Rachel Vickerson's activity stream


  • published Black History Month Resources in News 2023-02-03 14:34:56 -0500

    Black History Month Resources

     

    February is Black History Month. As early childhood educators and as a community, this is a time for us to learn, unlearn, and examine how our actions must work to support racial justice.  The AECEO aims to continuously challenge systemic racism and colonial structures that harm Black children, families, and educators within the early childhood education and care sector. Acknowledging that Black educators also face specific challenges in accessing progressive economic and professional opportunities is important to consider as we aim for transformative change.

    We know there’s a lot of work to be done towards justice and equality and there will be uncomfortable and even painful conversations and experiences along the way. We also must ensure that Black community members are not tasked with carrying the burden of everyone’s collective learning.  

    We remain committed to building a society that values and celebrates Black history and culture, by promoting Black leadership and actively working against systems that surveil, oppress, and disparage Blackness. On February 28th, we will be hosting a Professional Learning opportunity with the Seneca Early Childhood Educators Black Students Association, and we look forward to sharing more details and registration soon.

    Below you will find a list of resources that includes suggested readings, videos and local events for all ages in different regions of the province. We suggest you explore this compilation of resources, attend a local event if you’re able to and share these within your community so others can access them. We encourage all early childhood educators and members of the early learning community to join us in dedicating time and effort to critically examining pedagogy, historical and current narratives and committing to specific work that promotes the participation of Black educators, children and families as leaders in our sector and community.

    Local Events in Ontario

    Online Events 

    Readings

    Resources for Educators and Caregivers

    • Community of Black ECEs - AECEO Communities of Practice are self-determined learning groups that connect folks to supports, resources, and shared experiences to strengthen a unified early years workforce
    • A Different Booklist - a Canadian, independent, multicultural bookstore specializing in books from the African Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.
    • Afro Women and Youth Foundation - a Black-Led and Black-Serving organization that provides leadership, empowerment, and mentorship programs to Newcomers, Black Women and Youth
    • Centering the Voices of Racialized Mothers and Educators in Shaping Child Care Response and Recovery in Ontario - an Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Project, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada
    • Haymarket Books Haymarket Books is a radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher based in Chicago, IL. 
    • EmbraceRace - a community space that gathers resources and knowledge needed to meet the challenges faced by those raising children in a world where race matters. 
    • Woke Kindergarten - a global, abolitionist early childhood ecosystem & visionary creative portal supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.
    • The Conscious Kid - an education, research and policy organization that supports families and educators in taking action to disrupt racism, inequity and bias
    • Gal-dem - An online media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalized genders.

    Video and Film Recommendations


  • Ontario child care advocates celebrate milestone in affordable child care; push for workforce strategy and transparency

    The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario welcomed Monday’s announcement by the federal and Ontario governments that child care fees will be reduced by 50% by the new year.

    “Affordable child care is life changing for families and for our communities. It is great to see the collaboration between the federal and provincial governments making that a reality for Ontario families”, said Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Policy Coordinator Carolyn Ferns.

    Ontario also announced more details of its use of federal expansion funds, with a promise to use $213 million in federal Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funds for start-up grants to child care programs around Ontario. 

    While it is positive to hear the Ontario government speak about expanding licensed child care, advocates cautioned that it will be impossible to increase the number of licensed spaces without addressing the child care workforce crisis. Around Ontario child care programs cannot operate at capacity right now because of the child care recruitment and retention crisis, let alone plan for expansion. 

    The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario have called for a workforce strategy including:

    • A salary scale starting at $25 per hour for all child care workers and $30 per hour for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs);
    • Benefits and pensions;
    • Paid sick days;
    • Professional development time;
    • Paid programming time.

    “We need decent work and pay. We need the federal and provincial governments to bring the same level of ambition and collaboration that they have brought to lowering child care fees to raising child care worker wages and developing a real workforce strategy” said Rachel Vickerson of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

    The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care also urges the province to increase transparency as the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care plan gets underway in Ontario. 

    “We need regular public reporting, accountability mechanisms and transparent, public consultation going forward. How many child care spaces have already been created? And where are they located? How will programs be selected for expansion and how will the government be guaranteeing that we are expanding primarily in public and non-profit sectors as required under the CWELCC agreement? We need to ensure that every dollar going to create spaces for families is well-spent,” said Ferns.

