A new online portal will offer Quebec parents one-stop access to educational support services for their children.

Parents.Quebec went live last week, a joint initiative of the Fédération des comités de parents (FCPQ) and the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA), representing parents of more than a million students in Quebec public schools.

The site’s first phase features dozens of organizations that offer support services to students and their families, from literacy and homework help to resources for learning disabilities and mental health. Phase 2, coming in spring, will feature a new bot search feature and additional listings.

The big takeaway for Anglophones said EPCA president Katherine Korakakis at a virtual press conference, is that the services they find will be local.

“When you’re looking for help for your child, it’s a different point of view if you’re living in west-end Montreal than if you are in Bas-Saint-Laurent. We’ve heard for so long that there are gaps in the information out there, and this will help avoid wasted time and guess work.”

Parents across the province receive the year’s first report cards this week, a period that usually finds parents searching for support. In this unprecedented era, with less than five months left before the end of classes, parents are scrambling. “Parents have enough to do and think about in addition to helping their children with their educational, social and personal challenges says FCPQ president Kevin Roy. “We know because we are parents, and we want to make their lives a little easier by assembling these useful and trusted resources in one place.”

It’s also a unique project in that it brings the French and English representatives of parent governance in a single project. The two groups had envisaged a single access website for years but accelerated the rollout to help meet the challenges of the pandemic. “We know it is not an easy time now for parents, Francophone or Anglophone, and that’s why we showed leadership with the creation of this site and its simultaneous launch in French and English.”

For her part, Korakakis says now more than ever, any tools that assist parents are welcomed. “To our parents who never give up fighting for their children or seeking to do what’s best, history has thrown down a massive gauntlet this year, but together we will prevail.”