AECEO submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs’ Pre-budget consultation process

February, 2017

In our response to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs' Pre Budget consultation process, the AECEO has made several recommendations to support the concept of transforming the current patchwork system of early years and child care services that parents and families currently struggle to navigate. 

Every day, ECEs make the difficult decision to leave the sector and the work that they love due to low wages and challenging working conditions that hinder their ability to fulfill their professional roles in early years and child care programs. An alarming concern as the anticipated transformation of early years and child care in Ontario rests on the ability of the early childhood (EC) workforce to take up 20,000 new jobs.  In order to recruit and retain well-trained, well-educated and passionate ECEs it is imperative that the Government of Ontario address the root of the problem:

The AECEO recommended that the Ontario Government develop and invest in a comprehensive workforce strategy for the ECE profession that includes

  • A provincially established, annually indexed, regional wage scale along with annually indexed base funding for child care and other family resource and support programs in order to equitably raise the salaries, working conditions and morale of all ECEs and early years staff and to strengthen recruitment and retention. A standardized wage rate in the early years and child care sector will ensure staff with equivalent education and work responsibilities are paid a similar rate of pay no matter where they work. These initiatives would further contribute to higher and more consistent quality across programs. The Government of Manitoba announced a wage scale program on January 12, 2016.
  • We support the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care’s call for at least $500 million in capital funding for Year 1 of the child care expansion to begin to make a real difference in availability of spaces; provide $300 million in new operating funding to keep pace with expansion of spaces, to support child care services directly and kick start a process of system transformation. The province should contribute an additional $75 million to address immediate crises faced by existing programs;
  • The province should commit to moving from the current broken fee subsidy system to an affordable sliding fee scale, and begin work immediately to design an affordable fee model that works for all Ontario families;
  • A provincial mandate and supporting funding arrangement to make the Designated ECE position in full-day kindergarten a full-time, full-year position comparable to that of elementary school teachers;
  • Support for essential ongoing education and professional learning for early childhood educators and early years staff at all levels, no matter where they work;
  • Appropriate infrastructure support, including funding to facilities, programming, curriculum development, and early childhood education and care organizations.

Click here for AECEO's full submission

ECE Wage Enhancement Announcement

News Release

Ontario Continuing to Provide Support for Child Care Professionals 
Wage Enhancement Will Strengthen Licensed Child Care, Encourage Sector Growth
February 9, 2017

Ministry of Education

For a third straight year, Ontario is increasing wages to help keep child care professionals in licensed child care settings and encourage growth in the sector, ensuring that children and families across the province continue to benefit from safe, high-quality child care that promotes early learning and development.

As part of Ontario's commitment to supporting child care professionals, the program will receive ongoing, annual funding. This year, the province will provide:

  • An ongoing wage enhancement, up to $2 per hour plus benefits, for eligible child care workers and home visitors in the licensed child care sector.
  • An ongoing enhancement, up to $20 per day, for eligible home child care providers.
  • A raise in the maximum hourly wage to be eligible for the wage enhancement - an increase of 1.5 per cent to $26.68 per hour. For home child care providers, the daily fees maximum will be $266.80 per day.

Full information available at

AECEO Submission to Ministry of Education, Early Years Division’s Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy

The AECEO has long called for a publicly funded, high quality, universal child care system in Ontario – one that is affordable for all families and that ensures professional pay and decent work for the early childhood (EC) workforce.

We were very pleased to submit our response, highlighting the need for support for the early childhood workforce, to the Ministry of Education’s consultations on its Early Years and Child Care Strategy.


The AECEO is the professional association for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) in Ontario. We support ECEs in their professional practice and advocate for the recognition and appropriate compensation of the profession.  Our members are working throughout Ontario in programs for young children and their families, including regulated child care, full-day kindergarten, family resource programs and support services for children with disabilities, among others.

As ECEs, we support the government of Ontario’s commitment to transforming the way early years and child care/early learning programs are delivered in the province. As studies have shown, investment in early childhood education and care (ECEC) through accessible, quality, and affordable options has significant positive economic implications for individuals and for society. 

MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister responsible for Early Years and Child Care has referred to the government’s commitment as Ontario’s opportunity to be transformative, to be groundbreaking and to be visionary (Toronto Consultation, December 7th 2016). The AECEO applauds this significant commitment and we look forward to working with the government in addressing barriers to EC workforce advancement. We also applaud the government’s commitment to the consultation process, as consultation with the early years and child care sector is a vital component of this transformation. The AECEO requests that the Ministry of Education release a summary of what they heard from the community through the consultation process as we work together to “get this done right” (Toronto Consultation, December 7th 2016)

Read full response here...



CRRU response to consultation

Unifor Submission to the Ontario Consultation on an Early Years and Child Care Strategy 

Public and not-for-profit network will deliver best child care for Ontarians: CUPE submission

Better Child Care for Ontario: CCPA submission

eceLINK Winter 2016/17 Now ONLINE

Cover_test_eceLINK_Winter_2016-17.jpgIn This Issue:

  • Decent Work for all RECEs and early years staff in Ontario, no matter where they work
  • THE "DIG INTO PLAY" STORY: Reimagining Public Spaces for Play (Featured article available to the public)
  • EMPOWERING ECE STUDENTS: A profile of the Ryerson Student Childcare Advocacy Association
  • And more.....

read_more_button.png (Member Access)

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

Food for Tots
Infant Mental Health Promotion - Early Years Conference
Johnson Insurance
Queen's University 
Retired Teachers of Ontario
School Specialty
University of Guelph-Humber 

Give the gift of nominating an ECE for the Prime Minister's Award

This holiday season, why not give an exceptional teacher or early childhood educator the gift of recognition by nominating them for a Prime Minister's Award.

National awards are worth $5,000 and recipients honoured by the Prime Minister. Nomination packages are available at

Need inspiration? Check out the terrific teachers and early childhood educators that were honoured in the fall.

You have until January 9, 2017 to submit a nomination. For more information visit or call 613-991-4255

A Growing Concern

2016 child care fees in Canada’s big cities

December 12, 2016

This study, the third in a series beginning in 2014, reveals the most and least expensive cities for child care in Canada. The study provides an annual snapshot of median parental child care fees in Canada’s biggest 28 cities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It finds that wait lists are common for regulated child care, which is more expensive than it was two years ago, with fees rising an average of over 8% since 2014—three times faster than inflation.


Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy


Ministry of Education Consultations on Early Years and Child Care Strategy

The Ministry of Education has just released Building a Better Future: A discussion paper for transforming early years and child care in Ontario and has invited the community to make submissions online and/or in person at a series of public consultation meetings in selected communities around Ontario.

Please share this information widely. AECEO urges all RECEs and early years staff to attend these public consultation meetings or to provide feedback online to ensure that educator voices are heard in this important policy process. Expansion of Ontario's early years and child care sector will require systemic solutions to address longstanding issues of recruitment, retention and remuneration in the early years sector. 

Please read the Ministry of Education's discussion paper and let them know what youneed in order to create a quality early years and child care system in Ontario. All RECEs and early years staff deserve #ProfessionalPay and #DecentWork. The deadline for online submissions is February 3 2017 the AECEO will make a submission and we will share our response with the community as soon as it is available.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) has created a helpful tip sheet which includes a schedule of the in-person consultation dates. 

For more information and to submit your feedback online please go to:

Taking action to mobilize change for early childhood educators


HiMama Podcast #16 - November 1, 2016

AECEO Provincial Board Secretary Chanequa Cameron, a Master’s degree student at Ryerson University, is this week’s guest speaker on the Hi Mama, THE PRESCHOOL PODCAST. Chanequa discusses how early childhood educators can take an active role in creating positive change for the profession and the need for stakeholders to work together to close the early childhood professionalization gap as noted in the AECEO’s recently released paper “I’m more than ‘just’ an ECE”: Decent work from the perspective of Ontario's early childhood workforce

Click here for Podcast

Child care can't wait till the cows come home: Rural child care in the Canadian context

Martha Friendly, Carolyn Ferns, Bethany Grady and Laurel Rothman 
A Childcare Resource and Research Unit Publication
September 30, 2016


The purpose of this paper, aimed at a wide range of stakeholders, is to provide a current overview of the state of rural child care and to stimulate and inform discussion aimed at improving it.