     

    Contact

    Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, [email protected], 647-218-1275

    Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, [email protected], 647-393-8952


  • published AECEO Statement on CUPE Education Workers in News 2022-11-03 11:21:57 -0400

    AECEO Statement on CUPE Education Workers Strike

    The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario is proud to stand with CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) Education Workers as they fight for an agreement that ensures decent working conditions and fair wages for education workers. We have long championed the idea that “educators’ working conditions are children’s learning conditions” and that decent work must be the backbone of our education and care settings. CUPE has attempted to put forward a contract that champions these principles of decent work and quality learning environments – including proposals that ensure an ECE in every Kindergarten classroom, adequate paid sick time, and daily paid planning time for all ECEs and EAs. 

    In response, the Ontario government has tabled legislation that imposes a contract on CUPE education workers and removes the fundamental right to collective bargaining we hold as Canadians. The use of the notwithstanding clause in this legislation is unprecedented and harmful to all future labour negotiations in Canada, and to our ongoing struggle for decent work. We call on the provincial government to withdraw this legislation, and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a deal in good faith. 

    To the over 4,500 Early Childhood Educators in OSBCU: We see you, support you and are thinking of you. If you are feeling confused, anxious or unsettled, we have space for these feelings too. The evolving situation is complex and completely new – a government has never used the notwithstanding clause in this way before. 

    The AECEO staff will be joining the CUPE-led actions in our local communities on Friday November 4th, and we encourage those who are able to do the same. As the AECEO, we will continue to support ECEs in all work environments in Ontario as we work together to influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families, and communities. 

    In Solidarity,

    The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario


    Find your closest CUPE picket line here


  • Open Letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford regarding implementation of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan

    The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, Child Care Now and the Childcare Resource and Research Unit have written to Ontario Premier Doug Ford with concerns about the Province's approach to the implementation of CWELCC.

    Dear Premier Ford:

    We are writing to express concerns about the direction and approach of the rollout of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Plan in Ontario. The Province’s implementation has been halting and shambolic since the signing of the Canada-Ontario agreement in March 2022, creating confusion and uncertainty for parents, child care staff, service providers and municipal partners. The Province has also failed to follow through on commitments to community engagement, transparency and accountability. 

    We are most troubled by Ontario’s change in direction with respect to for-profit child care funding. Section 4.2 of the Canada-Ontario Agreement commits Ontario to enhancing its current “cost control framework” and “ensuring that costs and earnings of child care licensees that opt-in to the Canada-Wide ELCC system are reasonable and that surplus earnings beyond reasonable earnings are directed towards improving child care services.” 

    But in August of 2022, Ontario released revised funding guidelines that remove the entire section on undue profits and requirements for financial audits. As highlighted by federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould in a recent letter to Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, these changes “may run counter to the objective of ensuring the sound and reasonable use of public funds.”

    Additionally, this abrupt change in provincial policy direction signals that important features of the new CWELCC system can be changed suddenly and capriciously, and not in the best interests of children and families. Parents, who are forced to rely on the media for information because of the Ontario government’s failure to adequately communicate, are uncertain and anxious about their fee reductions.

    The child care community’s alarm is compounded by the absence of promised community engagement with respect to early learning and child care policy development and implementation, especially on urgent issues such as the child care workforce crisis.

    An April 12, 2022 memo to municipal child care service managers promised that:

    Ontario is also working to develop a workforce strategy aimed at continuing to support improved recruitment and retention in the sector. In the spring and summer of 2022, we will engage sector partners regarding space expansion priorities and the development of an inclusion framework to support the needs of vulnerable and diverse populations including Indigenous, Francophone, Black and other racialized, newcomer, low-income and children with special needs.

    There has been no formal engagement of sector partners on a workforce strategy, space expansion or an inclusion framework.  

    Even basic public data are being restricted: the community is still waiting for the long overdue release of the province’s Annual Report on Early Years and Child Care 2021, which was expected in late fall 2021. We note that the last Annual Report to be made public was released in October 2020. Accessible public data will be essential as we evaluate the successes and challenges, and work towards a comprehensive early learning and child care system for Ontario families. 

    We also want to express our deep disagreement with the erosion of the key role of municipalities (CMSMs and DDSABs), which has long been mandated by Ontario governments. This local government role is an important part of the infrastructure needed to support early learning and child care services through planning, financing and financial administration and quality improvement. We believe the municipal role should be strengthened, not weakened, and stress that there has been no community discussion about the role of municipalities.   

