Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario

Urgent Action!! Once in a generation opportunity to improve Ontario Labour Laws!

Urgent Action!! Once in a generation opportunity to improve Ontario Labour Laws!

What we do today is absolutely critical. Our Members of Provincial Parliament are set to meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide how far to go on labour law reform. We want to tell them to take it all the way. Unfortunately, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is already pushing back -- but we have the majority of Ontarians on our side! In fact, more and more employers are with us in speaking out for decent work. Let's make sure our elected officials do the right thing. 


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The AECEO is calling on all Registered Early Childhood Educators and Early Years Staff in Ontario to help push for a once in a generation update to Ontario’s labour laws. The demands from the $15 and Fairness campaign would improve work life for ECEs and all workers in the province of Ontario.

Please take 15 minutes today to call or email your MPP and Cabinet Ministers Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, 
Tracy MacCharles, Minister responsible for Women's Issues; and Minister Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for Early Years and Child Care. 

You can find our letter template to Cabinet Ministers here

You can find your MPP’s contact information here 

Toronto Star: Ontario plans big boost to minimum wage, update of labour laws 

“Cabinet will soon decide on the biggest overhaul of Ontario’s labour law in a generation – raising minimum wage up to $15 an hour, boosting private sector unionization and targeting companies that rely unfairly on part-time or contract work.”

Message from $15 and Fairness campaign:

Take 15 minutes right now to call and email your MPP and ask them to support a $15 minimum wage, 7 paid sick days and all other aspects of $15 and Fairness. Please call your MPP and ask them to:

  • Legislate at least seven (7) paid sick days, extend job-protection to all workplaces for 10 days of unpaid emergency leave and provide three weeks of paid vacation to all workers.
  • End exemptions or exceptions in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act (LRA) - the rules apply to everyone and protect everyone.
  • Expand the definition of employer in both the ESA and LRA, including joint and several liabilities as well as related and joint employers.
  • Legislate equal pay and benefits for equal work (including temporary agency, part-time, casual and contract workers) and eliminate sub-minimum wage rates established in the ESA.
  • Provide at least two weeks of advanced scheduling notice.
  • Expand the definition of employee to stop the misclassification of workers.
  • Invest in stronger enforcement of the ESA and LRA and prosecute employers who flout the law.
  • Extend just cause protection within the LRA and to ESA.
  • Enshrine the right to free association through protection for concerted activity.
  • Restore card-check certification; provide early disclosure of workplace information (neutral, online or telephone voting); remedial certification; and expedited and extended power to reinstate workers before the first agreement.
  • Provide access to first contract arbitration.
  • Extend successor rights to protect workers in the case of contract flipping.
  • Consolidate bargaining units in the case of the same certified bargaining agent.
  • Provide a framework for broader-based bargaining.
  • Guarantee the right to strike - including prohibiting the use of replacement workers, safeguarding the rights of workers who have been involved in a labour dispute (including reinstatement after six months and prohibiting employers from unilaterally deciding to "clean house" after a strike).
  • Mandate paid leave for domestic and sexual violence survivors.
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15.00 immediately.

Already called your MPP? Help spread the word:
- Forward this email to 3 friends and co-workers, ask them to make a call
- Share this photo on social media; click here for Facebook, click here for Twitter
- Make this image your profile picture (just like we did) and tag other friends to invite them to do the same

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Parents and Educators hold Mother’s Day Weekend stroller brigade to draw attention to Ontario’s child care crisis

meme_may13_17.pngWhile parent fees are high, many Registered Early Childhood Educators are putting off starting their own families or leaving the field because wages in the sector are too low.

This Mother’s Day weekend, parents and Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) are holding a Stroller Brigade at Toronto City Hall on May 13th 2017 from 10 am – 12 pm to call for an early years and child care system that provides professional pay and decent work, supported by the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC).

