The Quebec government is setting some ambitious hiring goals to make up for a shortage of daycare educators.
Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe and Labour Minister Jean Boulet announced plans to hire 18,000 new daycare educators and upgrade the skills of 7,000 current ones.
Some major incentives are being offered to attract workers to the field.
CEGEP students can apply for up to nine thousand dollars in scholarship funds while studying. Retired workers will be offered a 6.6 per cent bonus to return to work.
“We have to implement and carry out as many measures as possible to make sure with the addition of those new programs we will be able to answer the needs of the employers,” Labour Minister Jean Boulet said at Monday afternoon press conference.
Boulet admits there is a challenge to find new staff but he’s optimistic the incentives will entice people to work in the field or bring some back from retirement.
A sentiment shared by Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe.
“I think everyone will win if we have more people. So, I think it’s a good measure,” Lacombe said.
The government signed a new labour contract with unionized daycare workers last month and some leaders say Monday’s hiring announcement is welcome news.
“We cannot be mad about that. They realized they need to do something,” Stéphanie Vachon, a CSN Daycare Spokesperson, told Global News.
Others agree, saying the need for more staff in the field is great.
“Hopefully, some of them will be able to come back and will be interested to come back because the need is now,” Anne Dionne, a CSQ Vice-President, told Global News.
New television and online advertisements will start running to promote the government’s daycare hiring campaign.