    The only consultation that is happening is behind closed doors. As reported in a Toronto Star investigative report, private invitations to a select few to serve on a Minister’s Advisory Table have been made. Meetings began in August but there has been no public announcement about the choice of individuals invited or about meetings, mandate or output of this Table.

    The Ontario child care community has long advocated for a publicly funded, publicly managed, high quality, universally accessible early learning and care system, as outlined in our Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario. We advocated that Ontario come to an agreement with the federal government and begin rolling out such a system, which will benefit families and children very significantly. We remain committed to making our vision of a transformed ELCC system a reality. 

    Going forward, we call on you, the Premier of Ontario, to:

    • Reaffirm and act on Ontario’s commitment to the spirit and requirements of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care plan;
    • Respond to the federal government’s recent letter by stating that Ontario will implement the cost-control and financial accountability measures outlined in the Canada-Ontario agreement as relevant to all future Funding Guidelines;
    • Engage in public, open consultation on: the funding formula; a child care workforce strategy; non-profit and public expansion; and inclusion. This consultation should be an integrated process that recognizes the intrinsic connections between these facets of a child care system;
    • Release the 2021 Annual Report and commit to enhancing – not restricting – ongoing public access to public data.

    We call on you to act now to ensure that the implementation of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan meets the needs of children, families and educators across Ontario. 

    Sincerely,


    Carolyn Ferns, Public Policy Coordinator

    Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

    [email protected]

     

    Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director

    Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario

    [email protected]

     

    Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director

    Child Care Now

    [email protected]

     

    Martha Friendly, Executive Director

    Childcare Resource and Research Unit

    [email protected]

     

    CC:

                   Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ontario

                   Karina Gould, Minister for Children, Families and Social Development, Government of Canada


  • published National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in News 2022-09-29 15:08:40 -0400

    National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

    September 30th is Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. As a community, this is a time for us to learn, unlearn, and critically examine our own practice as we work towards meaningful action on Truth and Reconciliation. The AECEO team understands that discussing colonization and its ongoing harms can be uncomfortable and even scary, especially when talking to young children. It is critical that we listen to the experiences of Survivors and (un)learn the histories of our country and education system in order to disrupt the consequences of ongoing colonialism and systemic injustice in our own pedagogical work. 

    As educators, we believe that it is our duty to have these uncomfortable conversations with each other, our families and our communities. We hope that talking more openly about “scary”  topics will lead to our feeling comfortable in the discomfort in order to be a catalyst for positive change.                                                                                                                                                         
    To support you in that process, we are sharing a list of resources our team is using to help you on your own decolonizing journey on Orange Shirt Day and beyond. We also encourage you to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and reflect on the ways you can take action in your pedagogical practice and in your community.

    Please be advised that the links below touch on topics such as child abuse, family separation, intergenerational trauma and genocide.

    Videos: 

    Interactive Resources: 

    • Canada's Residential Schools (Google Earth)  
    • The Witness Blanket
    • This 10 month calendar - following the school year - was created by Kelli Edson Wiebe and Angela Fey to support educators. It highlights Indigenous celebrations and commemorations, and shares the 6 seasons of the Cree & the Anishinaabe moons, free to download and integrate into your program (shared with permission) 

    Readings: 

    Podcasts:

     Book Recommendations for Adults: 

    • Seven Fallen Feathers - Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga
    • Indigenous Writes - A Guide to First Nations, Métis, & Inuit Issues in Canada, by Chelsea Vowel
    • This Place - 150 Years Retold (graphic novel), by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, et al. Also available in podcast format 

     Book Recommendations for Children: 

    • Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, by Phyllis Webstad 
    • When We Were Alone, by David A. Robertson & Julie Flett
    • Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe, both by Nicola I. Campbell & Kim La Fave
    • Kookum's Red Shoes, by Peter Eyvindson 
    • Arctic Stories, by Michael Kusugak

  • published Understanding ECEC in Ontario in Resources 2022-09-22 15:44:53 -0400

    Understanding ECEC in Ontario

     

    Understanding ECEC in Ontario is an ongoing project that aims to demystify the Ontario Early Childhood Education and Care sector. The series will include explanations of key policy and advocacy related concepts, cheat sheets with the many acronyms our sector uses and more. Our goal is to make this information accessible and easy to understand.

    All materials will be available in PDF format on this page. You can also follow the series on the AECEO's Facebook and Instagram.

