Empirical research consistently demonstrates that high-quality early childhood education and care is directly linked to well-educated and qualified registered early childhood educators (RECE). The compensation and support available to educators and staff must recognize the essential role that they play in children’s days, months, years and future outcomes. Fair and appropriate wages and working conditions cannot be based solely or primarily on parent fees as the existing market model of child care instantiates. Staffing expenses are, typically 80-90% of child care centres’ operating budgets, while centre revenues are generated primarily from parent fees. With parent fees already beyond the budget of the majority of Ontario families, the only viable solution to creating access to high quality, affordable child care programs is through significant government funds devoted to the recruitment and retention of qualified, RECE professionals.
Turnover is much lower in a stable system where wages and working conditions for educators and staff are prioritized. Research shows that good wages and working conditions contribute to job satisfaction and ultimately to better outcomes for children and families. Improving recruitment and retention is critical with the anticipated demand for RECEs in more child care and EarlyON spaces.
Executive Summary of Budget Action Recommendations
- Implement a workforce strategy to ensure all ECEC staff have professional pay and decent work;
Implement a provincial wage scale with a $25/hr minimum and a benefit package, including paid sick and personal leave days, for registered early childhood educators. We advise that the Government should commit at least $375 million as a first step to establishing a province-wide wage scale for RECEs and program staff with entry level pay for RECEs at $25 per hour and commensurate compensation for other program staff;
We support the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care in their call to allocate $600 million as a down payment on affordability; Begin operational funding of all licensed infant and toddler spaces in child care centres and establish a sliding fee scale in 2018-19; Expand the capital funding for the non-profit and public sectors to make a real difference in availability of child care spaces; Ensure all funding is indexed to inflation; Commit funding and resources to support system infrastructure including data and research;
Click here for AECEO's full submission
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Response re: Regulatory Registry Consultation Document supporting the Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), 2014
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Campaigning and leadership success!! The Ministry of Education will fund child care programs to meet the financial demands of the increased minimum wage. RECEs and staff will receive the $2/hour wage enhancement on top of the new $14 min wage in 2018. This is a huge win for the licensed child care sector and one step closer to professional pay for all RECEs and early years staff in Ontario. It is also a promising signal the Province agrees that government funding rather than fee increases is the solution for professional pay and decent work in the early childhood sector!
Ministry of Education memo on wage support
Toronto Star coverage
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Introducing Our New and Improved eceLINK!
The AECEO Board, Editorial Committee and staff are very excited to present the first issue of a revamped and improved eceLINK. This issue offers the debut of the Peer Reviewed Collection, on the topic of Collaborative Practice and Pedagogies. Along with the exciting debut of the Peer Reviewed Collection is a fresh new design that brings the look of the magazine right up to date. A selection of interesting articles on a variety of topics in early childhood will keep you reading every page!
Making space for the peer reviewed articles means some adjustment to our regular content. You will find the new member list and donor thanks, as well as the full list of AECEO Certified members, in the Winter 2017-2018 issue. We hope to publish the Peer Reviewed Collection in every other issue and the new members and donor thanks will now also be published in every other issue. The Editorial Committee plans to continue developing new, regular eceLINK features that will add interest and value to the publication for AECEO members.
Much appreciation and thanks go to the eceLINK editorial committee for their hard work and expertise:
Rachel Langford, Ph.D. Editor of the Peer Reviewed Collection
Brooke Richardson, Ph.D. Publication Co-Chair
Laura Coulman RECE, Ph.D Candidate, Publication Co-Chair
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Ph.D.
Goranka Vukelich RECE, Ph.D.
Shani Halfon RECE, MA ECS
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did putting it together.
AECEO Provincial Board of Directors
In This Issue:
Creating Inclusive Early Learning Environments for LGBTQ2+ Families (Featured article available to the public)
- Bringing Nature to Niagara’s Youngest Children: Early Childhood Community Development Centre’s Naturalized Playgrounds Project
- Professional Pay and Decent Work Project Update: Mobilizing community voices for professional pay and decent work in the early childhood sector
Peer Reviewed Collection
- (Re)Imagining and (Re)Engaging in Relational Encounters: Communities of Practice for (Re)Vitalizing Pedagogies
- “Good-bye Mr. Raccoon, we’ll miss you!” Supporting children’s explorations of life and death in a forest
Not a member? Membership supports a strong, united voice for ECEs in our province.
Join today and get instant access to our eceLINK publications, online professional learning and so much more!