The report includes the following sections as well as references and appendices: 

  • an executive summary available in English and French; 
  • a literature review of research, descriptions and analyses of rural child care to highlight issues facing contemporary rural families and child care programs;
  • a scan of provincial/territorial approaches and initiatives pertinent to rural child care;
  • several descriptive case studies of successful rural child care programs across the country;
  • a brief summary of the situation of rural child care beyond our borders;
  • a discussion of possibilities and recommendations to the various levels of government and to community stakeholders.

This Occasional Paper No. 30 is available in an online format only here

Early Childhood Educators call on Wynne Government to commit to equal pay and decent work

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 25, 2016)


To mark Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day on October 26, a new report and thousands of names on petitions shine a light on the challenges faced by Ontario's early childhood workforce and their growing collective call for decent work.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) and its partners and allies are calling on the government to ensure that their recent Throne Speech commitment of 100,000 child care spaces helps to build a real system of child care in the province. A petition, being presented in the Ontario legislature Wednesday, calls for a publicly funded early learning and child care system that "provides both adequate wages and affordable fees." 

"We welcome the Ontario government's renewed focus on child care, but to make the most of it we need an approach that develops a real child care system. Not just a space expansion, but affordability for parents and decent work for educators," said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

The Ontario government's promise of 100,000 child care spaces will require an estimated 20,000 early childhood educators. But educators are warning the government that without ensuring equal pay and decent work, the sector will continue to experience high rates of staff turnover as trained educators leave the sector due to low pay and burnout. 

A new report from the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) highlights the issues faced by the workforce. The paper - "I'm more than 'just' an ECE" - reports on consultations with educators and child care staff across Ontario. 

"The government's planned space expansion can only be achieved through the work of educators and child care workers. The needs of the workforce can no longer be ignored," said Lyndsay Macdonald, Coordinator of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.

Bernice Cipparrone McLeod of the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development at OISE/UT reiterated the importance of a stable, qualified and well compensated workforce to high quality early learning and care. 

"Research shows that it's the educators that build quality in early learning and care. They are the key to quality programs and must be supported," said Cipparrone McLeod.

"The Wynne government committed to closing the gender wage gap. The government's own gender wage gap report found child care to be the area of greatest concern - not only from the perspective of parents but also from early childhood educators. ECEs provide a vital service in our communities and must be compensated accordingly," added Ferns.

  • Contact Information: Carolyn Ferns
    Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
    Ph: 416-538-0628 x 4
    Cell: 647-218-1275
    [email protected]

Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day 2016

Profile_Pic_EN.jpgChild Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is Wednesday October 26, 2016.

Child Care Worker and ECE Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate the workforce and also to call for stronger government investment to build a real early learning and child care system that provides high quality, affordable education and care for families, as well as Decent Work for educators.

This year's theme is Shaping Our Future to highlight the special role that ECEs and child care staff play in the lives of children, families and communities. Our theme also speaks to the importance of the early learning and care workforce in shaping our own future, and the future of our sector.

Change your Facebook or Twitter profile photo to Shaping Our Future, using the image on the right. 

Child Care Worker and ECE Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate the workforce and also to call for stronger government investment to build a real early learning and child care system that provides high quality, affordable education and care for families, as well as Decent Work for educators.

Visit the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care's website for more information

Physical Activity and Early Childhood Online Training Module Testing

Posted on behalf of Kristin Berfelz. Please respond to Kristin at [email protected]

Are you a parent/caregiver or service provider involved in the care of children up to 6 years old?

The Best Start Resource Centre is seeking individuals to review 2 online training modules related to physical activity for children 0-6.  

The modules should take approximately an hour to complete followed by a 20 minute survey.  Individuals who complete the field test will receive a $25 gift card.  The field test will take place November 8-18, 2016.  

Best Start is seeking input from English and French reviewers who are:

  • Parents
  • Guardians
  • Kindergarten Teachers
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Childcare Providers
  • Recreation Leaders
  • Volunteers

If you are interested in being involved, please email Kristin at [email protected], including the sector that you represent.  Please note that spaces are limited as we require representation from all sectors. We will connect with you to let you know either way if you will be included in the testing. 

