Ask any young adult who attended a Childcare Centre or a daycare when they were little what they remember from that time. They’ll talk about friends, of course, but especially about a particular educator they really liked. Indeed, it’s because these professionals are genuine pillars of the little ones’ development that the TD-Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival started its Quebec-wide Daycare Days in 2016. It’s become a great way to recognize and promote the fundamental contributions of their work, second only to that of parents, in cultivating children’s reading skills and imaginations.
Each year since we first launched Daycare Days, educators have been invited to mark down a particular day of the TD-Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival to read a story with a self-esteem thread to their group of kids. Educators can then send us photos of their event, share the picture book titles they chose to read and, most importantly, participate in a raffle for one of two $250 gift certificates to the independent bookstore of their choosing. As a result, over the last few years Blue Metropolis has brought a bit of joy to Childcare Centres and daycares of cities and villages in the Lanaudière, Côte-Nord, Beauce, Montérégie, and Bas Saint-Laurent regions.
In 2020-2021, two Daycare Days are on offer, as the day planned for Spring 2020 had to be cancelled. We’re making up for it now, to the tune of two Daycare Days each year. In 2020-2021, we are featuring two themes: self-esteem in the fall and an openness to difference in the spring.
The titles recommended here are of course for educators, but also for adults with little ones in their lives looking for beautiful picture books that address delicate subjects.
Childhood isn’t always this idyllic stage of life. The sky can cloud over. A best friend moves away, a grandparent passes, a beloved family dog is put to sleep, classmates reject another… Children’s books offer a means of grappling with such realities, gently and with sensitivity. Tailored to age groups, picture books and novels for young readers can help parents open up a dialogue with their kids, and provide them with an ideal opportunity to express their fears, anxieties, and sadness. These works give parents a chance to find the right words, thanks to those of children’s authors, to reassure them. This Blue Metropolis platform provides reading and activity recommendations to bolster the emotional and mental well-being of children.