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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Resources/Information

Amnesty International - International News

Oxfam Canada - Canadian Organization facilitating humanitarian aid

Aljazeera - International News

SURJ Toronto - Showing Up for Racial Justice Toronto 

Woke Kindergarten - Engaging children in critical conversations

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

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

Red Cross Middle East Humanitarian Crisis 

 Take Action

Send a letter to your Canadian MP calling for ceasefire

Independent Jewish Voices

Donate to Oxfam

Send a letter to Canadian Leaders to support International Human Rights

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Support for mental health 

Ontario.ca - Find mental health support in Ontario 

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

Alli Therapy - Sliding scale virtual therapy


A message from the staff at the AECEO

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Questions to help you choose how to celebrate Appreciation Day

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

Spread the word!

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

Share on Socials!

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

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

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

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

Make cards... or print some!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make an Appreciation Day mural or guest book!

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

Tips for setting up

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

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

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

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

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

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


Position Paper and Policy Brief on a Publicly Funded Salary Scale

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

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

Read the position paper and policy brief


Position Paper and Policy Brief on a Publicly Funded Salary Scale

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

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

Read the position paper and policy brief


National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) 2023

September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. This is an opportunity for us to come together, continue to learn about the residential school system and witness and honour the healing journey of survivors and their families.

As early childhood educators and child care workers, we are often part of children and families’ first contact with the education system, therefore it is extremely important that we learn about the role played by the system in separating Indigenous families and harming First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Turtle Island.

At the AECEO, we believe it is our duty to use that knowledge to re-examine our practices, policies and structures in order to disrupt harmful systems and promote true understanding and allyship. We invite you to revisit the Truth and Reconciliation Resources curated by the AECEO in 2022 and check out the following list of readings, videos and other resources to support your learning journey. 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: 

Readings and resources to help with planning:  

Events: 

  • Truth and Reconciliation Week, hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Lunch & Learn events are being streamed live from Sept. 25th-30th. Recordings are made available on the same day on the NCTR’s youtube channel.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Event Series, hosted by Finding our Power Together. A three-part workshop series featuring conversations of reconciliation and how best to support Indigenous youth designed for families, early childhood educators and young professionals. More information here.  

Websites and organizations of interest: 


Call for Submissions - Peer reviewed collection: Spring/Summer 2024 eceLINK

Image of 3 eceLINK covers in a fan shape

The AECEO is welcoming submissions for the Spring/Summer 2024 eceLINK Peer Reviewed Collection:

Author Guidelines 

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:  January 26, 2024

Please email submissions to: [email protected]

DOWNLOAD CALL FOR ARTICLES PDF


AECEO statement regarding anti-Trans demonstrations happening on September 20th, 2023

 

The AECEO is led by inclusivity and radical care. As the professional association organizing for Early Childhood Educators in Ontario, we denounce any and all discrimination of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, including the protests planned for September 20th, 2023. These demonstrations are led by hate and misinformation.

Our provincial code of ethics mandates that our support extends to all families and children. Additionally, our professional training in early childhood education provides reliable and well researched evidence to support healthy self-identity for children. We also support the authentic selves of all early years professionals.

Our organizational stance is not ambiguous. We will continue to promote the well-being of children and do so by leading with respect and care. We are champions for inclusive education and curriculum for people of all ages.

 


Building Leadership and Learning Communities Year 2 Evaluation Report

The AECEO’s Building Leadership and Learning Communities project aims to strengthen the ECE workforce by connecting, supporting, and empowering Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Workers. The project recently completed its second year in June 2023. An external evaluation team used surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews to determine the impact of the project and whether the project was meeting its outlined goals successfully. Their results are shared in this Evaluation Report which outlines the work of the project; creating and supporting AECEO Communities of Practice, and developing and implementing a new Professional Learning model that centers the educator and their experience. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Amber Straker, Project Coordinator, at [email protected].


AECEO New Job Opportunity

Status of Process: The hiring committee has concluded interviews. 

Position: Community Outreach Administrator 

Deadline: Friday August 11, 2023 11:59pm

Job Description: As part of the AECEO’s ongoing community organizing work, the Community Outreach Administrator will be responsible for leading the administration of a new parent network, supporting strategy and communications with the parent network and Communities of Practice (CoPs), and coordinating membership outreach and communications. This position reports directly to the Executive Director and is responsible to a volunteer Board of Directors.