    Is there a topic or concept you would like more clarity on? You can email suggestions, ideas or questions to the AECEO's Communication & Outreach Coordinator, Patrícia Borges Nogueira at [email protected]

    Understanding ECEC in Ontario

    ECEC Acronym Cheat Sheets


  • published Politics of ECE Series in Professional Learning 2022-06-01 15:46:39 -0400

    Politics of ECE Series

    Politics of ECE is a new learning series where early childhood educators and early years providers can come together with academics and researchers to explore the connections between our work and to make visible how politics, policy, and funding are lived. The series consists of pre-recorded video lectures and conversations, and live watch parties where we've come together as a community to explore the content together. All resources from the series will be posted on this page as they become available.

    Government 101

    In our first session, Government 101, we heard from sector experts and educators about how the government works, where child care policy fits in and reflected together on how these policies and decisions are lived in our practice as early childhood educators and individuals.

    Presenters

    • Sophia Mohamed
    • Tegan Nguyen
    • Shevaun Burrell

    May 31 Watch Party Recording 

    This Watch Party recording includes both video presentations, and participants sharing their breakout room discussion. ASL interpretation is provided for the video presentations. 

    Government 101 Padlet

    The online Padlet discussion board offers a space to continue to share ideas, reflections and questions from the event

    Government 101 Slides

    The slides that accompany the Government 101 presentation by Sophia Mohamed 

    Government 101 Key Terms 

    Developed by Lin Velasco, these key terms accompany the Government 101 presentation

    Government 101 Conversation Transcript 

    Shevaun Burrell & Tegan Nguyen in conversation, responding to Government 101 presentation

     


  • donated via 2022-05-26 14:53:04 -0400

    We Need YOU!

    492 donors
    5000 donors

     

    Your donations help support building ECEs' leadership capacity, ongoing professional learning, building a collective voice for ECEs leadership in Ontario and to create opportunities for ECEs to engage in Advocacy.  

    As a non-profit and charitable organization, donor gifts are critical to AECEO's continued work.   All gifts make a difference. 

    If you would like to send in your donation by mail, please download the donation form.

    If you would like to make a donation via e-transfer please send to: [email protected], noting Charitable Donation in the memo field.

     

    Donate

  • New Fact Sheet: CWELCC Wage Improvement Funds

     

    With the introduction of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, there is a new funding model for licensed child care in Ontario, including some new wage improvement funds for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in licensed child care. The AECEO, in collaboration with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, has put together a fact sheet to clarify the impact of this new wage improvement funding on staff in a variety of scenarios.

    The summary is provided in the interest of public information, and should not be taken as an endorsement of this wage funding system.  We know that these new wage improvement funds are insufficient to address the low wages and workforce retention and recruitment issues currently facing in the child care sector. To adequately address the child care workforce shortage, we need a workforce strategy that provides decent work and pay for all Early Years and Child Care staff.

    The OCBCC and AECEO will continue to advocate for a real workforce strategy that includes:

    • All Early Years and Child Care workers and providers, including those in Extended Day Programs, home child care and EarlyON programs; 
    • A salary scale starting at $25 per hour for all child care workers and $30 per hour for RECEs;
    • Paid sick days;
    • Paid professional development time;
    • Paid programming time.

    Click here to read English Fact Sheet

    Click here to read French Fact Sheet

    Note that this document is provided for general information only and should not replace specific information you have received from your employer or Human Resources department. If you have any questions about how this specifically applies to you, please consult with your employer. Unionized centres with Collective Agreements are advised by the Government of Ontario to seek legal consultation on the application of these policies.


  • published 2022 Provincial Budget released in News 2022-04-28 17:39:59 -0400

    2022 Provincial Budget released

    ​​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. 

    Read the 2022 Ontario Budget


  • published AECEO Job Opportunity in News 2022-04-23 13:54:21 -0400

    AECEO Job Opportunity

    We are hiring!

    Position: Communications and Outreach Coordinator (part-time)

    Deadline for application:  Monday May 16 2022, 11:59 PM

    The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario is the professional association for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). We advocate for respect, recognition and appropriate wages and working conditions for all ECEs. We work collectively and collaboratively with communities to build and support a strong collective voice for early childhood educators so they can participate in and influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families and communities.

