SECEO Student Panel

Join us for a special student panel and hear from recent graduates of the ECE program Lish Francoeur, Jade Lillace, and Grace Wolfe.
Monday April 22nd

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Upcoming Events - April 22nd - May 7th

See below for more details

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April 16th is Equal Pay Day

National Webinar on Creating an Anti-Racist Child Care System in Canada

Child Care Parent and Family Community Action

International Women's Day 2024

Click on read more below to read our full International Women's Day message.

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Call for Submissions - Peer reviewed collection: Fall/Winter 2024 eceLINK

Image of 3 eceLINK covers in a fan shape

The AECEO is welcoming submissions for the Fall/Winter 2024 eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection:

Special Issue: Socially Just Ruptures in Early Childhood Education and Care: Rupturing Developmentalism in ECEC Curricula, Pedagogies, and Policy

Guest Editors: Dr. Adam Davies (University of Guelph) & Dr. Nidhi Menon (Toronto Metropolitan University)

Submission deadline:  August 1, 2024

This special issue is inspired thematically and conceptually by the notion of ‘ruptures’ – a term that draws its etymology from the Greek word for ‘to wound’. While ruptures of any form can be disorienting, challenging, and unnerving, ruptures can also provide avenues for rethinking taken-for-granted practices, beliefs, and frameworks that guide our professional and personal lives (Davies, 2022). In fact, Souto-Manning (2021) theorizes ruptures as transformative, and even a portal into new ways of moving forward societally. Thinking in this vein, ruptures can offer opportunities for radical shifts and changes in practices. This special call for eceLINK begins with the premise that ruptures allow possibilities for rethinking taken-for-granted practices, pedagogies, policies, and theories, and that ruptures provide avenues for transformative ways of thinking, living, being, and becoming.

Please email submissions to: [email protected]

Download full Call for Papers and submission guidelines PDF

Creating an Anti-Racist Child Care System in Ontario - Networking Meeting

Black Canadian History Beyond February

Black Canadian History Beyond February
February 28th 7:00-8:30

The objective of this workshop is to empower educators (highlighting school-age educators) helping them create an inclusive learning environment that reflects the diverse stories and contributions of Black Canadians beyond the month of February. By attending, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to inspire your students, fostering a sense of unity and appreciation for Canada's rich cultural mosaic. 

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Samantha Doxtator

Indigenous Astronomy: As told by the Haudenosaunee
Filling Your Spirit with Stardust and Astronomical Knowledge

Presented by Samantha Doxtator, Haudenosaunee, Oneida - Wolf Clan

Tuesday March 5th, 2024
6:30pm - 8:30pm EST


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Black History Month 2024

February is Black History Month. Recognizing Black History Month is a practice that is meant to exercise dissent and combat dominant societal narratives that harm the Black community and society at large. The ways in which we engage with people, resources, and education this month reflect an ongoing commitment to build a better world. The acknowledgement of Black History Month provides both an opportunity for celebrating Black histories and for working towards collective liberation and anti-racism in society.

As early childhood educators and as a community, the AECEO continues to invite you to learn and unlearn alongside us, during Black History Month and beyond. With that intention, we curated a selection of resources that have supported our own learning to share with our online community. We also take Black History Month as an opportunity to recognize, amplify and celebrate Black educators and advocates. Throughout the month of February 2024, the AECEO used our social media platforms to shine the spotlight on members of the Black community who have used their skills and talents to promote inclusion and make the world better for all children. Check out the links below to learn more

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Winter 2024 eceLINK Now Available

Cover of ECE LINK showing ECES displaying the Worth More parachute

In this issue:

Our thanks to everyone who contributed!

We would also like to thank AECEO Members, and the following advertisers, for supporting this issue of the eceLINK:


Educators Financial Group


Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!

Looking back at 2023

Happy New Year! As we ease back into work after the holiday break, we invite you to check out highlights from our work in 2023. Click on the image below to see the detailed recap. 

