Ontario is investing $150,000 to create two new positions at the provincial advocacy group l’Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO). These positions will promote the recruitment, retention and professional development of French-language early childhood educator staff while supporting the provision of high-quality French-language services in child care and early years programs.
“Our Government has made significant investments in supporting high-quality child care and early years programs in direct response to the needs of working families,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “With our continued focus on making child care safe, affordable, and accessible, our Government is delivering on a top priority for families and communities across our province and addressing a specific need of French-language communities.”
The two new positions are a French-Language Liaison and a Communications Liaison. They would help advance AFÉSEO’s work in advocating and acting for the benefit of Francophone early years.  
The French-Language Sector Liaison position would be responsible for creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with key French-language early childhood partners, including school boards, municipalities, and community organizations. The position would also support a provincial network of early childhood practitioners and experts from French-language school boards and other educational services, such as adult education leaders, EarlyON centers and child care supervisors and directors. 
The Communications Liaison will provide ongoing support, including the development of a branding campaign, social media and web outreach, along with the creation of a virtual magazine to highlight projects, resources and best practices. 
“Early childhood educators play a key role in the formative development of children’s French language skills. These new positions will help AFÉSEO address the shortage of qualified bilingual workers in this crucial sector and ensure a high quality of care for Ontario’s francophone community,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. 
“Recruiting qualified Francophone child care staff is a challenge for all jurisdictions and with this initiative our Government is helping to address this need,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education. “By improving access to safe, quality French-language child care and early years’ programs, our Government is supporting working families and ensuring children have access to the care they deserve in both official languages.” 
“With these new positions, AFÉSEO will be able to strengthen the current network by promoting partnerships, supporting the recruitment, retention and development of educators and by offering ongoing support to providers of French-language child care services, EarlyON Child and Family Centers and inclusion services,” said Martine St-Onge, Executive Director, AFÉSEO.