Community Organizing 

  • Support Community Organizer in the development of new parent network through outreach initiatives and management/analysis of NationBuilder database
  • Lead the administrative responsibilities related to a new parent network, including managing emails/messages, setting meetings, creating agendas and organizational tools, tracking and reporting on progress
  • Contribute to campaign plans, strategies and materials/tools to support CoPs and parent network
  • Contribute to strategy and problem solving discussions, particularly related to community organizing initiatives
  • Create and deliver presentations both online and at community events and other outreach opportunities 
  • Establish and maintain professional working relations with members, community and sector partners/stakeholders and leaders, organizations, government 

Communications

  • Support the AECEO’s Communications and Outreach Coordinator, including the co-development and execution of creative, engaging social media strategies, creating original posts/content, sharing sector news/events, and responding to followers/comments related to the CoPs
  • Support the CoPs in managing social media accounts
  • Participate in the development and implementation of membership outreach, retention and recruitment efforts
  • Support ongoing revamp and updates of AECEO website using NationBuilder 
  • Support Professional Learning Coordinator with video production, editing and publishing
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

Degree in Early Childhood Education, Communications, Humanities, Social or Political Science or a related field of study, or equivalent combination of education and experience

Skills, knowledge and experience

Required

  • Knowledge of anti-racism work, and the ability to work within racially diverse teams
  • Task and time management skills, attention to detail
  • Strong written/verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to build and maintain strong and collaborative relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends and flexible hours
  • Willing to work within anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks
  • Knowledge of the early childhood sector

Preferred

  • Experience building community initiatives and working with diverse community partners
  • Knowledge and understanding of critical theories of early childhood
  • NationBuilder or similar database management experience

Asset

  • Experience communicating with politicians and/government on public policy 
  • Knowledge of Public Narrative Framework 
  • Website management/maintenance experience including willingness to learn HTML/CSS, NationBuilder platform
  • Video creation/editing experience/skills
  • G drivers license or equivalent full drivers license

This is a 12 month contract position, with the possibility of renewal. This position will be a part of the bargaining unit for the AECEO after our forthcoming inaugural collective bargaining process. 

If you are contacted by the AECEO regarding this job opportunity and require 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 (September 2023) 

Salary: $58,000, plus benefits after 3 months

Work location: Remote/from home  

Please submit cover letter, and resume to [email protected] by Friday, August 11, 2023, 11:59 PM 

Only candidates who are selected for interviews will be contacted. A short writing assignment will be requested from candidates when confirming an interview. 

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 posting PDF

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

Spring/Summer 2023 eceLINK Now Available

Cover of Spriing-Summer 2023 ecelink showing a group of Educators wearing ECE Power T-shirts

In this issue:

Our thanks to everyone who contributed!

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

Johnson Insurance

Educators Financial Group

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Click HERE to become an AECEO member or renew!


Worth More Wednesdays: A Summer of Action!

The Worth More campaign is going strong, but we are still waiting for Ontario’s child care workforce strategy. So this summer join ECEs, early years staff, child care providers, and families across Ontario for the Worth More Wednesdays: Summer of Action! 

We have been so inspired by the inventiveness we’ve seen from the ECE community on the Days of Action. We want to make sure our message will continue to be heard loud and clear all summer long.  We’ll provide a toolkit of ideas, printable resources, and conversation prompts, you’ll provide the ECE Magic to build stronger relationships with children, families, and your community.

Our Toolkit features 5 weeks of fun and easy ideas and resources to take action with your community.

Of course the activities outlined in our Toolkit are simply examples and your actions may look different to reflect the needs of your community. We hope you'll feel free to adapt our Toolkit as necessary. If your timeline is different, and you will start the actions a little later, that’s OK too. It’s never too late to care out loud! If you are not working directly with children, or you aren’t able to participate in every action, we invite you to think creatively, with the Toolkit as a starting point. 

Be sure to keep an eye on the AECEO and OCBCC accounts, where we will share ideas, including inspiration for actions individuals can take. However you use our Toolkit, we hope that you will feel the message at the heart of it: that relationships are advocacy, and that you already have all the skills and knowledge you need to be a leader in this movement. Every week we’ll send an email reminder, along with resources and prompts for the week to make it as easy as possible to join in because you, and every ECE, child care worker and family are WORTH MORE!


National Indigenous People's Day 2023

Across Turtle Island, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples have resisted against colonial structures to preserve  their languages, identities and culture. Today we celebrate their stories, their joys, accomplishments and successes.  

This day is also an opportunity for all educators to reflect on how we can support one another in our reconciliation practice and learning/unlearning journey.

The AECEO is committed to addressing colonial frameworks that have historically failed, and continue to fail, Indigenous children and their families.  The AECEO is dedicated to ensuring First Nation, Métis and Inuit educators have opportunity and support to take the lead in responding to all matters related to their specific communities.

