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

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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.

Read more

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

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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


2022 Provincial Budget released

​​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. 

Read the 2022 Ontario Budget


AECEO Job Opportunity

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.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • 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

Qualifications

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

Required

  • 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

Preferred

  • 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

Asset

  • 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.

Download Job Description PDF


AECEO Sexual Abuse Prevention Program Statement

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.


Call for Submissions - Peer reviewed collection: Fall/Winter 2022 eceLINK

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

Download full submission guidelines


AECEO Decent Work and Anti-Racism Survey

Decent work and anti-racism survey image with thought bubble that says \

Since 2015 the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario has been leading the Decent Work Campaign to build the collective voice of ECEs and early years staff in advocacy for decent work and professional pay. This new survey is designed to help inform future work under this campaign, including, but not limited to, policy recommendations to the Ministry of Education, the research and development of a salary grid, and the definition of decent work standards. As well, the survey will help the AECEO to revisit and update our existing project documents, including the Decent Work Charter and supporting documents.

We know that there is an existing data gap, and we are hoping to better understand existing wage gaps, the challenges in working conditions, pedagogical experiences, and the differential experiences of racialized ECEs. Your stories are important for highlighting what steps we need to take to ensure that all ECEs and early years staff are respected, valued and experience decent work.

This survey is voluntary and confidential. For more information on our intentionality and approach we invite you to review the informed consent information at the beginning of the survey here.

If you have any questions about the survey or process, please email [email protected]. Thank you for sharing your voice and experience with us as we work together to achieve decent work for all ECEs.

LINK TO THE SURVEY


The Federal Child Care Plan - Your Questions

We know there are still many unanswered questions about the child care deal and how it will affect ECEs, programs and families. We are still learning about this new process ourselves, and we are committed to finding out as much information as we can for our child care community.



The Childcare Resource and Research Unit has curated all publicly available government documents, community responses and media about the deal on their website. This page will be updated as new information becomes available and is available here.
If you have questions you would like us to find answers for, please send them to us via this form. We will try to respond to as many as we can, you can find initial answers below and in our upcoming "Child Care Deal - Your Questions" social media and in our upcoming Power of Us event on March 30th at 7pm.

Find more information and register for our "Power of Us" event here.

You can also find the AECEO and OCBCC press release here.

 

        


The Power of Us: On the road to a Canada-wide early learning and child care system

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Today we congratulate the Federal government in concluding 13 child care agreements to improve the quality of licensed early learning and child care and to make it more affordable, more available, and more inclusive. We also want to thank the generations of early childhood educators and child care advocates who have fought for this hard-won historical agreement – we would not be here without you. We look forward to celebrating with you on Wednesday March 30th at 7pm at our Power of Us event co-hosted with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

This is an important step forward, but the agreements, and the first transfers of federal funds to the provinces and territories, mark only the start of the work still to be done.

The Ontario plan to raise the “wage floor” to $18/hour for early childhood educators and to $20/hour for supervisors and provide an $1/hour wage enhancement each year after until 2025-26 - topping out at $25/hour - is hugely inadequate and a disappointing disservice to early childhood educators and child care workers/providers across Ontario. It does not address the crisis of recruitment and retention in Ontario by funding the salaries and benefits necessary to solve it. The commitments made by other provincial and territorial governments, such as the development of a salary grid for early childhood educators, are notably absent from the Ontario agreement and along with the low wage floor demonstrates that we still have much work to do to achieve professional pay in our sector.

We will continue to advocate alongside ECEs, child care workers, providers, employers, parents and stakeholders across Ontario on the implementation of a salary grid as called for in our open letter:

A salary grid that ensures at least

  • a $25 per hour starting wage for non-qualified staff
  • a $30 per hour starting wage for Early Childhood Educators
  • a daily rate minimum for licensed home child care providers
  • and a commensurate benefits package for all.

Please join us on Wednesday March 30 at 7pm for The Power of Us: On the road to a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, an event to celebrate all of you for your hard work in getting an agreement, discuss the deal, and talk about what might be next. This video speaks to the spirit and work of Educators and advocates that we'll be celebrating!

REGISTRATION


Ontario child care advocates celebrate hard-won victory with signing Canada-Ontario child care agreement; call for stronger child care workforce strategy

Toronto, ON— Ontario child care advocates are celebrating the signing of the Canada-Ontario child care agreement, but are also warning that child care expansion will fail without addressing the sector’s plummeting staff retention and growing worker shortage.