With the Ontario government’s recent promise to create 100,000 child care spaces over five years, parents and educators are expecting Kathleen Wynne to deliver big things for child care. But with 24% of RECEs and 67% of other staff working in licensed child care making $15/hour or less, decent work can’t wait five years or until the next election.

Educators and parents are sending a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne that RECEs and early years staff are valuable partners who support communities. 

“As a parent with a son in child care, I see the vital work that educators do every day. They deserve professional pay and decent work now.” said Toronto mother Munizah Salman.

With the government’s proposed expansion of child care spaces comes the promise of 20,000 new jobs in child care. But to attract and retain the best educators and staff the Ontario government must ensure a child care system with professional pay and decent work.

“I know that too many educators can’t afford to stay working in a profession that they love. As an ECE student looking to the future, I want to contribute my professional skills and knowledge, but it’s only fair to expect decent wages and working conditions.” said Sophia Mohamed, a George Brown College Early Childhood Leadership student.

“RECEs are the key to quality child care, so it is critical that the workforce is considered when funding and planning to build new quality child care spaces. Child care is more than places and spaces – it’s time to value every educator.” said Lyndsay Macdonald, Coordinator of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. 

Stroller Brigade route:

10 am – meet in front of Hester How playground (West side of City Hall)

March West on Queen St W to University Ave

March North on University Ave to Dundas St W

March East on Dundas St W and finish at Dundas Square

 

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A promise to transform the way childcare is provided in Ontario

C-Q4vE7XcAUhxAG.jpgAECEO response to 2017 Ontario budget

The AECEO welcomes the Ontario government’s $200 million in operating funding and injection into the child care subsidy system, however we are still waiting for a commitment to address the chronic undervaluing of the Early Childhood (EC) workforce.

Building on the government’s promise for 100,000 new child care spaces announced in September 2016, the budget devotes funds to the creation of 24,000 more child care spaces this year and subsidies for up to 60% of these spaces.

“We were hoping that the budget would outline the government’s funding plan for the full expansion over five years,” said Lyndsay Macdonald, Provincial Coordinator at the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. “Early Childhood Educators and Early Years staff in Ontario need to know that affordability for families won’t come at the expense of decent wages – we really can’t talk about affordability for parents without also talking about good wages and working conditions for educators.”

While we know from previous announcements that the Wage Enhancement Grant will continue this year, Early Childhood Educators and Early Years staff need to know that a more systemic solution to improve wages and working conditions will be featured prominently as part of the government’s renewed child care framework.

It is critical to point out that 100,000 new, high quality child care spaces are dependent on at least 20,000 new jobs for ECEs and staff. To attract and retain the best educators in our sector we need a comprehensive plan to address the current recruitment and retention strains. Without addressing decent work for the EC workforce, it will be impossible to sustain the quality child care spaces that exist, let alone expand the availability of quality child care options for parents. As it stands, the EC workforce remains in a position where they can seldom afford the very services they provide.

We are heartened that Minister Naidoo-Harris has announced, “an important pillar in our upcoming framework includes new ways to support the workforce, our early childhood educators and provide opportunities for our world class ECEs”. We wait optimistically for the renewed framework.

OCBCC Budget Response: Child care can't wait: Ontario budget makes a start on child care expansion but leaves major policy planks for another day

Read the 2017 Ontario Budget

Ontario budget puts focus on children’s well-being
Toronto Star - March 27, 2017

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Ontario Government announces funding for child care spaces and subsidies

Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for early years and child care, today announced the investment of $200 million in operating funding to allow the creation 24,000 new child care spaces in the province as well as additional funding for 13,000 subsidies in 2017-18 to address immediate needs of families. These measures are part of the government's renewed framework for the early years and child care in Ontario which will be presented in the next few weeks.

The AECEO commends the government for its significant commitment to improving life for children and families in Ontario by creating 100,000 new child care spaces over the next five years and allocations in its 2017 budget of funding to begin to address the access and affordability crisis in the province.

