180 children on the waiting list for a French-speaking daycare in Ontario

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The daycare premises are inside the Saint-François-Xavier Catholic secondary school.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Katherine Brulotte

Posted at 5:01 p.m. EDT

Beaux Sourires daycare in Sarnia, in southwestern Ontario, has five times more children on its waiting list than it has spaces.

It’s substantialaccording to Nicole Buteau of London French Daycare, who created the daycare. Opened in May, the daycare currently lacks staff to provide services to 32 children, the maximum legally possible for this educational center.

In total, there are 180 children on the waiting list, some for 2025. It’s not just French-speaking families who are on the list according to Nicole Buteau.

They are parents from all walks of life. There are a lot of immigrants. They are committed to learning French for their children.

A quote from Nicole Buteau, London French Daycare

The craze for daycare does not surprise Ms. Buteau, because she notes a general lack of daycare places in the region. The daycare is on the premises of Saint-François-Xavier Catholic secondary school, of the Providence School Board.

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City Hall in Sarnia, a border town in southwestern Ontario (File photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Katherine Brulotte

Sarnia has been a designated region under the French Language Services Act since 2021. More than 6,000 residents have a knowledge of French, according to Statistics Canada, in this city of approximately 100,000 inhabitants recognized for the importance of its petrochemical industry .

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