The AECEO invites all educators across Ontario to connect with the ALL NATIONS CIRCLE OF PRACTICE, an Indigenous-led community of practice that prioritizes ECEs & Child Care Workers of All Nations in connection, collaboration, and community. Follow the Circle of Practice on Instagram and join us on Tuesday June 27th 7:00-8:00PM for the next meeting.

Indigenous History Month 2023

On Indigenous History Month, we honour the legacy, heritage and traditions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Turtle Island. This is an opportunity for all of us to call on our governments to follow through with the policy recommendations set out in the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report that call for change in child welfare, education, health and justice systems.
Indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by the ongoing effects of climate change. This year, especially with the ongoing record-setting wildfire season we are experiencing, we are reminded that it is crucial we understand connections between colonialism and the climate crisis.
The AECEO is dedicated to ensuring First Nation, Métis and Inuit educators have equity within the organizational structure and are positioned and supported to influence systemic change and share their knowledges, traditions, and teachings with all ECEs and early years staff in Ontario and beyond. We recognize the vital role early childhood education and care play in healing and reconciliation and reaffirm our commitment to participate in, and support processes of reconciliation with First Nation, Métis and Inuit.
The AECEO invites all educators across Ontario to connect with the ALL NATIONS CIRCLE OF PRACTICE, an Indigenous-led community of practice that prioritizes ECEs & Child Care Workers of All Nations in connection, collaboration, and community. Follow the Circle of Practice on Instagram and join us on Tuesday June 27th 7:00-8:00PM for the next meeting.

MEDIA RELEASE: As Parliament passes historic child care legislation, families and educators hold Day of Action to say “Child Care is Worth More”; call for better pay, better quality, better access.

For Immediate Release. June 20, 2023

On the heels of the passage of Canada’s national child care legislation Monday, child care advocates in Ontario are calling attention to the challenges facing Canada’s road to $10-a-day child care. 

On Tuesday June 20, 2023 communities around Ontario are holding a Worth More Day of Action to bring attention to the need to improve access to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system by solving the child care workforce shortage with decent work and pay. 

“We’ve promised families affordability, but that means little if they can’t access a space at all. Right now child care programs are limiting their enrolment because they cannot staff,” said Carolyn Ferns, of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

Organizers of the Worth More Day of Action will be making child care visible in their communities, from public rallies and marches to actions at local child care centres. Events are being organized in communities across Ontario including London, Ottawa, Peterborough,Toronto, Sudbury, and Wawa. 

As part of the day, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care has launched two new petitions: one for families on waitlists and one for families lucky to have a space. Both call on the federal and provincial governments to work together to expand access to child care by solving the workforce crisis and funding more spaces. 

“To solve the workforce crisis, we need a real workforce strategy including a salary scale starting at $30 per hour for Registered Early Childhood Educators and $25 per hour for non-RECE staff,” said Alana Powell of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. 

The AECEO and OCBCC have also called for a child care workforce strategy to include: benefits and pensions; paid sick days; professional development time; and paid programming time.

“ECEs and child care workers are worth more. Families on waitlists are worth more. Families needing subsidy are worth more. We need our governments working together to ensure we meet the promise of $10-a-day child care for all.”

Media Contacts:

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

Alana Powell, Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, 613-898-9248, [email protected]

LOCAL DAY OF ACTION PUBLIC EVENTS

LONDON

What: Worth More Day event with families

When: Tuesday, June 20th at 5pm-6pm!

Where: Wortley Village on The Green, 165 Elmwood Road, London, ON

Local contact: Jessica Phillips, Early Years Advocates London, 519-452-4430 x 2055

PETERBOROUGH

What: Dots for Spots Rally in the Park

When: Tuesday June 20th, 2023, 5pm-7pm

Where: Beavermead Park, 2011 Ashburnham Dr, Peterborough, ON K9L 1P8

Local contact: Sheila Olan Maclean, co-CEO, Compass Early Learning and Care: 705-927-7336. 

SUDBURY

What: Pick-up, Cool-Down, Speak-Out event with families

When: Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, 4pm-5:30pm 

Where: Discovery Early Learning & Care, 2603 Falconbridge Road, Garson, ON              

Local contact: Tracy Saarikoski, Executive Director, Discovery Early Learning & Care: 705 690 3684.

TORONTO 

What: Pick-Up, Cool-Down, Speak-Out event with families

When: Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, 4pm-6pm

Where: The Neighbourhood Group Bellevue Child Care Centre, 91 Bellevue Ave., Toronto

Local contact: Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, 647-218-1275

 

Download Media Release


Pride Month 2023

Image of rainbow flag against a background of blue sky and trees with the words Pride Month at the topWe welcome Pride Month this year with joy and celebration and with the knowledge that love, care, and community are the building blocks of the world.

