AECEO response to 2018 Ontario budget: Recognition for Early Childhood Educators and Free Child Care for Children 2.5 - 4 Years Old

2018 Ontario Budget: Recognition for Early Childhood Educators and Free Child Care for Children 2.5 – 4 Years Old.


Today’s budget would lead Ontario to a system of high quality, affordable early years and child care by addressing the key issues of affordability for families and decent work and professional pay for early childhood educators. The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) is pleased to see a commitment that would transform the way that early years and child care is delivered in the province.

The plan to make child care free and universal for all children 2.5 – 4 years and at an affordable fee for infants and toddlers will provide much-needed financial relief for families. The commitment to develop a comprehensive workforce strategy and wage scale for all registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and child care staff by 2020 is recognition of the valuable and important role that RECEs play in the lives of young children. RECEs have specialized knowledge of child development, they belong to the College of Early Childhood Educators, and they plan and implement pedagogy following How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (2014) – it is undoubtedly time for all RECEs to have professional pay, decent work and respect and recognition as valued professionals.

This policy builds on the extensive consultation with parents, advocates, child care providers, early childhood educators and women’s groups and the 2017 commitment to provide universally accessible, affordable child care for all children and families who need it. Finance Minister Sousa confirmed that an allocation of an additional $2.2 billion over 3 years includes funds to cover the full operating costs of child care services for children 2.5 – 4 years, funds to lower fees for infants and toddlers, funds for expansion of services and funds to establish a wage scale.

To assist First Nations communities $40 million has been designated over 3 years in new operating funding for new and existing child care programs on-reserve. An additional investment of $290 million over six years in new child care capital infrastructure starting in 2019-20 will create 4, 500 new child care spaces, doubling the current child care capacity on reserve.

The Innovation Fund of $30 million over three years is intended to assist child care programs and community groups in meeting the multifaceted challenges of providing flexible child care to meet the needs of families working non-regular hours and to support development and sustainability in the non-profit child care sector.

While this Budget outlines the first steps towards universally accessible and affordable child care for all it is important to note that the AECEO is committed to working with our ECE members, government, sector parents and parents to ensure responsible and effective implementation. There are, of course, still many details that need to be negotiated, such as expansion in the non-profit and public sector only. We have joined with many sector stakeholders in calling for a moratorium on the licensing of new for-profit child care operations because we believe that every dollar of public funds must go to our children and not into corporate pockets.  

The wage scale that will be phased in over two years will include supervisors, early childhood educators, and non-ECE staff working in licensed child care centres, licensed home child care agencies, and Early ON child and family centres.

Projected funding to implement the wage scale would ramp up to $500 million once it is fully implemented to bring compensation for RECEs and staff in the early years and child care sector in line with RECEs working in full-day kindergarten. In the interim the Wage Enhancement / Home Child Care Enhancement grant will be maintained. It is important to note that AECEO is also calling for improvements to compensation for RECEs working in full-day kindergarten for Ontario school boards. It is critical to address further details of the wage scale and the AECEO is committed to working collaboratively with government, ECEs and sector partners and school boards to ensure that implementation of the wage scale contributes positively to the recruitment and retention of all RECEs - no matter where they work.

In November 2017 over 4,000 RECEs and early years staff responded to the AECEO’s consultation survey that helped to inform the recommendations that we made to government on behalf of all RECEs in Ontario.  Our recommendations included:

  1. The province of Ontario should immediately develop a new base funding approach to early years and child care programs in Ontario to ensure quality, affordability and access.
  2. The province should immediately establish a provincial wage scale with a $25/hr minimum for RECEs to inform base funding, while recognizing the level of education and years of experience for RECEs and staff in accordance with pay equity principles. In the interim, maintain and immediately extend the Wage Enhancement Grant/Home Child Care Enhancement grant to establish a minimum wage of $25/hr for all RECEs.
  3. Develop and implement an Early Childhood Workforce Learning Framework which will enable such quality-related staff supports as paid time for professional learning and expanded opportunities for acquiring and upgrading qualifications.
  4. Create practitioner roles and identify educational requirements alongside a career ladder that will strengthen program quality while formally recognizing the value of credentials and experience. This initiative will support the recruitment and retention of registered early childhood educators and a greater incentive to make ECEC a life-long career.
  5. Change the positions of full-time Designated Early Childhood Educators working in the publicly-funded school systems to year-round and salaried status with compensation commensurate with other full time educators in the public education systems.
  6. Commission an external review of the Full-Day Kindergarten educator team and classroom conditions to inform future planning and development.

