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.


Why Are Wages for Toronto’s Early Childhood Educators So Low?

Daycare costs may be skyrocketing, but workers are not cashing in.  ECES_cc_commons.png

It’s no secret that childcare costs have—and continue to—skyrocket in Toronto. These days, the median cost of childcare for an infant is now more than $1,700 per month, and that number seems to be growing steadily. In fact, Ontarians pay the most for childcare in the country.

But what of the people who provide the services? How much of that money gets passed onto them?


ECEs in P.E.I. to receive 2% wage increase

Government is increasing salaries to early childhood educators employed at early years centres by two per cent, as of July 2016.

“Prince Edward Island’s early learning and childcare system is among the best in Canada and early childhood educators are important partners in helping Island children fulfill their potential as they prepare for public education,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie. “We are providing a two per cent increase in wages for over 300 early years centre educators, starting this July. This wage increase will see $300,000 re-invested into front-line educators.”

News Release

Spring eceLINK 2016 Now available ONLINE

eceLINK2016_cover.jpgIn this Issue:

  • AECEO Response to Proposed Phase 2 Regulations: Age Groupings, Ratios & Group Size
  • (featured article available to the public)
  • Professional Pay and Decent Work for All
  • Professional Pay for Professional Work
  • AECEO News/Draft revised Mission Statement
  • Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) International Conference
  • Shared framework for building an early childhood education and care system for all
  • AECEO Member Survey/AGM Notice
  • AECEO Board nominations slate


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

Anti-Bias Approach to Early Childhood Leadership: Beyond Books and Pictures

Online Webinar - March 23, 2016
by Lindsey Allard Agnamba and Je’Kendria Trahan

Early Childhood Investigations

This webinar will provide early learning leaders the opportunity to:

  • Investigate the spectrum of commonly used terms in anti-bias and culturally responsive approaches in early childhood education
  • Identify fundamental gaps in implementing an anti-bias approach and develop classroom and program-level visions for improving current practices as an early childhood leader
  • Examine effective strategies and tools that early childhood leaders can adopt in order to execute a substantial anti-bias approach

Other webinars and resources available on their website


Public Plan for Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres

"Transforming Ontario's Early Years Child and Family Programs"

Ontario is moving forward on its commitment to integrate and transform its child and family programs.

Four existing programs, funded by the Ontario government, will be integrated. Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFCs) will give families and children access to high-quality early years programs, as well as some programs that meet needs within their community.

Public plan for the creation of Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres

AECEO Welcomes Lyndsay Macdonald as New Coordinator

The Board of Directors is very pleased to welcome Lyndsay Macdonald as the new Coordinator of the AECEO

Lyndsay is an RECE who has worked within the Ontario child care sector, both directly in programs and in policy research and advocacy. Lyndsay holds both a BA in Early Childhood Education and an MA in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University School of Early Childhood Studies. Lyndsay advocates passionately for child care policies that support all Canadian families and that put children at the centre of system building. At the heart of Lyndsay's advocacy work are the dedicated early childhood educators who provide high quality programs for children and families every single day. Lyndsay strongly believes that early childhood educators have the knowledge, the skills and the capacity to initiate positive change in the sector and she is committed to finding space for ECEs to mobilize and engage in policy discussions that impact our sector. 

In these very exciting times of change in the Early Learning and Care field, Lyndsay’s extensive knowledge of the current landscape for our early learning professionals and her passion for influencing change that matters to ECEs and to children and families will be key assets in supporting and furthering our mission.

We very much look forward to working with Lyndsay on all of the exciting initiatives and activities we have planned for 2016 and beyond!