Our pre-budget submission strongly recommended that funds in the 2017 budget be directed to the Ministry of Education to support systemic solutions that address affordability for parents and compensation for Early Childhood Educators and early years staff. Our recommendation was for base funding of operational costs for non-profit and community programs coupled with a sliding fee scale as a funding structure to ensure professional pay and decent work for all ECEs and early years staff.

Yesterday at our pre-budget press conference we reminded Kathleen Wynne that Ontario's Early Childhood Educators, parents, families and children are expecting big things for child care in this year's provincial budget including how the government plans to address decent work for the Early Childhood workforce as part of a comprehensive workforce strategy. We were heartened to hear Minister Naidoo-Harris say at today's press conference that “...an important pillar in our upcoming framework includes new ways to support the workforce, our early childhood educators and provide opportunities for our world class ECEs.” because we can't talk about affordability without also talking about good wages and jobs for the workforce.

The AECEO and the OCBCC have convened an expert task force to make policy recommendations to the Ontario government on its strategy for the early childhood workforce. The the Minister's words today are a step in the right direction and we look forward to working together to address our recommendations in legislation this fall.

Helping Ontario Families Access Affordable Child Care
Ontario news release - April 26, 2017

Watch recorded video coverage of announcement here 

Ontario budget to pump millions into child care subsidies
Toronto Star, April 26, 2017

Toronto Star, April 26, 2017
CBC News, April 26, 2017

AECEO submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs’ Pre-budget consultation process

 

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Advocates demand Child Care action from Liberals in upcoming budget

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Spring into Action for Decent Work

Shared_Vision_Decent_Work.pngeceLINK Spring 2017

Decent work for Ontario’s Early Childhood Workforce must be a pillar of the government’s plan to build a better future for children and families in Ontario. ECEs, parents, and government have a common goal: high quality care and education for our youngest learners. As research shows, ECEs and sta are key to quality. Ensuring better wages and working conditions that support educators to provide high quality care and education must be the foundation upon which we build a better future for everyone in our province. 

Read full article here

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Spring eceLINK 2017 Now Available ONLINE

eceLINK_Spring2017cover.jpgIn This Issue:

  • AECEO Submission to the Ministry of Education Consultations
  • Spring into Action for Decent Work! (Featured article available to the public)
  • Canadian University and College Early Learning Lab Schools: What are they about?
  • AECEO Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Annual AECEO Member meeting notice
  • and more....

We would like to thank the following advertisers for helping to support this issue of the eceLINK

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Federal budget money for child care is a good first step but not nearly enough, advocates say

Toronto Star - Wed., March 22, 2017

The $7 billion earmarked in the budget for child care includes $500 million already allocated for 2017-18 to kick-start a national program with the provinces and territories based on the principles of affordability, accessibility, flexibility and inclusiveness.

Details of the new national early learning and child-care framework, including how the money will be spent, will be released later this spring, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told the Star last week.

read full article here 

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Changing the status quo for child care: Easy as pie--1, 2, 3--A, B, C

March 8, 2017 by Martha Friendly

Changing the status quo for child care:  Easy as pie--1, 2, 3--A, B, C

In 2012, the National Film Board released Status Quo,  Karen Cho's documentary that aptly identified child care as one of three pieces of “the unfinished business of feminism in Canada".  A national child care program, the film observed, was one of the few (if not the only) recommendation of the 1970 Royal Commission on the Status of Women that had not been addressed at all.  

So on International Women's Day 2017--five years and a change of government since the film's debut--it is timely to take stock of the Canadian child care status quo once again.  

read full blog post at Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)

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AECEO submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs’ Pre-budget consultation process

February, 2017

In our response to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs' Pre Budget consultation process, the AECEO has made several recommendations to support the concept of transforming the current patchwork system of early years and child care services that parents and families currently struggle to navigate. 