We would like to thank the following advertisers for helping to support this issue of the eceLINK
CALL FOR ARTICLES
Issue: Spring/Summer 2018
Special issue: Indigenous Practices and Knowledge in Early Childhood Education
Submission deadline: January 4, 2018
Find out more here
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Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada • October 24 –27, 2017
Preconference workshops and preschool visits • October 23-24
The theme of this year's conference is Finding a Home in the World: Migration, Indigeneity, and Citizenship. Recent events shine new light on a familiar theme – the wrenching displacement of large populations because of war, violence, religious persecution, poverty, environmental disasters, and human-made climate change.
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Make Bill 148 meaningful in second reading
An open letter to Premier Wynne, Minister Naidoo-Harris, and Minister Flynn
Ontario Pay Coalition
As Bill 148 goes into its second reading, the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition calls on Madame Premier, and Ministers Flynn and Naidoo-Harris to close the loopholes in Bill 148 during second reading to ensure that the equal pay provisions deliver meaningful protection for workers.
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The Ontario College of Teachers has developed the following new teacher education resources designed to support inquiry into the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession:
The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) is the professional association for early childhood educators (ECEs) in Ontario. We support ECEs in their professional practice and advocate for the recognition and appropriate compensation that early childhood professionals need so that they can provide high quality programs for children and families. Well educated, well paid and competent early childhood educators are fundamental to high quality early years and child care programs that support children and families across the province. Our members work throughout Ontario in programs for young children and their families, including licensed centre based and home based child care, full-day kindergarten, family resource programs, Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres and as Resource Consultants who provide services and support for children and families with disabilities.
ECEs and early years staff have joined working people across Ontario to make it loud and clear that too many of us are working for low wages in part-time, temporary or contract jobs without employment benefits, workplace protection or the right to form, and keep, a union. For too many Ontario workers, full time work does not guarantee a life above the poverty line. Income and job insecurity keep us from making ends meet. Even with the professionalization of ECEs and the mounting evidence pointing to the immense importance of their work, ECEs have seen a very slow and limited increase in professional recognition through improved compensation and benefits. Low ECE salaries, inconsistent working conditions, and precarious work schedules have resulted in poor morale, job dissatisfaction and high staff turnover. Particularly in licensed child care programs, ECEs are transitioning over to full-day kindergarten, or worse, are leaving the sector altogether despite being passionate about their work. It is the experience of many early years and child care programs across Ontario that qualified ECEs cannot be recruited to work in these under-resourced early childhood environments that serve our youngest children. This is having a significant impact on child care staff consistency, program quality, and sector stability that promises to endure for years if it is not addressed now.
Read full submission here
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Province Appoints Expert Reviewer to Conduct Affordability Study
Ontario has appointed Dr. Gordon Cleveland to lead a new study with the goal of building a child care system that makes child care universally accessible and affordable to all Ontario families.
Quality child care is essential for families. Parents want peace of mind to know they will have access to child care in a location that is convenient, and that it will be affordable for their monthly budget. Yet for too many, child care is unavailable, unaffordable, or has a significant wait time.
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Beginning September 1, 2017, members of the College are required to start the CPL Portfolio Cycle (2017 edition) after their renewal date and complete it over a period of two years
The CPL Portfolio Cycle is a two-year professional learning process that members will repeat throughout their careers.
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Presentations from the 14th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development - Addressing Inequity in Canada through Early Childhood Education held this past June in Toronto are now available online.
Keynote speaker Dr. Kang Lee - Racial biases in early childhood and how to combat them
Challenging the Dialogue in Professional Training
Supporting transitions for children with additional support needs
Click here to access presentations online
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Olivia Chow will be in North Bay running a training on recruiting members to your cause and planning a strategy on June 23 and 24, the Friday evening, and whole day Saturday. 6-9pm Friday, 10am-4pm Saturday.
Since retiring from politics, Olivia Chow has been working as a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University to give people the skills they need to make the change they want.
This training will focus on skills, not theory. As a student, you will leave with tangible tools you can begin applying right away to the causes you are working on.
Better yet, this workshop will be highly engaging. It will combine brief lectures with hands-on practice in small groups. This means you will leave the training with written recruitment techniques that are relevant to the causes you care about, and with a strategic action plan for how to move your cause forward.
To attend: RSVP to [email protected] Fee is $20. Includes food during training.
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The new Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice has just been released by the College of Early Childhood Educators and is effective July 1st, 2017.
The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice sets out the professional knowledge, skills, values and expectations applicable to all RECEs regardless of role and the setting in which they may practise.
