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.
The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario
Issue: Spring/Summer 2023
The AECEO is welcoming submissions for the eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection:
Early Childhood Policy, Early Childhood Practice, Early Childhood Pedagogy, Social Justice in ECE, Professionalism, Disability and Inclusion in ECE, Environmentalism in ECE, Collaborative Practices, Diversity in ECE, Action Research in ECE, Early Childhood Classroom Issues at the Program Level, Pedagogical documentation, Engaging How does Learning Happen?
Form and Style
Style should be consistent with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition). The journal uses Canadian spelling; please consult the Oxford Canadian Dictionary. The editors welcome manuscripts between 5000-7000 words.
Submission deadline: December 15, 2022
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.
Carolyn Ferns, Public Policy Coordinator
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director
Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario
Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director
Child Care Now
Martha Friendly, Executive Director
Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ontario
Karina Gould, Minister for Children, Families and Social Development, Government of Canada
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.
Please be advised that the links below touch on topics such as child abuse, family separation, intergenerational trauma and genocide.
- Phyllis Webstad - On Orange Shirt Day [7:07]
- Residential Schools in Canada: A Timeline [5:39]
- Spirit Bear and Children Make History [26:28] (English CC) (French CC)
- 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)
- An Overview of the Indian Residential School System
- What Are the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action & How Are We Working Toward Achieving Them Today?
- AECEO Guiding Committee on Truth and Reconciliation - eceLINK articles
- Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild - Making the most of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation [46:19] (2022)
- Telling Our Twisted Histories [11 episodes] (2022)
- The Henceforward, episode 2 - Reconciliation? [41:07] (2016)
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
The AECEO, along with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Toronto Community for Better Child Care, have released an FAQ/information sheet for child care boards. As more information becomes available about the implementation of the agreement, and how it impacts child care in Ontario, we will continue to work closely with our sector partners to support and inform ECEs as we navigate the implementation of the long-awaited system together.
We were so encouraged to see our community grow in real time as we bonded over shared experiences and hopes at our Open House on July 20th. It was a very special gift to be able to gather with early years professionals and renew our commitment to a job we love.
We talked about our AECEO Communities of Practice(CoPs), the values that guide our organization - and shared an inspiring video highlighting the CoPs. Across Ontario, early years professionals are finding the peer support we need to push through hard times, celebrate our unique talents, and advocate for early learning and care. If you're interested in joining an AECEO Community of Practice, or for more information, please fill out this form.
On our own, our voices tire, but together our chorus rings loud and clear!
To watch the Communities of Practice video please click HERE.
In this issue:
- AECEO Sexual Abuse Program Statement
- All Nations Circle of Practice (open access)
- ECE Voices (open access)
- Building Leadership & Learning Communities Project
- Decent Work Project
- The Peer Reviewed Collection (open access)
- Call for Submissions: Fall/Winter eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection
We would like to thank AECEO Members and the following advertisers for supporting this issue of the eceLINK:
Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!
The AECEO & OCBCC invites racialized educators to a consultation session to share their experience during the pandemic. The consultation will be on Tuesday, June 7, 7-8.30pm EST.Read more
Through our new Worth More campaign we are advocating for a proper child care workforce strategy, including:
- A real salary grid, starting at $25 per hour for all child care workers and $30 per hour for RECEs;
- Paid sick days;
- Paid programming time;
- Paid professional development time.
Visit the OCBCC Worth More campaign page for resources including:
- E-action to send a message to your local MPP candidates and the party leaders
- Posters to download and print in English and French.
- Party comparison chart: "Where the parties stand on early years and child care"
Join the AECEO and the OCBCC for our Politics of ECE: Government 101 Watch Party! This is the first event in our new series the Politics of ECE. The watch party will be on Tuesday, May 31, 7-8.30pm EST. Register Today!
We’ll hear from sector experts and educators about how the government works, where child care policy fits in and reflect together on how these policies and decisions are lived in our practice as early childhood educators and individuals.
The online watch party will be a combination of short recorded presentations and live small group discussions. This will be a welcoming space to come together, learn from one another and ask critical questions about the role of politics in our sector and our lives. This event will be recorded.
To prepare for this session, you are invited to review the Politics of ECE: Key Terms created by Lin Velasco.
Access Information: The AECEO is committed to ensuring accessibility for all educators. ASL-English interpretation and live transcript will be enabled at this session. Please contact [email protected] for access inquiries.
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.
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.
The AECEO welcomes you to a roundtable with Kindergarten RECEs to hear voices from the classroom. This educator-led event will be an opportunity for folks to learn more about this unique ECE environment.
For more than 10 years, RECEs have been working in collaboration with Ontario Certified Teachers to provide an enriching full-day play-based program. We are eager to share our professional experiences and to provide suggestions to enhance the Kindergarten program for the benefit of children, families, and educators.
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.
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.
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
One of the AECEO’s goals is to build the collective voice of Early Childhood Educators who we trust to work creatively, collaboratively and responsively with children, families, and communities. In doing this work, we understand educators, children, families, and communities as inevitably dependent and inextricably interdependent whereby responsive care relations are the foundation of good practice and quality care environments. While our mandate has evolved over time, one focus of our organization today is to critically engage with sociopolitical forces that undermine the work, value, and experiences of ECEs (and allied professionals) and advocate for change at the program, system and public policy-level. We embrace our work as political, recognizing our responsibility to identify and challenge the chronic undervaluing of (highly gendered) ECEs. But we also know we have much to learn. In the past few years, we have prioritized efforts to think with an anti-racist/anti-oppressive lens through ongoing engagement with Black, Indigenous and newcomer educators, communities, children, and families. We are also working to establish stronger relationships with LGBTQIA2S communities to ensure we support gender and sexual minority educators, children, and families. We are thinking with these communities in voicing our concerns about the mandated SAPP.
Click here to read our full statement.
Issue: Fall/Winter 2022
Special Issue Call:
As the apex of the pandemic subsides, we find ourselves emerging in a context of heightened uncertainty and messiness. Global economic and political violence provide the backdrop for all of us to establish a new reality. Having been largely ignored during the pandemic, early childhood educators, children and families are emerging from the haze. In Canada, there is some hope as agreements with all provinces and territories have been signed in relation to a first-ever national childcare program. As we look to find our footing and step forward into what is next, we wish to take a moment honour, reflect and center the relationships that we understand to be foundational to our existence in the human and more-than-human worlds. In this issue we hope to provoke research, dialogue and thinking about how our relationships have been interrupted, adapted and persevered despite the many practical barriers to typical ways of doing relationships over the past two years. We are also interested in if this matters as we move toward meaningful advocacy and pedagogical work. We wonder:
- How do we think differently about the value of relationships between children, families and educators and the more-than-human world in ECE programs right now - when the world is as it is, facing white supremacy, armed conflict, climate devastation, and the consequences of a massive viral outbreak? (not only relationships between educator and children/families, but also between educators and between children/families and all of these groups and the natural environment)
- Has how we do relationships changed? How?
- Are relationships centered (or not) in formal policy documents/announcements by provinces/territories and the federal government? What might be the implications of this?
- How might young children understand themselves in relation to others after two years of pandemic induced isolation? (for many children, they are emerging into the social world beyond the family for the first time). What does this mean for educators, themselves looking to find solid footing in a hostile, unpredictable world?
Submission deadline: August 15, 2022