NEWS & EVENTS | February 15, 2019

A New Learning and Child Care Centre at Université de Saint-Boniface

Early Childhood Education 

A learning and child care centre at Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) will become a reality thanks to important investments by the federal and provincial governments. The announcement was made on Friday, February 15 during a press conference held in Provencher Hall at USB.

The new centre will provide services in French for children whose parents study or work at the Université de Saint-Boniface or who live in the neighbouring Francophone community.

“Over the generations, Francophones in all regions of Canada have kept their language and culture alive and well. This happens when children have access to education and cultural experiences in their own language from an early age, explains the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. That is why I am pleased to announce funding for this learning and child care centre, so that children will be able to live in a French-speaking environment all day long.”

Dan Vandal, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament (Saint Boniface–Saint Vital) highlights the impact that such a project will have on the development and vitality of the French-speaking community in the province. “The Université de Saint-Boniface child care project is important for Manitoba’s Francophone community, as it will allow children to live in French outside the home from an early age.”

The new centre will be located on the university campus in a new one-storey, 7,800-square-foot building. It will accommodate 80 children, including 16 infants and 64 preschool children. 

The centre will host students from the early childhood education program at the École technique et professionnelle, part of the Université de Saint Boniface. The educators trained there will be able to work in this field throughout the province

The total cost of the project is $6.15 million. The Government of Canada is investing, through the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future, a total of $2.077 million over three years. The Province of Manitoba is providing $900,000, while the Université de Saint Boniface is covering the remaining costs. 

The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future proposes an unprecedented investment of $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support official-language minority communities and promote bilingualism across the country.

“We are very pleased to receive this significant investment from the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba, mentions USB President Gabor Csepregi. Students, staff and the community will benefit greatly from this centre, knowing that quality services that promote the French language and culture will make it possible for 80 children to shape their French-Canadian identity from a young age and grow up in a Francophone environment in Manitoba.”

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