some provinces, educators are recruited by the English-language school system, which offers them better support tools and working conditions. In , the Government of New Brunswick announced a wage top-up program for early childhood educators with recognized training. Furthermore, there is a lack of training for educators in minority-language educational institutions. This kind of training exists in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario, but is often given by only one provincial institution. Participants also mentioned that important areas in early childhood services, such as administration and management, are often neglected.
Some provinces do not have enough infrastructure and facilities for minority-language child care centres: the demand for child care spaces exceeds the capacity of the available infrastructure. Footnote 58 For instance, there is only one French-language child care centre in each of the territories and in Newfoundland and Labrador. In other regions, there are very few French-language child care centres.
However, the waiting lists that many provinces and territories keep suggest that the number of spaces available is far from sufficient to meet demand. The most affordable child care facilities in many communities are those located in schools. However, these are often rare and will be increasingly unable to meet the needs of the communities in the years to come, because of the growing demand for child care services and because many schools are not able to provide facilities.
Footnote 60 In addition, child care centres located in schools are not guaranteed to be able to remain in these spaces in the long term. The centre then has to find another site, which is often more expensive. The proportions were nearly inverse for kindergarten enrolment. This data gives rise to various hypotheses, including a lack of access to French-language pre-kindergarten or issues related to availability or quality. In the Statistics Canada Survey of the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities, the parents of children attending a majority-language school were asked whether they would have preferred their child to be registered instead in a French-language school.
More than a third of parents said that they would have preferred their child to be registered in a minority-language school but did not do so because of availability, proximity or quality of the programs. Footnote 66 In the territories and in the provinces outside Quebec, among French-speaking parents whose child was enrolled in an English-language child care centre at the time of the Survey, nearly two thirds said that they would have preferred to enroll their child in a French-language child care centre.
Footnote 67 For all parents with a child registered in preschool programs or activities in the language of the majority, the proportion rises to three quarters for those who would have preferred to register their child in activities in the language of the minority. During the consultation conducted by the Office of the Commissioner on February 10, , participants said that the lack of long-term funding puts service providers in an unstable situation and reduces accessibility to services, which results in waiting lists.
Parents tend to get discouraged and send their children to English-language or bilingual child care centres. Many community representatives stressed the need to promote and raise awareness of the importance of early childhood for the future of Francophone communities. During an appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages in , Ghislaine Pilon , then Acting Executive Director of CNPF , discussed this issue by pointing out the difficulties communities are having reaching parents and parents-to-be as well as the importance of equipping them:.
The first three years determine the lifelong learning path and the ability to learn another language. The choice of the language spoken at home, in the community, and at school is made in the first months after birth, and even before. Well-informed parents who fully understand their rights and the impact of their decisions on the child in terms of language, identity, culture and sense of belonging will make wise choices.
Some community representatives would therefore like not only to increase efforts to promote the importance of early childhood development, but also to initiate efforts earlier on in order to raise awareness among French-speaking high school students regarding the choices they have to make in the future. Just as professionals need resources for their work, parents also need to be supported and guided. It is therefore important to ensure that the parents receive enough information about the resources and services available to support families and facilitate the linguistic, cultural and identity development of their children.
Footnote 70 These efforts would also help increase the visibility of French-language early childhood services where they are available. Footnote 73 It is also important for parents and service providers to have access to research and evidence so that they can make informed decisions. There is currently little funding available to Francophone communities for ongoing activities to increase awareness among parents and service providers of the importance of early childhood development and of their role in it.
Footnote 60 Many community representatives and experts in the field, including Rodrigue Landry , an Associate Researcher at the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, Footnote 74 are calling for a national initiative to do this. A number of initiatives recently announced by the federal government provide key opportunities to address the issues presented in this report. In both the Speech from the Throne and the federal budget, the federal government announced that it would invest in social infrastructure, which could also benefit official language minority communities.
The government has already pronounced its commitment to acting in a spirit of interdepartmental and intergovernmental collaboration, and to working together with parliamentarians, Canadians, civil society and various other partners. Footnote 76 There are also a number of mechanisms for cooperating with provincial and territorial governments, which could help to foster greater dialogue on early childhood development in Francophone communities.
Historically, the — Action Plan and the — Roadmap were important initiatives to channel federal government support to early childhood development in Francophone communities. The — Roadmap will soon come to an end; however, the federal government has announced its intention not only to develop a new multi-year official languages plan to enhance the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities, but also to consult official language minority communities in doing so. These consultations should make it possible to clearly identify the needs of Francophone communities.
The next action plan will also be a valuable opportunity to plan for investments to meet the specific early childhood development needs of Francophone communities. The consultations and the development of the framework in cooperation with a wide variety of private- and public-sector partners will be ideal opportunities to identify approaches that would address the issues specific to Francophone communities.
On the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act in , Commissioner Fraser set out his vision for different areas of activity in official language minority communities. The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development consult Francophone minority communities and provincial and territorial governments in order to ensure that the next official languages plan contains adequate, stable and sustained investment in early childhood development in these communities.
The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development ensure that Francophone minority communities are consulted as part of the development of the national framework on early learning and child care and that a Francophone component is included in the framework.
The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, in cooperation with Francophone minority communities and appropriate federal institutions such as the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Public Health Agency of Canada, set up a national awareness initiative on early childhood development for parents and service providers in these communities.
The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development report by March 31, , on the measures taken to implement the above recommendations. On-line version accessed September 1, Return to footnote 1 referrer.
Return to footnote 2 referrer. Return to footnote 3 referrer. Return to footnote 4 referrer. Return to footnote 5 referrer. Historical data from to 12 month-estimate, all of France. Method in French. France, all departments and all regions. Monthly construction economic reports are published by the National Institute of Statistics as well as by the Bank of France.
The National Institute of Statistics also publishes quarterly reports about small construction companies and builders. Exhibit 12 of this report describes 79 statistical sources about housing. Recherche sur le site. Number of existing apartment and house sales in France Historical data from to 12 month-estimate, all of France. Sources of these series. Paris Home Price Indices since Friggit, October This paper compares four secular home price indices in France, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States, one of which - for Paris - goes back to the 13th century.
It stresses that their long term trend should be interpreted with caution. This paper comments on the evolution of asset prices for the past two centuries. Its exhibit 1 compares British and French property prices in the long run. Its exhibit 2 comments on French American cross-border investments in the past two centuries, in terms of return, volatility and diversifying power. Home Price History Since Rents and Incomes since Property Investment and Other Investments Since Some Properties of Home Prices.
The inflationary effect of financial environment.