The AECEO is deeply disappointed in the 2022 Ontario Budget, which provides no new provincial funding or support for Early Childhood Educators, early years staff, and the early years sector. The Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement represents a significant and important step forward for the sector, but we know the workforce commitments in the agreement alone will do little to address the growing recruitment and retention crisis. We know educators, and the work you do with children and families, is worth more than the inadequate $18/hour wage floor and the continued status quo. We will continue to advocate for a real provincial workforce strategy and salary grid – one that will provide good careers with fair wages and decent working conditions for educators and early years staff. Without it, Ontario won’t be able to staff existing child care spaces, let alone expand to serve more families.
From the Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario, to our Pre-Budget Submission and the recent Breaking Point Campaign, we have been consistent and persistent in our advocacy, raising the voice of Early Childhood Educators and early years staff directly to the Ministry of Education. It is your experiences and stories that make undeniably clear the impact of policy and funding decisions on educators' well-being, pedagogy and practice and the experiences and well-being of children and families. We look forward to the sector’s collective advocacy in the months ahead as we continue to raise our voices together. We also invite educators and allies to join us on May 1 as we rally together in Toronto and Ottawa and launch our Worth More Campaign.