Every day, ECEs make the difficult decision to leave the sector and the work that they love due to low wages and challenging working conditions that hinder their ability to fulfill their professional roles in early years and child care programs. An alarming concern as the anticipated transformation of early years and child care in Ontario rests on the ability of the early childhood (EC) workforce to take up 20,000 new jobs.  In order to recruit and retain well-trained, well-educated and passionate ECEs it is imperative that the Government of Ontario address the root of the problem:

The AECEO recommended that the Ontario Government develop and invest in a comprehensive workforce strategy for the ECE profession that includes

  • A provincially established, annually indexed, regional wage scale along with annually indexed base funding for child care and other family resource and support programs in order to equitably raise the salaries, working conditions and morale of all ECEs and early years staff and to strengthen recruitment and retention. A standardized wage rate in the early years and child care sector will ensure staff with equivalent education and work responsibilities are paid a similar rate of pay no matter where they work. These initiatives would further contribute to higher and more consistent quality across programs. The Government of Manitoba announced a wage scale program on January 12, 2016.
  • We support the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care’s call for at least $500 million in capital funding for Year 1 of the child care expansion to begin to make a real difference in availability of spaces; provide $300 million in new operating funding to keep pace with expansion of spaces, to support child care services directly and kick start a process of system transformation. The province should contribute an additional $75 million to address immediate crises faced by existing programs;
  • The province should commit to moving from the current broken fee subsidy system to an affordable sliding fee scale, and begin work immediately to design an affordable fee model that works for all Ontario families;
  • A provincial mandate and supporting funding arrangement to make the Designated ECE position in full-day kindergarten a full-time, full-year position comparable to that of elementary school teachers;
  • Support for essential ongoing education and professional learning for early childhood educators and early years staff at all levels, no matter where they work;
  • Appropriate infrastructure support, including funding to facilities, programming, curriculum development, and early childhood education and care organizations.

Click here for AECEO's full submission

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ECE Wage Enhancement Announcement

News Release

Ontario Continuing to Provide Support for Child Care Professionals 
Wage Enhancement Will Strengthen Licensed Child Care, Encourage Sector Growth
February 9, 2017

Ministry of Education

For a third straight year, Ontario is increasing wages to help keep child care professionals in licensed child care settings and encourage growth in the sector, ensuring that children and families across the province continue to benefit from safe, high-quality child care that promotes early learning and development.

As part of Ontario's commitment to supporting child care professionals, the program will receive ongoing, annual funding. This year, the province will provide:

  • An ongoing wage enhancement, up to $2 per hour plus benefits, for eligible child care workers and home visitors in the licensed child care sector.
  • An ongoing enhancement, up to $20 per day, for eligible home child care providers.
  • A raise in the maximum hourly wage to be eligible for the wage enhancement - an increase of 1.5 per cent to $26.68 per hour. For home child care providers, the daily fees maximum will be $266.80 per day.

Full information available at news.Ontario.ca

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AECEO Submission to Ministry of Education, Early Years Division’s Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy

The AECEO has long called for a publicly funded, high quality, universal child care system in Ontario – one that is affordable for all families and that ensures professional pay and decent work for the early childhood (EC) workforce.

We were very pleased to submit our response, highlighting the need for support for the early childhood workforce, to the Ministry of Education’s consultations on its Early Years and Child Care Strategy.


Introduction

The AECEO is the professional association for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) in Ontario. We support ECEs in their professional practice and advocate for the recognition and appropriate compensation of the profession.  Our members are working throughout Ontario in programs for young children and their families, including regulated child care, full-day kindergarten, family resource programs and support services for children with disabilities, among others.

As ECEs, we support the government of Ontario’s commitment to transforming the way early years and child care/early learning programs are delivered in the province. As studies have shown, investment in early childhood education and care (ECEC) through accessible, quality, and affordable options has significant positive economic implications for individuals and for society. 

MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for Early Years and Child Care has referred to the government’s commitment as Ontario’s opportunity to be transformative, to be groundbreaking and to be visionary (Toronto Consultation, December 7th 2016). The AECEO applauds this significant commitment and we look forward to working with the government in addressing barriers to EC workforce advancement. We also applaud the government’s commitment to the consultation process, as consultation with the early years and child care sector is a vital component of this transformation. The AECEO requests that the Ministry of Education release a summary of what they heard from the community through the consultation process as we work together to “get this done right” (Toronto Consultation, December 7th 2016)

Read full response here...


 

OTHER RESPONSES

CRRU response to consultation

Unifor Submission to the Ontario Consultation on an Early Years and Child Care Strategy 

Public and not-for-profit network will deliver best child care for Ontarians: CUPE submission

Better Child Care for Ontario: CCPA submission

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eceLINK Winter 2016/17 Now ONLINE

Cover_test_eceLINK_Winter_2016-17.jpgIn This Issue:

  • Decent Work for all RECEs and early years staff in Ontario, no matter where they work
  • THE "DIG INTO PLAY" STORY: Reimagining Public Spaces for Play (Featured article available to the public)
  • AECEO PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PARTNERSHIP
  • EMPOWERING ECE STUDENTS: A profile of the Ryerson Student Childcare Advocacy Association
  • 2017-2018 PROVINCIAL BOARD NOMINATIONS FORM
  • MEMBER 'S MOTIONS GUIDELINES/FORM
  • And more.....

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We would like to thank the following advertisers for helping to support this issue of the eceLINK

Food for Tots
Heartsafe
Infant Mental Health Promotion - Early Years Conference
Johnson Insurance
Pearson
Queen's University 
Retired Teachers of Ontario
Sentient
School Specialty
University of Guelph-Humber 

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Give the gift of nominating an ECE for the Prime Minister's Award

This holiday season, why not give an exceptional teacher or early childhood educator the gift of recognition by nominating them for a Prime Minister's Award.

National awards are worth $5,000 and recipients honoured by the Prime Minister. Nomination packages are available at www.pma.gc.ca.

Need inspiration? Check out the terrific teachers and early childhood educators that were honoured in the fall.

You have until January 9, 2017 to submit a nomination. For more information visit www.pma.gc.ca or call 613-991-4255

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A Growing Concern

2016 child care fees in Canada’s big cities

December 12, 2016

This study, the third in a series beginning in 2014, reveals the most and least expensive cities for child care in Canada. The study provides an annual snapshot of median parental child care fees in Canada’s biggest 28 cities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It finds that wait lists are common for regulated child care, which is more expensive than it was two years ago, with fees rising an average of over 8% since 2014—three times faster than inflation.

Read more...

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Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEB 3, 2017

Ministry of Education Consultations on Early Years and Child Care Strategy

The Ministry of Education has just released Building a Better Future: A discussion paper for transforming early years and child care in Ontario and has invited the community to make submissions online and/or in person at a series of public consultation meetings in selected communities around Ontario.

Please share this information widely. AECEO urges all RECEs and early years staff to attend these public consultation meetings or to provide feedback online to ensure that educator voices are heard in this important policy process. Expansion of Ontario's early years and child care sector will require systemic solutions to address longstanding issues of recruitment, retention and remuneration in the early years sector. 

Please read the Ministry of Education's discussion paper and let them know what youneed in order to create a quality early years and child care system in Ontario. All RECEs and early years staff deserve #ProfessionalPay and #DecentWork. The deadline for online submissions is February 3 2017 the AECEO will make a submission and we will share our response with the community as soon as it is available.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) has created a helpful tip sheet which includes a schedule of the in-person consultation dates. 

