The work of early childhood center educators has changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. Their task has become so heavy that educators abandon ship.
“We already had a labor shortage before COVID-19, but there, the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. […] And there have been departures, something that we did not see in our network, ”said Wednesday the director of the Quebec Association of early childhood centers (AQCPE), Geneviève Bélisle.
The work of educators increased during the pandemic due to disinfection protocols, parenting procedures, not to mention the wearing of personal protective equipment. According to the AQCPE, salaries and accumulated fatigue are also factors that push educators to pack up.
“The labor shortage, combined with the departure of vulnerable people, put pressure on those who remained. It has become difficult to have vacations when you want, there is also the fatigue that accumulates so it has become tempting to go elsewhere, ”said Ms. Bélisle.
According to the AQCPE, these departures affect more remote regions where the unemployment rate is low.
At the Ministry of the Family, we are very aware of the extent of the problem.
“It’s clear that we have a problem. We have a shortage of qualified personnel, but we also have a shortage of short staff that we need tomorrow morning especially in the context of the pandemic, ”specified the Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe.
According to government projections, Quebec will need more than 10,000 trained educators by 2024.
To alleviate the problem, the Ministry of the Family has grouped together all the job offers in the network in the same place on the website of the Ministry of Labor, “I work!”.
“So there are Emploi-Québec agents who use their bank of unemployed people and who will try to play” matches “, it is a bit like the” Tinder “of early childhood education”, specified the minister.
In December, 1300 positions were posted on this platform and, at present, there are 1075. According to the Minister, the initiative has therefore already started to bear fruit.