    Job Description: As part of the AECEO’s Mobilizing The Early Childhood Workforce In The Movement For Decent Work project funded by The Atkinson Foundation, the Communications and Outreach Coordinator is responsible for coordinating external communications, social media and outreach activities for the AECEO’s decent work project. The Communication and Outreach Coordinator will work closely in collaboration with the Office Administrator & Membership coordinator, the Decent Work: Community Organizer and the Building Leadership and Learning Communities Team. The position reports to the Executive Director.

    Primary Responsibilities:

    • Manage social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) including the development and execution of creative, engaging social media strategies, creating original posts/content, sharing sector/decent work campaign news, and responding to followers/comments
    • Develop, format and schedule e-blasts on the NationBuilder platform
    • Plan, develop and coordinate communication strategies as they relate to decent work campaign events including programs, promotional strategies and materials, and outreach
    • Participate in the development and implementation of membership outreach, retention and recruitment efforts/campaigns and materials
    • Participate in the draft & dissemination of press releases/media advisories and contribute to the creation of AECEO policy responses and submissions to government
    • Contribute to the content, publication and dissemination process for the AECEO’s quarterly eceLINK magazine
    • Manage the organization’s NationBuilder website including maintenance & development, content creation, and architecture/layout
    • Participate in weekly team meetings, and regular scheduled meetings with project partners

    Qualifications

    Post-secondary degree or diploma in communications or marketing field, or equivalent professional combination of education and experience. Knowledge or experience in the early childhood education sector is a strong asset.

    Skills, knowledge, and experience

    Required

    • Strong writing skills
    • Project and time management skills
    • Demonstrated familiarity and competency with standard office software and video conferencing technology e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Zoom, Google Meet
    • Strong social media management experience and competencies including but not limited to: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok
    • Familiarity with or ability to learn how to use Nationbuilder
    • Ability to build and maintain strong and collaborative relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders
    • Ability to work evenings and weekends and flexible hours
    • Ability to work within anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks

    Preferred

    • Familiarity with graphic tools e.g. Canva or Adobe Creative Suite
    • Knowledge of/experience in early childhood education sector or women’s issues
    • Experience working with racialized communities, knowledge of anti-racism work, and the ability to work within racially diverse teams
    • Commitment to maintaining a caring, non-hierarchical, organizational culture and an understanding of care ethics

    Asset

    • Knowledge and understanding of critical theories of early childhood
    • Knowledge and understanding of decent work movement and labour issues

    This is a part-time (20 hours), salaried, contract position for 2 years with the possibility of extension.

    The AECEO is committed to leading with our values and ethics. This means we value the lived experiences of our applicants and believe potential and passion can be as valuable as credentials. We encourage applications from Black, First Nation, Métis, Inuit, and racialized individuals; Two-Spirit, non-binary, trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people; disabled people; and members of other equity-seeking groups. As part of our learning and growth, we have made a commitment to implementing anti-racist hiring practices, which we have outlined below. 

    If you are contacted by the AECEO regarding this job opportunity and require an accommodation due to disability to participate in the recruitment and selection process, please advise and we will work with you to meet your needs.

    Start Date: TBD (June 2022)

    Salary: $57,000 prorated at 20 hours/week ($32,571).

    Work location: Remote/from home

    Please submit cover letter, and resume to [email protected] by Monday May 16th 2022, 11:59 PM

    Only candidates who are selected for interviews will be contacted. Interviews will take place in May 2022. A short assignment will be requested from candidates when confirming an interview.

    As part of our ongoing learning and commitment to working within an anti-racist and anti-oppressive framework, the AECEO has committed to the following Anti-racist hiring practices:

    • Public commitment to anti-racist hiring practice in job postings
    • Share job postings on diverse job boards/through networks
    • Create standardized interview questions
    • No social media screening of applicants/candidates
    • Diversity in hiring committee
    • Commitment from hiring committee members to anti-bias and anti-racist hiring

    Paid interview policy

    In recognition of the time and labour of preparing for and attending an interview, the AECEO financially compensates interviewees at a fixed rate of $75 per interview. The AECEO will send interviewees the interview questions 24 hours in advance of the interview to allow them time to process the questions. If a candidate is asked to prepare a presentation or assignment for an interview, AECEO will financially compensate the candidate for that work at a rate equal to the hourly rate for the position, based on the number of hours the hiring committee believes the task should take. The organization will not use ideas from presentations or assignments of candidates not selected for the position.

    Download Job Description PDF



Become a Member or Renew Donate to the AECEO

connect