We encourage you to share this link with parents/caregivers, service providers and colleagues you may work with.

Fall eceLINK 2016 Now Available ONLINE

eceLINK_fall2016_cover.pngIn this Issue:

  Full issue available in our professional portal for AECEO members

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

The Kindergarten Program 2016: Unpacking the Front Matter - A Six Part Series

Shannon Andrews

This 6 part series by Shannon Andrews explores the Kindergarten Program 2016 and is an excellent tool and resource for early childhood educators working in Full Day Kindergarten.  

Part 4: The Four Frames: Self-Regulation and Well-Being
Part 5: The Four Frames: Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours
Part 6: The Four Frames: Problem Solving and Innovating

Check out Shannon's blog Inspiring Beautiful Beginnings 

Happy World Decent Work Day!

Happy World Decent Work Day! Professional pay and decent work is the focus of the AECEO's work right now. Please join us, your voice is our voice and together we are stronger. 


Read more

Early Childhood Educators at the Rally for Decent Work

On October 1st 2016 thousands gathered from across Ontario at Queen's Park for the Decent Work Rally. Participants representing various sectors and industries were calling for labour rights, fairness for migrant and temporary workers, a $15 minimum wage and decent work that includes access to paid sick days and benefits for all workers in Ontario. 

ECEs and child care workers joined the AECEO at the Decent Work Rally to call for Professional Pay & Decent Work in Ontario's early learning sector. This event was an excellent opportunity for ECEs to raise their voice within the broader movement for decent work and to make connections with allies and supporters outside of our sector. it was also an opportunity for us to learn about the labour challenges and realities that impact the families that we work with every day. 

Read more

Why we need more men working in our creches

Sheila Wayman - The Irish Times

It’s hard to think of a profession now where it’s perfectly acceptable to suggest it’s not a suitable job for a woman. After all, there’s equality legislation and trigger-happy feminists to discourage that sort of gender prejudice.

Yet, when it comes to a flipside of that – men in childcare – it’s questionable if normal rules apply. An estimated 25,000 people work in the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland and only about one per cent is male.

Read full story on The Irish Times

Beyond Baby Steps: Planning for a National Child Care System



Susan Prentice/Martha Friendly/Linda White - Policy Options, July 2016

Justin Trudeau’s government has made big promises to Canadian families. In the federal budget of 2016, it declared that “high-quality, affordable child care is more than a convenience—it’s a necessity.” The government will be taking action, as the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs develop agreements with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to fulfill election commitments on child care.

It was back in 2005 that a Liberal government was last in a position to act on child care. Ken Dryden, Paul Martin’s Minister of Social Development, promised $5 billion over five years and finalized bilateral agreements with all provinces/territories. The Martin government came to the intergovernmental table with a child care policy based on four principles – quality, universality, accessibility, and developmental services (“QUAD”), but there were few implementation mechanisms in place when the new Conservative government cancelled the agreements in 2006.

Since 2006, early childhood education and care (ECEC) has evolved to some degree; for example, by September 2016, 8 of the 13 provinces/territories will offer full-day kindergarten for all five-year-olds. As well, 2001 changes to parental leave enable some parents to take year-long partly remunerated maternity/parental leave.


Summer eceLINK 2016 Now Available ONLINE

In this Issue:eceLINK2016_cover.jpg

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


Full Issue available now in our professional portal for members only


Challenges in Moving Towards a Highly Educated ECE Workforce

by Aaron Loewenberg

Last year, the National Academy of Medicine and National Research Council released the seminal Transforming the Workforce report that emphasizes the competencies and qualifications birth to third grade educators need to possess in order to support high-quality learning for young children. The report makes 13 recommendations aimed at bringing about greater educator quality and continuity from birth through early elementary school.

Of all the report’s recommendations, the one that has garnered the most attention is the second, which calls for the development of pathways and timelines for transitioning to a minimum bachelor’s degree requirement with specialized knowledge of ECE for all lead teachers of children from infancy to third grade. The recommendation is based on research suggesting that these qualifications are associated with higher-quality teaching and strong learning environments. But significant challenges exist in realizing this recommendation.