Quebec is spending $7 million to recruit foreign nationals to work as early childhood educators due to the on-going shortage of people in the province to work in the field.

The money is to be invested over five years to support educational childcare services recruitment efforts by providing financial support to participants of the government-sponsored Journées Québec missions. 

Employers have previously told the provincial government that the costs attached to these missions are a major obstacle for many of them.

With the latest funding announcement, Quebec is pledging to refund up to 35 per cent of the cost of these missions to a maximum of $4,000 per participant. 

That money will be in addition to the support already provided to participants by Quebec’s immigration department, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), and its labour ministry, the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité Sociale.

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With those other forms of financial support included, participants in the Journées Québec missions will now be able to be refunded for up to 75 per cent of their costs.

Those participants who access the missions virtually will be refunded with the latest investment to the tune of a maximum of 50 per cent of their costs.

The latest investment will also cover up to 50 per cent of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA), or $608 of the required $1,216 per LMIA, for up to five LMIAs per participant in these recruitment missions.

Quebec is also planning to issue a call for proposals for projects to support the recruitment of foreign nationals to work as early childhood educators, including by offering settlement services.

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“International recruitment efforts and the pilot project for credential recognition which will get underway in the next few months are concrete examples of our commitment to support the network of educational childcare services all while being faithful to our mission to help immigrants,” said provincial Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette.

Quebec will be offering the international recruitment mission for early childhood educators to up to 50 employers in the educational childcare services sector this coming November.

“Today’s announcement will provide support for managers in their international recruitment efforts,” said provincial Family Minister Suzanne Roy. “I would like to take this time to underscore the important work being done by many groups in our network to bring up our little ones.”

Quebec Offering Students Scholarships Of Up To $9,000

In its budget in March, the province earmarked not only $7 million for these measures through to 2026 but also another $1.5 million to be invested annually starting in 2028 for ongoing international recruitment efforts for the educational childcare services sector.

This comes in the wake of other measures undertaken by the province to resolve labour shortages in the sector, including pay hikes and the provision of scholarships, some valued at $9,000, for students in college programs to become early childhood educators.

The latest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data reveals Quebec welcomed 68,715 new permanent residents in 2022 and another 16,045 new permanent residents in the first three months of this year.

That level of immigration, if it held steady for the rest of this year, would see Quebec welcome 64,180 new permanent residents by the end of this year.

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