At the AECEO we say that educators are world builders. As ECEs we help to craft the worlds that children and families experience. We craft worlds with our intent, with our skills and knowledge, and with our relationships and our care.

In the face of a world that is increasingly, openly hostile to 2SLGBTQIA+ people, it has NEVER been more important that educators step bravely, visibly, and loudly into our obligation to create better worlds for 2SLGBTQIA+ children and families. The AECEO recognizes that being an activist can present risks and we are committed to creating safe spaces for our community and stand together as we advocate for equal access to rights and protections.

We step into this Pride Month with the knowledge that around the world 2SLGBTQIA+ children and families have been forced onto the frontlines of a homophobic and transphobic war of rhetoric that they did not choose, and that offers them no mercy. 

On this continent and others, 2SLGBTQIA+ children, families, and educators are faced with constant and overwhelming news cycles that show those in authority - or those seeking authority - expressing hatred and violence towards them without remorse or redress. Those who hope to sow fear for political gain are silencing queer stories, disavowing trans humanity, and questioning the very right of 2SLGBTQIA+ people to exist. This is not an issue faced only by our neighbours to the south. Here in Ontario, in our home towns, prospective school board trustees ran openly anti-trans municipal election campaigns; library story hours have been picketed by adults chanting hateful and harmful messages; and children, not immune or unconscious to the 24 hour news cycle, are quietly afraid.

As world builders, as educators, our work is clear.

This June we will celebrate Pride with joy, for ourselves, our families, and our communities. 

We will also speak out.

We will keep raising our voices until every 2SLGBTQIA+ child in our care, and every 2SLGBTQIA+ family in our community, and every 2SLGBTQIA+ educator in our sector has a world where they belong. A world where they are safe to engage as their authentic selves, where their expression is gratefully welcomed, and their well-being is assured and nurtured.

With love and Pride,

The AECEO team


Ontario Child Care Community Day of Action

Last November, ECEs, child care workers, operators, families and community members came together to talk about the child care workforce shortage and how to solve it. Half a year has gone by and Ontario Child Care is currently facing its worst recruitment and retention crisis to date.

It's crucial that the new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system is built right: with better pay, better quality and better access. The child care shortage won’t be solved without a funding formula and workforce strategy that provide decent wages and working conditions for educators and a serious, public plan to expand child care spaces. We need action, NOW! 

Join us on Tuesday June 20th to demand action on the workforce crisis and tell government that child care is worth MORE! 

Click HERE for all of the resources to participate in the Day of Action.

 

 

 


AECEO Statement on Child Protection and the role of ECEs in Ontario

The AECEO has shared a statement on Child Protection and the role of ECEs. The statement discusses a previous publication, A
Child In Need of Protection and relevant current information regarding BIPOC children in care. The statement also includes resources related to the idea of ‘cultural safety’, suggestions for further reading with books that embrace a critical lens in child protection work, and links to organizations working in this area in Ontario. Finally, the statement includes three points of refection, with questions to guide educators and allied professionals in their thinking.

Find the full statement here.


AECEO Submission to House of Commons Standing Committee on Bill C-35, An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada

 

Written Submission to: 

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities regarding Bill C 35, An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada.

From: Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, submitted March 17 2023

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

The AECEO has long called for a publicly funded, high quality, universal child care system in Ontario, and across Canada – one that is affordable for all families and that ensures professional pay and decent work for the early childhood workforce. We welcomed the federal government’s commitment in Budget 2021 to build a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system, and strongly support a legislative framework that ensures publicly funded, high quality and accessible child care is available to all Canadians for many years to come.

 Since 1950, the AECEO has worked to build the collective voice for educators across the province, so they can participate in and influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families, and communities. Early Childhood Educators, early years staff and child care providers are the heart of our child care system and are experts at cultivating, co-creating, and advocating for high quality child care programs for young children and families. However, the work of ECEs, a highly racialized and feminized workforce, has historically not been respected, valued or well-remunerated through legislation or child care policy decisions across Canadian jurisdictions. This has resulted in a widespread workforce crisis, in which qualified and experienced ECEs and child care workers are leaving the sector, and graduates of ECE post-secondary programs are not entering the profession due to poor pay and lack of decent working conditions. We call on the federal government to enshrine their support for ECEs and their commitment to decent working conditions for all ECEs and child care staff in Bill C-35 and in ensuing policies.

Read full submission, and AECEO's proposed amendments to Bill C-35 here


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