ONTARIO EARLY CHILDHOOD SECTOR DECENT WORK CHARTER
The Ontario Early Childhood Sector Decent Work Charter has been developed by the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) Decent Work Taskforce as one of the components to mobilizing a collective effort to achieve greater recognition and improved compensation and working conditions for those employed in the sector.
The primary purpose of this Charter is to promote a vision for decent work within organizational cultures in the early childhood sector (child care, child and family programs, licensed home child care, full-day kindergarten, etc). This requires organizations to commit to pursuing the development of high quality jobs and the structures, policies and practices to support organizations and individuals in implementing the principles that contribute to decent work.
When organizations commit to the principles of decent work, they are creating quality workplace environments that will in turn support the foundations that underpin individual, family and community well-being. These include the economic and social structures that promote improved child outcomes.
Values to Guide Our Action
While the Four Foundations for Learning in Ontario’s pedagogical document, How Does Learning Happen? is aimed to guide the work of professionals in their work with children and families, we believe that these four foundations are also aligned with the value of the workforce itself;
Defining Decent Work
Recognition of staff as valued professionals: Commitment to establish and maintain structures and resources internally and externally that recognize the critical role early childhood staff perform in the delivery of quality programs.
Professional Pay/Compensation: Commitment to establish and maintain strategies to provide professional pay for professional work.
Professional Learning: Commitment to establish and maintain structures and resources to support early childhood professionals in all aspects of ongoing professional learning.
Quality work environments: Commitment to establish and maintain structures and resources that promote belonging, inclusion, diversity, well-being, engagement and expression in the work environment.
As an early childhood sector employer/organization we are signing this charter to confirm our commitment to advancing policy reforms needed to improve working conditions for all. We recognize the principles of decent work as integral to achieving quality programs and services for children and their families.
As leaders in our communities we will champion practices that promote and sustain decent work, and will join with our community partners, sector networks, associations, policymakers and funders to generate collective actions that expand decent working conditions.
We are asking programs and organizations to officially endorse the Charter below or by emailing their endorsement to [email protected]
Endorsing the Charter
Endorsement of the Charter signifies an organization’s commitment to the tenets of decent work while offering a voice of leadership to persuade governments to commit to long-term, stable funding increases that would provide fair wages for educators, affordable fees for parents and quality child care for children.
Endorsing the Ontario Early Childhood Decent Work Charter does not ask an organization to commit to wage increases in the absence of fiscal ability or government supports. In the current system, this would mean raising already sky-high parent fees; which, we know is untenable. We understand that government inaction and lack of public funding are inhibiting our collective progress. We will continue to advocate for public funding to support organizations in providing professional pay and decent work to their staff and invite you and your organization to work with and support this effort.
Find a sharable letter about the endorsement of the Decent Work Charter HERE.
And an information sheet of Frequently Asked Questions about the Decent work Charter HERE.