AECEO responds to early years and child care announcement

Today's announcement from the provincial government outlines a plan to transform the way early years and child care programs are provided and steers Ontario on the path toward a real system of high quality, affordable early years and child care programs where registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and staff are well-supported with professional pay and decent work. 

The commitment to provide child care at no cost for children who are 2.5 - 4 years and at an affordable fee for infants and toddlers will provide much-needed financial relief for families while the establishment of a transparent wage scale for early childhood educators and child care staff will ensure that children benefit from high-quality programs delivered by well-educated and well-compensated ECEs. 

"High-quality early years education for children begins and ends with well-educated, well-compensated and passionate early childhood educators (ECEs). Registered early childhood educators are trained professionals who play a valuable and important role in our communities by caring for and educating children while their parents go to work or finish studying. Nearly 10,000 people have added their names to the AECEO's petition calling for all ECEs to have professional pay because we know that children benefit when their educators are well-supported. By establishing a provincial wage scale supported with appropriate public funding Ontario can recruit and retain qualified early childhood educators who will be better able to build stable and fulfilling careers in the early years and child care sector. This unprecedented announcement means that Ontario will take a bold leap away from a patchwork of services toward a real system of quality care and education that families can trust." expressed Lyndsay Macdonald, RECE and Coordinator, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario. 

This is a true testament to the power that early childhood educators have when we come together and work toward creating positive change that we know will benefit children, families and society. "It is truly inspiring and empowering to see that our advocacy efforts and the efforts of every ECE who has joined our campaign really are making a difference for ECEs, children and families." 

Stay tuned for AECEO's full response to the 2018 Provincial Budget on Wednesday. 

Read the government's press release here.

Ontario budget to fund free child care for preschoolers as part of $2.2B plan, Toronto Star

Free child care for preschoolers is a key recommendation coming out of Dr. Cleveland's report

The implementation of a wage grid is a key recommendation in the Workforce Study


A Call to Action: Sign our online petition for Professional Pay

We have a call to action and need your help!

Make sure you are following the AECEO on social media - Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.  To make an impact, we need to go viral in the lead up to the Ontario Budget and we need your help.

We need your signatures for our online petition it  is part of our campaign as we are calling on the government to fund professional pay for all ECEs in Ontario regardless of where they work.  Professional pay should reflect ECEs specialized training, the value of their work and their participation in continuous professional learning.    We are asking for your help to spread the work about signing our online petition for Professional Pay. 

You can sign the petition at:    By signing you are showing support for the professional pay for professional work campaign. 

We need just over 600 more signatures to get to 10,000!   Help us to show the Finance Minister that the Provincial government should fund professional pay for professional work! 

Help to spread the word!



A Call to Action: Tweet/post to decision makers

Follow the AECEO on social media - Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.  To make an impact, we need to go viral in the lead up to the Ontario Budget and we need your help

On the following dates share these messages on Facebook and Twitter, or retweet and share AECEO's posts. 

Today  tweet/post

We're expecting to see $600M in #ONBudget2018 as a down payment on the affordability of child care parents need @SousaCharles @Kathleen_Wynne @Indira_NH #affordable #childcarenow #ONpoli 

On Thursday March 22nd tweet/post

#ECE professionals need to see a commitment of $375M in #ONBudget2018 to establish a province-wide wage grid with a $25/hr minimum for ECEs - they deserve it @SousaCharles @Kathleen_Wynne @Indira_NH #professionalpay #DecentWork #ChildCareNow #ONpoli

On Monday March 26th tweet/post

Affordable, quality #childcare is key to closing the gender-wage gap in Ontario. We are expecting to see a commitment for publicly funded early years and childcare so that all women can enter the workforce @SousaCharles @Kathleen_Wynne @Indira_NH #ChildCareNow #ONpoli #EqualPay

On Wednesday March 28th tweet/post

Parents, families and educators are expecting big things for #earlyyears and #childcare in #ONBudget2018 @SousaCharles @Kathleen_Wynne @Indira_NH #ChildCareNow #ONpoli

Let's tell government that we expect an investment that will bring tangible benefits for families and Early Childhood Educator professionals. 