For more information and to submit your feedback online please go to: https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-early-years-and-child-care-strategy

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Taking action to mobilize change for early childhood educators

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HiMama Podcast #16 - November 1, 2016

AECEO Provincial Board Secretary Chanequa Cameron, a Master’s degree student at Ryerson University, is this week’s guest speaker on the Hi Mama, THE PRESCHOOL PODCAST. Chanequa discusses how early childhood educators can take an active role in creating positive change for the profession and the need for stakeholders to work together to close the early childhood professionalization gap as noted in the AECEO’s recently released paper “I’m more than ‘just’ an ECE”: Decent work from the perspective of Ontario's early childhood workforce

Click here for Podcast

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Child care can't wait till the cows come home: Rural child care in the Canadian context

Martha Friendly, Carolyn Ferns, Bethany Grady and Laurel Rothman 
A Childcare Resource and Research Unit Publication
September 30, 2016

Description:

The purpose of this paper, aimed at a wide range of stakeholders, is to provide a current overview of the state of rural child care and to stimulate and inform discussion aimed at improving it.

The report includes the following sections as well as references and appendices: 

  • an executive summary available in English and French; 
  • a literature review of research, descriptions and analyses of rural child care to highlight issues facing contemporary rural families and child care programs;
  • a scan of provincial/territorial approaches and initiatives pertinent to rural child care;
  • several descriptive case studies of successful rural child care programs across the country;
  • a brief summary of the situation of rural child care beyond our borders;
  • a discussion of possibilities and recommendations to the various levels of government and to community stakeholders.

This Occasional Paper No. 30 is available in an online format only here

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Early Childhood Educators call on Wynne Government to commit to equal pay and decent work

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 25, 2016)

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To mark Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day on October 26, a new report and thousands of names on petitions shine a light on the challenges faced by Ontario's early childhood workforce and their growing collective call for decent work.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) and its partners and allies are calling on the government to ensure that their recent Throne Speech commitment of 100,000 child care spaces helps to build a real system of child care in the province. A petition, being presented in the Ontario legislature Wednesday, calls for a publicly funded early learning and child care system that "provides both adequate wages and affordable fees." 

"We welcome the Ontario government's renewed focus on child care, but to make the most of it we need an approach that develops a real child care system. Not just a space expansion, but affordability for parents and decent work for educators," said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

The Ontario government's promise of 100,000 child care spaces will require an estimated 20,000 early childhood educators. But educators are warning the government that without ensuring equal pay and decent work, the sector will continue to experience high rates of staff turnover as trained educators leave the sector due to low pay and burnout. 

A new report from the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) highlights the issues faced by the workforce. The paper - "I'm more than 'just' an ECE" - reports on consultations with educators and child care staff across Ontario. 

"The government's planned space expansion can only be achieved through the work of educators and child care workers. The needs of the workforce can no longer be ignored," said Lyndsay Macdonald, Coordinator of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

Bernice Cipparrone McLeod of the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development at OISE/UT reiterated the importance of a stable, qualified and well compensated workforce to high quality early learning and care. 

"Research shows that it's the educators that build quality in early learning and care. They are the key to quality programs and must be supported," said Cipparrone McLeod.

"The Wynne government committed to closing the gender wage gap. The government's own gender wage gap report found child care to be the area of greatest concern - not only from the perspective of parents but also from early childhood educators. ECEs provide a vital service in our communities and must be compensated accordingly," added Ferns.

  • Contact Information: Carolyn Ferns
    Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
    Ph: 416-538-0628 x 4
    Cell: 647-218-1275
    carolyn@childcareontario.org
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Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day 2016

Profile_Pic_EN.jpgChild Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is Wednesday October 26, 2016.

Child Care Worker and ECE Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate the workforce and also to call for stronger government investment to build a real early learning and child care system that provides high quality, affordable education and care for families, as well as Decent Work for educators.

This year's theme is Shaping Our Future to highlight the special role that ECEs and child care staff play in the lives of children, families and communities. Our theme also speaks to the importance of the early learning and care workforce in shaping our own future, and the future of our sector.

Change your Facebook or Twitter profile photo to Shaping Our Future, using the image on the right. 

Child Care Worker and ECE Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate the workforce and also to call for stronger government investment to build a real early learning and child care system that provides high quality, affordable education and care for families, as well as Decent Work for educators.

Visit the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care's website for more information

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