  • The AECEO hosted multiple Professional Learning events, including the 2023 AECEO Virtual Provincial Conference and in-person gatherings in partnership with Seneca Lab School and ASCY. Over 1000 people attended AECEO PL sessions last year! Register now for the first PL session of 2024 - Part II: Mindfulness & Grounding Techniques for ECEs. Click here to learn more! 
  • The AECEO joined ECE students and faculty for class chats and engaged with communities across the province at tabling events
  • We published the Spring/Summer issue of eceLINK (Fall/Winter issue coming soon!) and released four documents that complement our work on the Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario with the OCBCC
  • 2023 was a big year for the Worth MORE! campaign! Worth MORE! Wednesdays and the Days of Action were a huge success. Thank you for joining us in whatever way you were able to! Click here to see highlights from the November 30th Day of Action across Ontario
  • Since the announcement of the $18 per hour wage floor in 2022, the Ontario child care community has consistently advocated for a higher wage floor. YOUR advocacy and your ECE Power won! The Provincial government has now been forced to increase the wage floor for RECEs in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system to $23.86 per hour. We will continue to fight for a comprehensive workforce strategy that includes all ELCC staff in 2024 and beyond
  • The AECEO Communities of Practice are growing! Exciting announcements to come in 2024!
  • Rachel Neville joined our team as Community Outreach Administrator and we welcomed our Executive Director Alana Powell back from parental leave.

We are so grateful for the community organizations and members who supported and amplified our work in 2023 and look forward to building more meaningful partnerships in 2024! Make sure you sign up for our mailing list and follow the AECEO on Facebook and on Instagram to stay up to date on AECEO events and activities, professional learning opportunities and policy developments in the Ontario ELCC sector.

Become an AECEO member to help keep this work going and be part of the change in the Ontario ELCC sector. Membership supports accessible low-cost ECE-led professional development, connects members to early years professionals and communities across Ontario and builds a strong, united voice for ECEs in our province! Click here to join or renew your membership!


AECEO and OCBCC Respond to Increased Wage Floor

Ontario’s child care wage floor increase brings financial relief for some eductors, but leaves too many behind

After consistent advocacy from the Ontario child care community, since the announcement of an $18 per hour wage floor in 2022, the Provincial government has now been forced to increase the wage floor for RECEs in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system to $23.86 per hour.

“This change is a direct result of the advocacy and care of thousands of ECEs and it shows what we can do together. This change is only one step, and there is much more to do to build a sector that serves our values; but we know that when ECEs and their allies raise their voices and care out loud, we win.” said Alana Powell of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. 

“This announcement of wage improvements – midway through Ontario’s CWELCC action plan – is an admission by the government that wages in the child care sector are far too low, and that boosting wages is key to solving the workforce crisis. These have been key demands of our Worth More campaign.” said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. 

But the Ontario government's announcement does not go nearly far enough and does not provide transformational change. The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario have demanded a salary scale and a proper funding formula; this announcement only sharpens our focus on the changes that the sector needs.

To read the full response, click here. 

November 30th, 2023 will be a Canada-wide Day of Action for ELCC

Across Canada, child care centres are closing rooms and limiting enrolment because they cannot retain staff in their programs. Passionate and skilled educators are leaving child care jobs because of low wages and poor working conditions. 

On November 30th, ECEs, child care workers, children and families, ECE students and faculty, operators, advocates and communities across the country are coming together for a National Day of Action in support of the early learning and child care workforce and calling immediate action on the ongoing early years and child care workforce crisis.

Stay tuned! We'll share plans for the Day of Action in Ontario in the coming weeks, along with resources to help you plan local actions with your community, including an updated version of the Day of Action toolkit . Keep an eye out for email updates and make sure to check the AECEO's FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates. 

Can't make it to a rally in person? We've got you covered. Click here to register for our Virtual Rally!

AECEO Board Statement on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and our own learning

The AECEO board acknowledges the collective pain, horror and devastation our community is feeling as we witness the ongoing and worsening Israeli-Palestinian conflict that began on October 7th, 2023. The Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians and the subsequent and ongoing war waged against innocent Palestinians has shaken us, our members, supporters and community. 

We recognize that educators, community members, families, and staff are experiencing a shared trauma with the news, images, videos, and commentary highlighting the ongoing conflict. We know that while it may seem far away to some, the losses and humanitarian crisis is happening at home for many. There have been thousands of innocent lives lost in this tragedy, and we know this directly impacts the communities we work with every day as educators. 

As an organization representing a diverse ECE community, we condemn the Hamas attacks on innocent civilians, while also confronting the ongoing and systemic violence against Palestinian civilians. Palestinian and Israeli children should not be harmed or used as pawns of war. 

Both communities deserve to live in a safe world, without violence.

The AECEO works to be anti-racist and anti-oppressive, and works to honour the diverse communities it serves, which directly relates to these political matters which have and continue to have an effect on children, families, educators, and community members. 

ECEs are leaders in caring for others and we need to nurture supportive spaces that allow for recovery for all of our community and ourselves. We know in the early learning and child care community that Palestinians, Muslims, Israeli and Jewish people work, learn, and play together in safe and caring ways, and we see them coming together to call for an end to the violence. We also understand that members of these communities also face ongoing Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, and those instances escalate in times of conflict. We stand against Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. 

