Black History Month Resources

 

February is Black History Month. As early childhood educators and as a community, this is a time for us to learn, unlearn, and examine how our actions must work to support racial justice.  The AECEO aims to continuously challenge systemic racism and colonial structures that harm Black children, families, and educators within the early childhood education and care sector. Acknowledging that Black educators also face specific challenges in accessing progressive economic and professional opportunities is important to consider as we aim for transformative change.

We know there’s a lot of work to be done towards justice and equality and there will be uncomfortable and even painful conversations and experiences along the way. We also must ensure that Black community members are not tasked with carrying the burden of everyone’s collective learning.  

We remain committed to building a society that values and celebrates Black history and culture, by promoting Black leadership and actively working against systems that surveil, oppress, and disparage Blackness. On February 28th, we will be hosting a Professional Learning opportunity with the Seneca Early Childhood Educators Black Students Association, and we look forward to sharing more details and registration soon.

Below you will find a list of resources that includes suggested readings, videos and local events for all ages in different regions of the province. We suggest you explore this compilation of resources, attend a local event if you’re able to and share these within your community so others can access them. We encourage all early childhood educators and members of the early learning community to join us in dedicating time and effort to critically examining pedagogy, historical and current narratives and committing to specific work that promotes the participation of Black educators, children and families as leaders in our sector and community.

Local Events in Ontario

Online Events 

Readings

Resources for Educators and Caregivers

  • Community of Black ECEs - AECEO Communities of Practice are self-determined learning groups that connect folks to supports, resources, and shared experiences to strengthen a unified early years workforce
  • A Different Booklist - a Canadian, independent, multicultural bookstore specializing in books from the African Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.
  • Afro Women and Youth Foundation - a Black-Led and Black-Serving organization that provides leadership, empowerment, and mentorship programs to Newcomers, Black Women and Youth
  • Centering the Voices of Racialized Mothers and Educators in Shaping Child Care Response and Recovery in Ontario - an Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Project, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada
  • Haymarket Books Haymarket Books is a radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher based in Chicago, IL. 
  • EmbraceRace - a community space that gathers resources and knowledge needed to meet the challenges faced by those raising children in a world where race matters. 
  • Woke Kindergarten - a global, abolitionist early childhood ecosystem & visionary creative portal supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.
  • The Conscious Kid - an education, research and policy organization that supports families and educators in taking action to disrupt racism, inequity and bias
  • Gal-dem - An online media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalized genders.

Video and Film Recommendations


Ontario child care advocates celebrate milestone in affordable child care; push for workforce strategy and transparency

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario welcomed Monday’s announcement by the federal and Ontario governments that child care fees will be reduced by 50% by the new year.

“Affordable child care is life changing for families and for our communities. It is great to see the collaboration between the federal and provincial governments making that a reality for Ontario families”, said Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Policy Coordinator Carolyn Ferns.

Ontario also announced more details of its use of federal expansion funds, with a promise to use $213 million in federal Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funds for start-up grants to child care programs around Ontario. 

While it is positive to hear the Ontario government speak about expanding licensed child care, advocates cautioned that it will be impossible to increase the number of licensed spaces without addressing the child care workforce crisis. Around Ontario child care programs cannot operate at capacity right now because of the child care recruitment and retention crisis, let alone plan for expansion. 

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario have called for a workforce strategy including:

  • A salary scale starting at $25 per hour for all child care workers and $30 per hour for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs);
  • Benefits and pensions;
  • Paid sick days;
  • Professional development time;
  • Paid programming time.

“We need decent work and pay. We need the federal and provincial governments to bring the same level of ambition and collaboration that they have brought to lowering child care fees to raising child care worker wages and developing a real workforce strategy” said Rachel Vickerson of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care also urges the province to increase transparency as the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care plan gets underway in Ontario. 

“We need regular public reporting, accountability mechanisms and transparent, public consultation going forward. How many child care spaces have already been created? And where are they located? How will programs be selected for expansion and how will the government be guaranteeing that we are expanding primarily in public and non-profit sectors as required under the CWELCC agreement? We need to ensure that every dollar going to create spaces for families is well-spent,” said Ferns.

 

Contact

Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, [email protected], 647-218-1275

Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, [email protected], 647-393-8952


Fall/Winter 2022 eceLINK Now Available

Cover of Fall-Winter 2022 ecelink showing a collage of participation in the Day of ActionIn this issue:

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

Johnson Insurance

Wintergreen

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Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!



Rally for the Child Care Workforce

JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN TO SOLVE THE CHILD CARE WORKFORCE CRISIS.

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National Day of Action Phone Zap

Join in demanding that Premier Ford & Minister Lecce build high-quality & accessible child care for Ontario!

November 30th 7-8pm Zoom Registration

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AECEO Statement on CUPE Education Workers Strike

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. 

In Solidarity,

The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario


Find your closest CUPE picket line here


Call for Submissions - Peer reviewed collection: Spring/Summer 2023 eceLINK

Issue: Spring/Summer 2023                                                                                                  

The AECEO is welcoming submissions for the eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection:

Subject parameters:

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

Download full submission guidelines


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. 

Sincerely,


Carolyn Ferns, Public Policy Coordinator

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

[email protected]

 

Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director

Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario

[email protected]

 

Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director

Child Care Now

[email protected]

 

Martha Friendly, Executive Director

Childcare Resource and Research Unit

[email protected]

 

CC:

               Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ontario

               Karina Gould, Minister for Children, Families and Social Development, Government of Canada


National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

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. 

As educators, we believe that it is our duty to have these uncomfortable conversations with each other, our families and our communities. We hope that talking more openly about “scary”  topics will lead to our feeling comfortable in the discomfort in order to be a catalyst for positive change.                                                                                                                                                         
To support you in that process, we are sharing a list of resources our team is using to help you on your own decolonizing journey on Orange Shirt Day and beyond. We also encourage you to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and reflect on the ways you can take action in your pedagogical practice and in your community.

Please be advised that the links below touch on topics such as child abuse, family separation, intergenerational trauma and genocide.

Videos: 

Interactive Resources: 

  • 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) 

Readings: 

Podcasts:

 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

FAQ: CWELCC for Child Care Centre Boards

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.

Download CWELCC INFORMATION FOR CHILD CARE CENTRE BOARDS


AECEO Open House

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

We invite you to also connect with us through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

On our own, our voices tire, but together our chorus rings loud and clear!

To watch the Communities of Practice video please click HERE.


Spring/Summer 2022 eceLINK Now Available

eceLINK_Spring-Summer_2022_Cover.jpgIn this issue:

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

Johnson Insurance

Wintergreen

Read_more_button.png (AECEO MEMBER ACCESS FOR FULL CONTENT)

Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!


Sharing Pandemic Experiences: A Safe Space for Racialized Educators

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.

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PRIDE Month

PRIDE Month 2022

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Indigenous History Month

June is Indigenous History Month

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Child Care is Worth More

Child_Care_is_worth_more_graphic.png

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:


The Politics of ECE: Government 101

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 ESTRegister Today! Image of many people standing on the steps in front of Parliament holding signs that say child care champion

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. 

LINK TO REGISTER

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.

 

 

 

 


New Fact Sheet: CWELCC Wage Improvement Funds

 

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.

Click here to read English Fact Sheet

Click here to read French Fact Sheet

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.


Kindergarten RECE Roundtable

YOU’RE INVITED!
REGISTER HERE

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.

 

REGISTER HERE


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