Click here to access at College-ece.ca
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The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) is pleased to see the Government of Canada taking initiative on early learning and child care after a decade of inaction. Unfortunately, today’s announcement outlining their long-awaited early learning and child care framework does not go far enough to address the severe lack of affordable, accessible, high quality child care for Canadian families across the country. Equally important from the AECEO’s perspective, the framework does not mention, let alone set out clear goals or a plan, advancing the profession of early childhood educators who are the key to quality in early learning and child care programs.
“Ontario just released an ambitious plan to deliver universal child care for all children and families who need it and the Government of Canada has come to the table with a framework agreement that could be much stronger and the investment much more substantial” said Lyndsay Macdonald, Provincial Coordinator of the AECEO.
“The OECD benchmark on public spending for early childhood education and care is at least 1% of the GDP but the Government of Canada’s $7.5 billion investment over 11 years is around 0.02% of Canada’s GDP. For such a rich country, surely we can do better.” Furthermore, the bulk of this funding does not begin to flow until after the next federal election.
While the multilateral framework sets out the first step, the child care crisis across Canada remains at a tipping point. Without stable publically funded early learning and child care, with professionally paid early childhood educators, we cannot ensure that children get the best possible start in life. The AECEO will continue to work collaboratively with our members and sector partners to call for improvements to the framework.
Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework
Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework - Government of Canada news release
Canadian Child Care Federation
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
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Advocacy in action!
Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework & Five Year Action Plan
The AECEO is encouraged by the Ontario government’s ambitious plan to transform the early years and child care system so that more children and families can access the services they need. Transformative change is no easy feat for any sector and the strategic plans laid out in the Renewed Framework set Ontario on a path towards universally accessible early years and child care.
For many years the AECEO has called for the government to develop a workforce strategy and we are gratified to see this as a centerpiece of the Renewed Framework. Our submission to the Ministry of Education’s consultation process on the Early Years and Child Care was very clear on the pressing need for a workforce strategy, not only to support the planned expansion of 100,000 new spaces, but also to mitigate the serious recruitment and retention difficulties now being experienced in the licensed child care sector. In January 2017 the AECEO established a Task Force of RECE members, experts and researchers to advise government on the development of workforce policies and we are very enthusiastic to work cooperatively with the government of Ontario to advance the early childhood profession. We are pleased by the commitment, as called for in our submission, to continue to fund the wage enhancement grant while workforce policies and funding methods are being developed. We also call for RECEs and other staff who work outside of licensed child care to receive this grant while the government works on a more comprehensive strategy.
The AECEO is also very pleased that the government will support ongoing professional learning for educators by funding two provincial events each year and that educators will be able to apply for release time to be able to attend. This is an excellent opportunity for RECEs and staff in the sector to come together to share pedagogies, strategies and ideas.
The plan to direct fund licensed home child care agencies rather than require child care providers to pay fees will not only enhance quality by bringing more into the licensed system, it will also have a positive effect on compensation for all licensed providers, many of whom are RECEs. Additionally, the opportunity to receive support and professional learning opportunities from an agency is a very valuable component of improved working conditions and decent work.
It is our hope that through this process we can develop a comprehensive workforce strategy to better support RECEs and early years staff no matter where they work in the sector. In addition to developing policy direction on compensation, recruitment and retention, professional learning and education and training it is imperative to explore policy directives that would ensure decent working conditions that support staff to provide high quality programs.
RECEs in Ontario play a valuable and important role in keeping the province moving. We shape future generations and are excited to help shape this groundbreaking transformation of Ontario’s early years and child care sector.
Ontario's Renewed Early Learning and Child Care Policy Framework (2017)
Seven Key Areas of Action - Ontario’s Renewed Early Years & Child Care Policy Framework includes seven areas of action that overlap and reinforce one another.
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Toronto Star - June 6, 2017
A five-year action plan to be released Tuesday will move the Ontario towards a universally accessible child-care system.
Ontario is about to become the first province outside Quebec committed to creating affordable child-care spaces for all parents who want them, according to an ambitious new vision to be released Tuesday.
“This renewed framework is a bold step forward,” said Indira Naidoo-Harris, minister responsible for early years and child care, in a statement to child care advocates. “It contains a ground-breaking set of initiatives that will help us continue to transform the early years and child-care system.”
Read more on theStar.com
Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs
$15 Minimum Wage and Equal Pay for Part-Time and Full-Time Workers Part of Plan to Help People Get Ahead in a Changing Economy
News Release - Office of the Premier
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced yesterday that the minimum wage will be increased over the next 2 years from $11.40 to $15.00/hr by June 2019 along with other measures to ensure decent work for everyone.