 At this time of terrible pain and worry for so many, we believe it is more important than ever that ECEs, child care workers, families and children support each other and continue to create spaces of belonging and well-being. We know that ECEs are working in communities with so many children, families, and colleagues who are impacted directly by this conflict. We encourage ECEs to engage in critical work that helps to understand the impacts of systems of oppression, racism and colonialism on the early learning and child care system in Ontario. But we know that these systems exist beyond our context and deeply impact our community members and children and families across the globe. We encourage ECEs to stay informed, dig deep, and think critically about our responsibility to understand these complex systems in order to support children, families and communities in Ontario. 

We believe that in standing together we raise each other up. The staff at the AECEO advocate for and support ECEs in Ontario, and they need to feel confident to do this important and necessary work authentically.

The AECEO Board recognized that they delayed the release of an AECEO statement thoughtfully and intentionally written by staff on Friday, October 13th. This decision to delay a response caused harm to AECEO staff and it is with regret that we did not better support the AECEO staff in a time when they were feeling an immense sense of urgency to respond to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the fear and pain faced by Israelis. We recognize the AECEO staff work in a relationship of care with our community and we regret that our actions put undue pressure on them during this difficult time. 

We recognize that there were barriers in preparing a statement and as a Board we will work together with our staff to create a system that is responsive to the urgency and need to support our community and our staff at times like this.  

We are also thinking about the ways educators are experiencing this trauma in their settings. We think about those without access to safe and supportive workplaces, to health benefits or mental health resources, and to communities of care. We will continue to advocate for the decent working conditions that all educators deserve, and have committed to thinking about how we can better support our community in distressing and challenging times.   

To close, let us take this opportunity to foster mutual respect and understanding in our communities and demonstrate through our beliefs and practice that we strive to work towards a more caring, respectful, peaceful and inclusive society. We should be sensitive and mindful of diverse perspectives and lived experiences in our personal and professional lives. At this time let us be mindful and caring in how we interact with children, families, colleagues and community members. Let us make space for listening, caring, healing as we engage with each other and focus on our shared humanity. 

We know that our community participates in advocacy and change in the ways they are able to, whether that be sharing an article with a colleague, donating to humanitarian aid, sending letters to elected officials, or showing up at rallies. We would like to share some resources, information sources, and opportunities for taking direct action to call for an end to the violence and humanitarian crisis.



Amnesty International - International News

Oxfam Canada - Canadian Organization facilitating humanitarian aid

Aljazeera - International News

SURJ Toronto - Showing Up for Racial Justice Toronto 

Woke Kindergarten - Engaging children in critical conversations

CBC Video - How to talk to children about the Israel-Hamas war

UNICEF News and Resources - How to talk to children about war 

Red Cross Middle East Humanitarian Crisis 

 Take Action

Send a letter to your Canadian MP calling for ceasefire

Independent Jewish Voices

Donate to Oxfam

Send a letter to Canadian Leaders to support International Human Rights

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Support for mental health - Find mental health support in Ontario 

Delton Glebe Counselling - sliding scale therapy welcoming people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, life experiences, faith and spirituality.

Alli Therapy - Sliding scale virtual therapy

A message from the staff at the AECEO

The AECEO staff understands that our stance against colonialism, in all of its iterations, requires us to be visible and brave. We continue to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and victims of injustice.

We know many educators, ECE students, families and people in early learning and child care look to the AECEO for strength, guidance, community and solidarity in the face of crisis. Supporting our community through challenging times is a central part of our work and this time we fell short. 

For the sake of transparency and accountability, we wanted to share some context to our delay in speaking out. We are not trying to make excuses, we are intentionally sharing about this experience so our community can learn alongside us. 

The truth is our organization did not have processes in place for responding to this unprecedented situation in a timely manner with the care and the respect it deserves. Our deepest apologies to our community, especially to those who have felt the weight of our silence.

Moving forward, AECEO staff is actively working with our newly-elected board of directors to put procedures in place for dealing with matters of this importance with the necessary urgency and respect. 

Please allow us patience as we deal with the structural barriers that continue to delay our response. We will release a full statement, along with resources to help our community support children, families and one another navigate through the collective trauma we’re experiencing.  

Ideas for celebrating Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day

Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is on TUESDAY, Oct. 17th.


This day recognizes the commitment, skills and hard work of all early years professionals. 

Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness about early learning and child care and the people who make it possible: early childhood educators and child care workers.

