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Quebec-funded initiative aims to improve qualification and reduce staff shortage in daycare facilities

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MacDonald, Darcy
Publication Date: 
21 Nov 2023


In response to the pressing post-pandemic labour shortage in Quebec’s early childhood care and education sector, the province is offering a solution to fast-track certification and qualification for uncertified daycare staff with an initiative known as RAC96.

Through RAC96, experienced but uncertified workers have a unique opportunity to obtain an Attestation of College Studies (AEC), recognized by the Ministry of Education and by the Ministry of Higher Education and offered in one of the 37 participating CEGEPs across Quebec.

With the support of RAC96, daycare operators will benefit by improving the overall quality of care their centre provides and augmenting the possibility of staff retention in the long term.

"The contribution takes the form of financial support to the employer so that he or she can offer paid time, ideally during regular working hours, to his or her employees who are in the process of RAC in ECE," Frappier explained.

The first 96 hours of the certification process are funded by RAC96. After completing the assessment of their prior learning and skills in early childhood education, the uncertified educator is considered certified.

And when a certified educator has completed a total of 4,992 hours of work, they are then considered qualified.


Following this, candidacy requests are sent to the appropriate CEGEP for assessment. Typically, being 18 years old and having nearly two years of childcare work experience is the eligibility standard.

Frappier believes the RAC96 solution is a win both for the early childhood education sector and the communities and families its centres serve.

"The RAC96 initiative really improves the quality of the daycare center. Of course, uncertified staff can be fantastic, but making sure people are both certified and qualified helps ensure shared knowledge based on academic standards and training."