Thanks again for your ongoing support. Look for more calls to action this week!   

Ontario Budget Actions

The ink is drying on Ontario's budget, on Wednesday March 28th, Ontario's Finance Minister, the Honourable Charles Sousa will deliver the 2018 Ontario budget. If each of us takes 10 minutes to complete a simple digital action, we can make sure that Ontario Budget 2018 delivers on our demands for early years and child care. 

Copy, paste and edit (as outlined) the text below to send an email to Ontario Finance Minister, the Honourable Charles Sousa, and copy Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Education Indira Naidoo-Harris to remind our leaders that you are expecting big things for child care in the upcoming 2018 budget. 

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Subject line: Ontarians expect big things for child care in the 2018 budget

Dear Charles Sousa,

I am writing to you to express my concerns about the child care crisis in Ontario. Parent fees for child care are sky high while early childhood educator’s wages are too low.  I am (describe yourself: registered early childhood educator, parent, child care provider, etc) and I strongly believe that the government of Ontario should publicly fund child care programs so that they are affordable for all families and so that children can benefit from educators who are well paid. There are solutions to the child care crisis, I support the 2018 budget recommendations made by Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC):

  • Commit at least $375 million as a first step to establishing a province-wide wage scale for RECEs and program staff with entry level pay for RECEs at $25 per hour and commensurate compensation for other program staff.
  • Allocate $600 million as a down payment on affordability; Begin operational funding of all licensed infant and toddler spaces in child care centres and establish a sliding fee scale in 2018-19.
  • Expand the capital funding for the non-profit and public sectors to make a real difference in availability of child care spaces.

Increased public funding to early years and child care will improve the recruitment and retention of Ontario RECEs through appropriate wages and good working conditions while ensuring that services are more affordable for families and children.


City, Province
Postal Code
Phone Number

Look for more follow up e-blasts about calls to action leading up to the budget reading on March 28, 2018!

International Women's Day 2018

Since 1917, March 8th has been recognized as International Women's Day. This year's theme is #PressforProgress

We will post updates and list events that are taking place across Ontario. Stay tuned for more information! 

Download and share our SAVE THE DATE flyer for the IWD march in Toronto taking place on March 3rd 2018. The AECEO is working with our partners to bring out the largest child care and early years contingent that we've ever had at the Toronto march. 

Save the Date flyer (printer friendly) (full colour)


AECEO Pre-budget submission

February, 2018 

Empirical research consistently demonstrates that high-quality early childhood education and care is directly linked to well-educated and qualified registered early childhood educators (RECE).  The compensation and support available to educators and staff must recognize the essential role that they play in children’s days, months, years and future outcomes.  Fair and appropriate wages and working conditions cannot be based solely or primarily on parent fees as the existing market model of child care instantiates. Staffing expenses are, typically 80-90% of child care centres’ operating budgets, while centre revenues are generated primarily from parent fees. With parent fees already beyond the budget of the majority of Ontario families, the only viable solution to creating access to high quality, affordable child care programs is through significant government funds devoted to the recruitment and retention of qualified, RECE professionals.

Turnover is much lower in a stable system where wages and working conditions for educators and staff are prioritized.  Research shows that good wages and working conditions contribute to job satisfaction and ultimately to better outcomes for children and families. Improving recruitment and retention is critical with the anticipated demand for RECEs in more child care and EarlyON spaces.

Executive Summary of Budget Action Recommendations

  • Implement a workforce strategy to ensure all ECEC staff have professional pay and decent work;
  • Implement a provincial wage scale with a $25/hr minimum and a benefit package, including paid sick and personal leave days, for registered early childhood educators. We advise that the Government should commit at least $375 million as a first step to establishing a province-wide wage scale for RECEs and program staff with entry level pay for RECEs at $25 per hour and commensurate compensation for other program staff;
  • We support the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care in their call to allocate $600 million as a down payment on affordability; Begin operational funding of all licensed infant and toddler spaces in child care centres and establish a sliding fee scale in 2018-19; Expand the capital funding for the non-profit and public sectors to make a real difference in availability of child care spaces; Ensure all funding is indexed to inflation; Commit funding and resources to support system infrastructure including data and research;