Read full news release here
When we raise the floor, everyone benefits - this is good news for children and families in Ontario. RECEs and staff can see how precarious and low paid work negatively impacts the families that we serve and the young children that we care for and educate. A raise in the minimum wage to $15/hour and further changes to the Employment Standards Act means healthier families across the province.
What does a $15 min wage mean for RECEs in Ontario?
- A $15 min wage takes us one step closer to Professional Pay for RECEs!
- Taken together with wage enhancement grants the min wage for RECEs working in licensed child care will reach $17/ hour when the new $15 min wage is implemented.
- 24% of RECEs working in licensed child care currently earn less than $15 an hour. This means a wage increase for a whole quarter of RECE professionals working in licensed child care!
- RECEs and staff working in family resource and early years centres who currently make less than $15 an hour and do not receive any wage enhancements will finally get a raise.
- Wages for RECEs cannot continue to be paid through the market (i.e. parent fees) the AECEO will continue to support our RECE professionals through our Professional Pay and Decent Work campaign and to campaign for direct funding to early years and child care programs to pay all RECEs across the sector a professional wage that commensurate with practitioners’ education, experience and responsibilities.
Higher wages and better working conditions will improve our workplaces, our communities and our lives, including the lives of our families.
Get the facts: http://15andfairness.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/It-is-Possible-15-Fact-Sheet.pdf
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Urgent Action!! Once in a generation opportunity to improve Ontario Labour Laws!
What we do today is absolutely critical. Our Members of Provincial Parliament are set to meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to decide how far to go on labour law reform. We want to tell them to take it all the way. Unfortunately, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is already pushing back -- but we have the majority of Ontarians on our side! In fact, more and more employers are with us in speaking out for decent work. Let's make sure our elected officials do the right thing.
The AECEO is calling on all Registered Early Childhood Educators and Early Years Staff in Ontario to help push for a once in a generation update to Ontario’s labour laws. The demands from the $15 and Fairness campaign would improve work life for ECEs and all workers in the province of Ontario.
Please take 15 minutes today to call or email your MPP and Cabinet Ministers Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services,
Tracy MacCharles, Minister responsible for Women's Issues; and Minister Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for Early Years and Child Care.
You can find our letter template to Cabinet Ministers here
You can find your MPP’s contact information here
Toronto Star: Ontario plans big boost to minimum wage, update of labour laws
“Cabinet will soon decide on the biggest overhaul of Ontario’s labour law in a generation – raising minimum wage up to $15 an hour, boosting private sector unionization and targeting companies that rely unfairly on part-time or contract work.”
Message from $15 and Fairness campaign:
Take 15 minutes right now to call and email your MPP and ask them to support a $15 minimum wage, 7 paid sick days and all other aspects of $15 and Fairness. Please call your MPP and ask them to:
- Legislate at least seven (7) paid sick days, extend job-protection to all workplaces for 10 days of unpaid emergency leave and provide three weeks of paid vacation to all workers.
- End exemptions or exceptions in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act (LRA) - the rules apply to everyone and protect everyone.
- Expand the definition of employer in both the ESA and LRA, including joint and several liabilities as well as related and joint employers.
- Legislate equal pay and benefits for equal work (including temporary agency, part-time, casual and contract workers) and eliminate sub-minimum wage rates established in the ESA.
- Provide at least two weeks of advanced scheduling notice.
- Expand the definition of employee to stop the misclassification of workers.
- Invest in stronger enforcement of the ESA and LRA and prosecute employers who flout the law.
- Extend just cause protection within the LRA and to ESA.
- Enshrine the right to free association through protection for concerted activity.
- Restore card-check certification; provide early disclosure of workplace information (neutral, online or telephone voting); remedial certification; and expedited and extended power to reinstate workers before the first agreement.
- Provide access to first contract arbitration.
- Extend successor rights to protect workers in the case of contract flipping.
- Consolidate bargaining units in the case of the same certified bargaining agent.
- Provide a framework for broader-based bargaining.
- Guarantee the right to strike - including prohibiting the use of replacement workers, safeguarding the rights of workers who have been involved in a labour dispute (including reinstatement after six months and prohibiting employers from unilaterally deciding to "clean house" after a strike).
- Mandate paid leave for domestic and sexual violence survivors.
- Increase the minimum wage to $15.00 immediately.
Already called your MPP? Help spread the word:
- Forward this email to 3 friends and co-workers, ask them to make a call
- Share this photo on social media; click here for Facebook, click here for Twitter
- Make this image your profile picture (just like we did) and tag other friends to invite them to do the same