THUNDER BAY — The Northwestern Ontario Francophone Association is studying the feasibility of creating francophone childcare centres in eight communities across the region.
The project is one of the priorities AFNOO has identified for 2019.
Towns involved in the study include Red Lake, Dryden, Ignace, Terrace Bay, Marathon, Manitouwadge, Geraldton and Longlac.
Lina Mayer, the organization's acting executive-director, says local residents identified the need for daycare facilities during a regional consultation process.
Thunder Bay already has a French-language daycare, connected to Ecole Catholique Franco Superieur on River Street at Cumberland.
"This is just a viability study...funded by the federal government. We are looking to see if this would be viable for those communities," Mayer said.
To help document the need and feasibility, AFNOO recently conducted an online bilingual survey of northwestern Ontario residents.
Mayer said the organization will also take a close look at best practices in existing francophone childcare centres across the province.
She said tentative plans call for new facilities in the northwest to open for the start of school in September 2021.