The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) has been leading the charge to improve wages and working conditions for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) and staff in Ontario.The AECEO’s Decent Work Task Force delivers our workforce strategy recommendations to the provincial government today - November 30th
We are calling for a commitment from the Ontario government to bring all RECEs up to $25/hr to reflect their level of education and the value of their work.
Read the full report here.
“RECEs are the key to quality in early years and child care programs, so it is critical that their needs are central to considerations for planning, funding and building new quality early years and child care services. Early childhood education is more than places and spaces – it’s time to value every educator.” said Lyndsay Macdonald, RECE and Coordinator at the AECEO.
With the Ontario government’s promise to create 100,000 child care spaces over five years, parents and educators are expecting Kathleen Wynne to deliver on the commitment to transform the way early years and child care services are provided. 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.
“I am a proud registered early childhood educator who is passionate about caring for and educating young children. I worked for a wonderful non-profit community based child care program but I had to make the very difficult decision to leave the field. I want to start my own family soon and I can’t do it on an ECE salary.” Said Toronto RECE and AECEO Board Member Alana Powell.
AECEO engaged more than 4,000 early childhood educators in a consultation survey about what should be included in the government’s workforce strategy. Regarding wages and compensation, 72% reported that they do not feel they are appropriately compensated for their work. More than 9 out of 10 (91%) of respondents agreed that a publicly funded wage scale is an appropriate mechanism to improve wages in the sector. RECEs are sending a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne that improving wages and working conditions is critical to meet the new staffing demands of expanded child care and parent-child (EarlyON) spaces.
“I know that too many early childhood educators can’t afford to stay working in a profession that they love. As an RECE 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.