Click here for AECEO's full submission

eceLINK Winter 2017-2018 issue published

eceLINK_winter2017-18.png  In This Issue:

  • Transforming Work in Ontario's Early Years and Child Care Sector
  • Decent Work Charter and Supporting Documents
  • Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Annual Conference, 2017
  • Book Review: Far from the tree, written by L. Michelle Coupe, Illustrated by Casandra Ward
  • Profile: Play and Learning Centres for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

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

The Retired Teachers of Ontario 
Johnson Insurance 
University of Guelph/Humber
Heart Safe First Aid and CPR 
George Brown College (ad 1)
George Brown College (ad 2)
School Specialty 
ECE grants


Read More (member access)

AECEO responds to Regulatory Registry Consultation Document

Response re: Regulatory Registry Consultation Document supporting the Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), 2014


Read more

Ministry of Education to provide wage support for licenced child care centres

Campaigning and leadership success!! The Ministry of Education will fund child care programs to meet the financial demands of the increased minimum wage. RECEs and staff will receive the $2/hour wage enhancement on top of the new $14 min wage in 2018. This is a huge win for the licensed child care sector and one step closer to professional pay for all RECEs and early years staff in Ontario. It is also a promising signal the Province agrees that government funding rather than fee increases is the solution for professional pay and decent work in the early childhood sector!

Ministry of Education memo on wage support

Toronto Star coverage


New Peer Reviewed eceLINK Now ONLINE!

Introducing Our New and Improved eceLINK!

The AECEO Board, Editorial Committee and staff are very excited to present the first issue of a revamped and improved eceLINK. This issue offers the debut of the Peer Reviewed Collection, on the topic of Collaborative Practice and Pedagogies. Along with the exciting debut of the Peer Reviewed Collection is a fresh new design that brings the look of the magazine right up to date. A selection of interesting articles on a variety of topics in early childhood will keep you reading every page!

Making space for the peer reviewed articles means some adjustment to our regular content.  You will find the new member list and donor thanks, as well as the full list of AECEO Certified members, in the Winter 2017-2018 issue. We hope to publish the Peer Reviewed Collection in every other issue and the new members and donor thanks will now also be published in every other issue. The Editorial Committee plans to continue developing new, regular eceLINK features that will add interest and value to the publication for AECEO members.

Much appreciation and thanks go to the eceLINK editorial committee for their hard work and expertise:

Rachel Langford, Ph.D. Editor of the Peer Reviewed Collection
Brooke Richardson, Ph.D. Publication Co-Chair
Laura Coulman RECE, Ph.D Candidate, Publication Co-Chair
Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Ph.D.
Goranka Vukelich RECE, Ph.D.
Shani Halfon RECE, MA ECS

We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did putting it together.

AECEO Provincial Board of Directors

In This Issue:

  • Creating Inclusive Early Learning Environments for LGBTQ2+ Families (Featured article available to the public)
  • Bringing Nature to Niagara’s Youngest Children: Early Childhood Community Development Centre’s Naturalized Playgrounds Project
  • Professional Pay and Decent Work Project Update: Mobilizing community voices for professional pay and decent work in the early childhood sector

Peer Reviewed Collection

  • (Re)Imagining and (Re)Engaging in Relational Encounters: Communities of Practice for (Re)Vitalizing Pedagogies
  • “Good-bye Mr. Raccoon, we’ll miss you!” Supporting children’s explorations of life and death in a forest

    (member access)

Not a member? Membership supports a strong, united voice for ECEs in our province.  
Join today and get instant access to our eceLINK publications, online professional learning and so much more!


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

School Specialty


Issue: Spring/Summer 2018

Special issue: Indigenous Practices and Knowledge in Early Childhood Education

Submission deadline: January 4, 2018

Find out more here

25th International RECE Conference

Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada • October 24 –27, 2017
Preconference workshops and preschool visits • October 23-24

The theme of this year's conference is Finding a Home in the World: Migration, Indigeneity, and Citizenship. Recent events shine new light on a familiar theme – the wrenching displacement of large populations because of war, violence, religious persecution, poverty, environmental disasters, and human-made climate change.

