Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) work in a diverse range of early years settings in Ontario, bringing their knowledge and unique skill set to their pedagogical, caring work with young children, their families and our communities. However, Ontario’s qualified and experienced workforce are leaving the sector, and graduates of ECE post-secondary programs are not entering the profession due to poor pay and lack of decent working conditions. The 2023 Provincial Budget provides an opportunity to build and support a child care and early years system that cares for children, families and the workforce.
- Invest an initial $300 million to develop and implement a province-wide Salary Scale for RECEs and child care staff/providers. A minimum wage of $25/hour for all child care workers and $30/hour for RECEs with decent work standards (e.g. benefits, paid planning time, paid sick days) is required to immediately protect and respect the early childhood workforce, and address recruitment and retention issues.
- Increase the general child care allocation by $240 million to $1.92 billion to keep pace with inflation, and meet increased costs that licensed child care is experiencing in daily operation.
- Adopt and implement the child care community’s Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario, which sets out our vision and a shared path forward for Ontario child care.
- Fund 7 permanent paid sick days and additional 14 paid sick days during public health emergencies.
- Reverse cuts to the education budget and allocate funding to lower class sizes, increase wages, ensure paid preparation time and collaborative planning time for the Kindergarten Team, and ensure a healthy and safe work environment.