“Today is a huge step forward, but we must learn from the mistakes of our past and correct course now—we cannot expand on the practices that have deeply broken Ontario’s child care system,” says Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC). “Child care workers and advocates from across the province agree. Without addressing chronic working conditions, including low wages and inadequate sick leave that are leading to a mass exodus of trained and experienced workers, Ontario’s plan will ultimately fail the families who’ve finally found hope in the province’s child care system.”

Advocates had called for a workforce strategy to include a wage grid starting at $25 per hour wage floor for child care workers and decent work standards that include 10 paid sick days, adequate planning time, and paid time for professional learning.

“The Ford government’s announcement today of a $18 per hour wage floor for ECEs is inadequate and demonstrates how ignorant the government is about the extent of the crisis of recruitment and retention in the province and what salaries and benefits are necessary to solve it,” says Rachel Vickerson, Executive Director of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO).

Parents also understand the necessity for a provincial child care workforce strategy, reports CUPE, the OCBCC, and AECEO.

“We need and deserve access to early learning and child care workers who are treated with respect and dignity,” says Wendy LaRose of Toronto Parents for Child Care. “We cannot build a universal system of care and early learning on the backs of an exploited workforce, who are mostly women and racialized.”

For more information and media requests:

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

Rachel Vickerson
Executive Director
Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario 

647 393 8952
[email protected]


Phone Zap

On March 23rd, over 100 Early Childhood Educators, child care workers and supporters participated in a to PHONE ZAP Ontario  Minister Stephen Lecce, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Federal Minister Karina Gould. We listened to brave ECE stories and demanded that the Federal Child Care Agreement be signed immediately and that the early years workforce crisis is addressed in Ontario with the following:

1. A salary grid that ensures at least
a. a $25 per hour starting wage for non-qualified staff
b. a $30 per hour starting wage for Early Childhood Educators
c. a daily rate minimum for licensed home child care providers
d. and a commensurate benefits package for all.

2. Decent Work Standards that support pedagogical practice, including paid planning time, permanent paid sick and emergency leave days and Early Childhood Workforce Learning Framework.

3. The creation of practitioner roles that will strengthen program quality while formally recognizing the value of credentials, experience, and diverse knowledges.

4. Pathways to acquire and upgrade qualifications, responding to the needs and strengths of rural, remote, and marginalized communities.

You can also voice your concerns and personal experiences with the workforce crisis and what a national child care plan would mean for your life.


Open Letter: A Workforce At Breaking Point

Header-Workforce at Breaking Point

Today the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario and Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care are releasing an open letter calling on federal and provincial governments to ensure that the Ontario child care agreement includes a wage grid and strategy to address the province’s growing child care workforce crisis. Over 1500 Early Childhood Educators, child care workers and supporters have signed on calling for:

  1. A salary grid that ensures at least
    • a $25 per hour starting wage for non-qualified staff
    • a $30 per hour starting wage for Early Childhood Educators
    • a daily rate minimum for licensed home child care providers
    • and a commensurate benefits package for all.
  2. Decent Work Standards that support pedagogical practice, including paid planning time, permanent paid sick and emergency leave days and Early Childhood Workforce Learning Framework.
  3. The creation of practitioner roles that will strengthen program quality while formally recognizing the value of credentials, experience, and diverse knowledges.
  4. Pathways to acquire and upgrade qualifications, responding to the needs and strengths of rural, remote, and marginalized communities.

Signatories also responded in comments to the letter’s two questions 1) How has you or your organization been affected by the ECE workforce crisis? and 2) what do you want the provincial and federal government to know when negotiating the child care agreement?

The open letter with all comments and signatory names can be read on the Breaking Point Open Letter webpage.


Winter/Spring 2022 eceLINK Now Available

In this issue:

Cover Image eceLINK Winter Spring issue

We would like to thank the following for helping to support this issue of the eceLINK:

Johnson Insurance

Read_more_button.png (AECEO MEMBER ACCESS FOR FULL CONTENT)

Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!


A Workforce At Breaking Point - Rising Up

Header-Workforce at Breaking Point

A Workforce at Breaking Point: Rising Up is a new campaign organized by the AECEO and OCBCC to share stories and raise our voices together about the early learning and child care workforce crisis.

Federal funds available through the Canada-wide early learning and child care agreements can help to end this crisis and make decent work and professional pay an achievable reality in Ontario. We invite you to sign on to our open letter calling for a wage grid and decent work standards in the federal-provincial agreement. The open letter also provides space for you to share your ECE workforce experiences. 

See the signed open letter, published March 15, 2022, and read the stories/experiences of those affected by the crisis here 


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