Path to become an early childhood educator

Several programs and options are available to meet the needs of those who want to become an early childhood educator. Financial incentives are also available.

Choosing a career as a qualified educator

The Diploma of College Studies (DCS) in Early Childhood Education leads to qualification as an educator. This three-year program enables candidates to acquire the skills they need to find work in the field. To register, choose from the following educational institutions that offer the program.

Student Financial Assistance

Perspective Québec Scholarship

A new scholarship will be available as of the Fall 2022 term. It will replace the internship bursaries and the perseverance scholarship and will be awarded to full-time students after each term completed.

The scholarship will amount to $1 500 per term, for a total of $9 000 in the three‑year Early Childhood Education program.

For more information, visit the Programme de bourses Perspective Québec web page (in French only).

Obtaining my qualification while working

The Early Childhood Work-Study Program allows you to choose between two options to become a qualified educator.

Work-Study Program

The program is intended for individuals already working at or recently hired by an educational childcare centre who wish to obtain their qualification.

Training is paid and takes place during working hours. The program leads to an Attestation of College Studies (ACS) in Early Childhood Education. The ACS combined with 4 992 hours of relevant experience leads to qualification under the​​​​​ Directive concernant l’évaluation de la qualification du personnel de garde This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only).

If you would like to learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to register, visit the Early Childhood Work-Study Program This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.

Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) Process

The recognition of acquired competencies process is intended for educators who are already working, have a minimum of three years of relevant experience and who wish to obtain their qualification.

Training will be offered at several colleges in spring 2022. It aims to officially recognize the competencies acquired during life and work experiences.

In early childhood education, the process can lead to:

  • an ACS in early childhood education
  • a DCS in early childhood education

Individuals will be able to take time off work, without loss of pay, for a maximum of 96 hours to prepare their file and attend the various meetings. In addition, all costs associated with the option leading to the ACS will be covered by the government.

More information on eligibility criteria and on how to register will be available soon.

Redirecting my career

Your experience or your studies can be assets for becoming an early childhood educator.

Specialized training for individuals with a relevant Canadian degree

A short program will be offered to individuals who have a relevant Canadian degree (e.g. special education, social work, community action, recreation intervention). It will lead directly to qualification.

Individuals referred by an employment assistance officer from Services Québec may be eligible for a $475 weekly allocation while participating in this training program. The training program will be offered at several colleges.

More details to come.

Returning to the job market as an early childhood educator

First Steps to an Early Childhood Education Profession is a 90-hour, 4-week training program, which aims to prepare individuals for the position of early childhood educator without official qualification.

This training program is free and non-credit. It is open to anyone interested in early childhood education who is at least 18 years old and who has completed Secondary III. The courses are designed to help students become familiar with the essential content for working in this sector and focus on the educational approach as well as the health and safety of young children. The training program also includes a first aid course.

Individuals referred by an employment assistance officer from Services Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window. may be eligible for a $475 weekly allocation while participating in this training program. Consult the Services Québec offices locator This hyperlink will open in a new window. to find which service better suits your needs.

Individuals who complete this program may pursue further studies to obtain qualification. Several paths are possible, depending one’s level of education and admission requirements, such as the Attestation of College Studies (ACS) in Early Childhood Education, which is related to the Early Childhood Work-Study Program, the regular educational path or the Diploma of College Studies (DCS).

Returning to work in educational childcare services from retirement

A salary bonus is paid to qualified or unqualified educators who wish to remain in or return to the workforce in the educational childcare services sector.

This bonus is for individuals who received a pension under the Régime de retraite du personnel des CPE et des garderies privées conventionnées du Québec (Pension Plan). The amount is equivalent to the government’s contribution to the Pension Plan, which is 6.6% of the salary paid.

To return to work and benefit from this bonus, contact your former employer or apply for a job on Québec emploi This hyperlink will open in a new window..

No training is required to return to or remain in the job market.

Obtaining my qualification from a degree obtained outside Canada

If you have completed studies related to early childhood education outside of Canada, it is possible to verify the equivalence of your diploma to qualified educator status by obtaining a comparative evaluation for studies done outside Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Additional training

If you have a foreign diploma related to early childhood education, a short, additional training will be offered to you. This program will lead directly to the qualification that will allow you to work as an educator in Québec.

Unemployed individuals who enrol in this program will be eligible for financial support.

Last update: September 7, 2022


Was the information on this page useful to you?

You have questions or require additional information?

Please contact Services Québec