More information




Make Bill 148 meaningful in second reading

An open letter to Premier Wynne, Minister Naidoo-Harris, and Minister Flynn

Ontario Pay Coalition 

As Bill 148 goes into its second reading, the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition calls on Madame Premier, and Ministers Flynn and Naidoo-Harris to close the loopholes in Bill 148 during second reading to ensure that the equal pay provisions deliver meaningful protection for workers. 

Read the letter and the proposed amendments to section 42 in full.

New Ontario College of Teachers Resources

The Ontario College of Teachers has developed the following new teacher education resources designed to support inquiry into the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession:

Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

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 advocate for the recognition and appropriate compensation that early childhood professionals need so that they can provide high quality programs for children and families. Well educated, well paid and competent early childhood educators are fundamental to high quality early years and child care programs that support children and families across the province. Our members work throughout Ontario in programs for young children and their families, including licensed centre based and home based child care, full-day kindergarten, family resource programs, Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres and as Resource Consultants who provide services and support for children and families with disabilities.

ECEs and early years staff have joined working people across Ontario to make it loud and clear that too many of us are working for low wages in part-time, temporary or contract jobs without employment benefits, workplace protection or the right to form, and keep, a union. For too many Ontario workers, full time work does not guarantee a life above the poverty line. Income and job insecurity keep us from making ends meet. Even with the professionalization of ECEs and the mounting evidence pointing to the immense importance of their work, ECEs have seen a very slow and limited increase in professional recognition through improved compensation and benefits. Low ECE salaries, inconsistent working conditions, and precarious work schedules have resulted in poor morale, job dissatisfaction and high staff turnover. Particularly in licensed child care programs, ECEs are transitioning over to full-day kindergarten, or worse, are leaving the sector altogether despite being passionate about their work. It is the experience of many early years and child care programs across Ontario that qualified ECEs cannot be recruited to work in these under-resourced early childhood environments that serve our youngest children. This is having a significant impact on child care staff consistency, program quality, and sector stability that promises to endure for years if it is not addressed now. 

Read full submission here

Ontario Increasing Access to Affordable Child Care

Province Appoints Expert Reviewer to Conduct Affordability Study

July 20, 2017 - Ministry of Education
Ontario has appointed Dr. Gordon Cleveland to lead a new study with the goal of building a child care system that makes child care universally accessible and affordable to all Ontario families.

Quality child care is essential for families. Parents want peace of mind to know they will have access to child care in a location that is convenient, and that it will be affordable for their monthly budget. Yet for too many, child care is unavailable, unaffordable, or has a significant wait time.

Read more....

CPL Portfolio Handbook & Components now available online

Beginning September 1, 2017, members of the College are required to start the CPL Portfolio Cycle (2017 edition) after their renewal date and complete it over a period of two years 

The CPL Portfolio Cycle is a two-year professional learning process that members will repeat throughout their careers.


CPL program requirements apply to all members of the College, regardless of whether or not they are currently employed as registered early childhood educators (RECEs). 

For more information, please visit the College of ECE website

Summer Institute 2017 Presentations Now Posted

Presentations from the 14th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development  - Addressing Inequity in Canada through Early Childhood Education held this past June in Toronto are now available online.

Presentations include:

Keynote speaker Dr. Kang Lee - Racial biases in early childhood and how to combat them

Challenging the Dialogue in Professional Training


Supporting transitions for children with additional support needs

and more.....

Click here to access presentations online

Recruitment and Strategy Training with Olivia Chow



Olivia Chow will be in North Bay running a training on recruiting members to your cause and planning a strategy on June 23 and 24, the Friday evening, and whole day Saturday. 6-9pm Friday, 10am-4pm Saturday.

Since retiring from politics, Olivia Chow has been working as a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University to give people the skills they need to make the change they want.

This training will focus on skills, not theory. As a student, you will leave with tangible tools you can begin applying right away to the causes you are working on. 

Better yet, this workshop will be highly engaging. It will combine brief lectures with hands-on practice in small groups. This means you will leave the training with written recruitment techniques that are relevant to the causes you care about, and with a strategic action plan for how to move your cause forward.

To attend: RSVP to [email protected] Fee is $20. Includes food during training.

New Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for RECEs


The new Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice has just been released by the College of Early Childhood Educators and is effective July 1st, 2017.

The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice sets out the professional knowledge, skills, values and expectations applicable to all RECEs regardless of role and the setting in which they may practise. 

Click here to access at