Whether it’s in child care with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, in kindergarten classrooms, in family support settings, before & after school programs, or the many other places early years professionals are present, they play a vital role in creating safe spaces for children to learn, grow and play.

They are essential to the functioning and health of communities. It takes a very special kind of human to work in early childhood education & care. Their dedication, care and passion deserve to be recognized and celebrated on Appreciation Day and beyond.

Our team put together some ideas to help you plan an Appreciation Day celebration for the ECEs and Child Care Workers in your community. As you read them, please remember to choose what works for you and feel free to adapt activities to whatever makes sense for you in your context. Below are some guiding questions you can ask yourself when planning.

Questions to help you choose how to celebrate Appreciation Day

Do we have time and space to carry out our plans?
Do we have enough people to help with set up and clean up?
Do the plans fit our budget? Do they make sense for our team?
Will any of the planned activities negatively impact staff?  

Spread the word!

Before Oct. 17th, email a reminder about Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day to your centre/school mailing list, including information about how you're planning to observe the day, along with a link to this page. You can also add it to class calendars and daily announcements if applicable. There's more information about Appreciation Day, including this year's poster, on the OCBCC website.   

Share on Socials!

Before Oct. 17th: help raise awareness about Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day by sharing our content. 

On Oct. 17th: write a kind message about an early childhood educator/child care provider you know, or a general message about why you celebrate ECEs & child care workers. Don't forget to tag the AECEO & the OCBCC.

After Oct. 17th: stay connected to the AECEO and the OCBCC to see how you can get involved and support the Worth More! campaign.

Find us on social media! 
AECEO - FacebookInstagram, Twitter  OCBCC - FacebookInstagramTwitter

Make cards... or print some!

A thoughtful message, paired with original kid artwork, and a few genuine words of appreciation can go a long way! If you're crunched for time, we have printable templates you can use!

I love my ECEs & child care workers (letter template)

We love our child care & early years workforce (window sign)

Questions to help kids think about what to say on their cards:

What do you love about your educator(s)?
What do you enjoy doing together?
What's your favourite part of the day with them at child care/school?
Is there a special song, game, book, routine you share with them?

Remember to be as specific as possible when asking these to young children. Use people's names and give examples to help contextualize the questions. 

Share these resources with families prior to Oct. 17th so they have time to make something special to show appreciation for their educators!

Make an Appreciation Day mural or guest book!

Invite people in your community - families, children, staff - to write or draw a Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day message on your mural or guest book. If you have access to wall space, set up a big piece of paper at a key spot in your building where lots of people are going to walk by. If a mural doesn't work in your space, you can use a large blank notebook to set up an Appreciation Day guest book!

Tips for setting up

  • Display information about Appreciation Day and clear directions for this activity
  • Make sure markers, pens, crayons and stickers are available
  • Ask the school-age kids to help decorate the set up/guest book cover! They can be the first ones to write on the mural/book!

If possible, leave the mural/guest book set up for couple of days to give people more time to write something. Save the messages and make them available for staff to read afterwards. If you have time and capacity, you can even make a post-Appreciation Day display on a bulletin board. 

Find inspiration for your displays and setups on the AECEO social media!

Beyond recognizing and showing gratitude for early years professionals, Appreciation Day is an opportunity for us to draw attention to the early learning and child care workforce and raise awareness about the issues we’re facing, like the current child care workforce crisis. Right now, it's more important than ever for all of us - operators, on-the-floor staff, families - to stay informed and engage with our Provincial and Federal representatives. We need all levels of government to work together to address the crisis at its root by properly funding compensation. Send a message to your MP, MPP and the Federal and Provincial ministers via the Worth More e-actions

We hope these ideas and resources are helpful! Spread the word about Appreciation Day and share this page with as many people as possible! Let's help every child care worker and early childhood educator in Ontario feel appreciated on Oct. 17th! 

For more tips to celebrate the day, please check out the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care's tip sheet.

Position Paper and Policy Brief on a Publicly Funded Salary Scale

Rectangular image with scenes of early childhood educators and childrenFollowing extensive consultation with Early Childhood Educators, child care workers and sector experts, the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care are releasing a new publication on one of the most pressing issues holding back the successful building of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System (CWELCC) in Ontario: the child care workforce crisis.

In this position paper and accompanying policy brief we describe the root causes of the current crisis and recommend a publicly funded salary scale of at least $30-$40 per hour for RECEs and at least $25 per hour for non-RECE staff as part of a comprehensive workforce strategy and compensation framework.

Read the position paper and policy brief