pei-french-immersion

There are concerns about a shortage of French immersion kindergarten teachers next year. ((CBC))

A French-language advocate group is watching to see how many qualified kindergarten teachers will be hired for P.E.I.'s French immersion programs when kindergarten moves into the public school system next year.

Gail Lecky, with Canadian Parents for French, said the group hopes people who are familiar with the kindergarten curriculum are hired.

"I'm sure that the school boards and the Department of Education will be looking for the best and most suitable teachers that they can find," she said. "But certainly, after a couple of years, we would definitely be looking to ensure that those teachers that are teaching kindergarten are the ones that should be there."

The province will need at least 30 kindergarten teachers for its French immersion and French first language programs next year.

Nicole Blanchard, who runs a child-care centre, said she's concerned about losing all six of her qualified early childhood educators.

"It's always a struggle to find French-speaking staff. So it would be a struggle to find someone to replace them," she said.

The Department of Education is interviewing 130 early childhood educators who currently teach kindergarten. A spokesperson said the interviewees are being asked if they are qualified and willing to teach in French.