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Studying in French

All publicly-funded schools in Ontario are separated into four systems: French Catholic, French public, English Catholic and English public. All four systems are organized the same way and share similar standards. There are 12 French school boards in Ontario representing together 425 French-language schools.

School starts with kindergarten for the four and five years old. Registration for that age group is optional. Enrolled children are involved in many different kinds of activities designed to help them explore, discover and grow. Kindergarten is a half-day program now offered as a full-day program in some selected schools of the province.

Children must attend school all day from six years old on, five days a week, usually from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch – a light meal prepared at home and taken to school in a lunch box – is taken on the school premises.

You can find a French school near you by visiting www.elfontario.ca (in French). French schools often have large catchment areas. Students who live far from the school usually have access to school bus transportation. You can contact your local French school or the district school board in your area to get more information.

I would like to enrol my child in a French language school. Is my child eligible?

For a child to be automatically admitted, one of the parents or guardians must be a Canadian citizen and meet one of the following criteria:

  • completed his or her elementary education in a French-language school in Canada
  • have French as the first language learned and still understood
  • one of the children in the family is enrolled in a French-language school in Canada or has previously attended one

If neither parent meets these conditions, an admissions committee will determine whether or not the child is eligible. Please note that French-language schools meet the specific needs of Francophones and operate entirely in French, including in their communications with parents. Non-French-speaking parents who want their children to learn French should contact the school boards in their area to identify the best option for their child.

Source: Office of Francophone Affairs, Frequently Asked Questions

There are also three French as a second language programs taught in English schools: core, extended and immersion French. Each program provides students with different levels of intensity in developing their French-language knowledge and skills. Not all schools offer all three options. Ask your school board what your choices are before you enrol your child.

Viens vivre en Ontario

Cette image est le logo de 'Viens vivre en Ontario;.

Ontario's Municipal Francophone Immigration website, Viens vivre en Ontario (in French) provides local information about French services and local information on education, business, employment and health in various communities across Ontario.

Tip: Visit Parents partenaires en éducation (in French) and Canadian Parents for French to discover some of the other supports available to parents who have children in the French school system or in French immersion respectively.

Additional resources:

Note: Because English and French are Canada's two official languages, students in Ontario's publicly funded English-language schools are required to study French, similarly, students in Ontario's publicly funded French-language schools are required to study English.

HANDS-ON

 
Cette image est le logo de 'I live in French.'
 

Do your homework
Your child has the great opportunity of learning both English and French at an early age by living in Ontario. Take advantage of this situation and carefully assess all your options. Visit the schools near your home to find out about their programs, after-school language classes, integration support in the classroom and extracurricular activities. Ask about transportation. A city that doesn’t have a French school may offer a great immersion program nearby.

Day care

There are two basic kinds of child care in Ontario: licensed (have to meet and maintain specific provincial standards) and unlicensed. The government of Ontario offer subsidies to eligible families. Contact your local municipality to enquire or to apply.

Use the Licenced Child Care search tool and choose "French" as the language of service delivery to find a French daycare for your child.

Tip: Visit the Parents and Children section for useful resources for you and your children.

Do you have a question? Ask OntarioImmigration.ca.

 
 
 
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