Transforming Work in Ontario's Early Years and Child Care Sector

Workforce Strategy Recommendations

Prepared by the AECEO's Decent Work Task Force

Download the full report here


Our vision is for all of Ontario’s children and families to have access to 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. This vision is founded on the assumption that early childhood education and care (ECEC) is a public good and a human right, not a commodity.

The following policy recommendations focus on advancing the early childhood profession as one of the key supports in expanding access to early years and child care programs in Ontario while also enhancing quality. The Task Force acknowledges that RECEs work in a wide variety of programs that support young children and families, with this in mind we endeavoured to develop recommendations with a broad sector lens. The recommendations aim to inform the Ministry of Education’s workforce strategy that was announced in Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework.

 Summary of Recommendations

  1. Develop a new base funding approach to early years and child care programs in Ontario that will ensure quality, affordability and access. A new system of base funding will include substantial increases to operational funding to keep services affordable while ensuring professional compensation, good working conditions and supports for registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and early years staff.
  2. Implement a provincial wage scale with a $25/hr minimum for RECEs and a benefit package, including paid sick and personal leave days, for registered early childhood educators. The wage scale must 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 provide 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.


Showing 9 reactions

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  • Erin Waldie
    commented 2018-03-08 11:58:04 -0500
    If the government puts the majority of funding into the Full Day Kindergarten Program, what is the AECEO’s action plan? Developing a strong and stable, holistic workforce doesn’t seem to be a priority. I’ve been looking over the budget for the provience of Ontario’s workforce strategy, it doesn’t cover what the AECEO is asking for in the report. I appreciate all the hardwork the AECEO put’s into the reports, however, like Austin Love said, I can’t stay in the field even with the new budget in place. To be honest, I’m not sure that I will stay in a field where the government doesn’t take ECE’s work seriously. Thank-you for the dedication,and work the past few years.
  • Reshme Dyal
    followed this page 2018-02-06 20:36:34 -0500
  • Samantha Mckinlay
    commented 2018-01-24 13:15:59 -0500
    What about the ece assistants? Is there going to be a change of wage with them?
  • Austin Love
    commented 2017-12-17 14:38:43 -0500
    Thanks Sue Parker
  • Sue Parker
  • Sue Parker
    commented 2017-12-08 10:23:25 -0500
    Hi Austin – We don’t have a specific date but the Ontario Government has said it will be releasing its own Workforce Strategy during the winter – so by March 21 at latest. And they may want to do further consulting once it is released. We hope that the changes they will be proposing are going to be big ones so It is not clear that there would be time for them to act/implement prior to the provincial election on June 7th. Our plan is to do everything we can to make sure that all parties who are running in the election have workforce strategies that encompass the principles we have set out in our recommendations. We will need everyone’s help to work on this with us so that we have ECE Power!
  • Austin Love
    commented 2017-12-08 09:41:06 -0500
    Do we know when will get some answers? I know stuff in the government doesn’t happen over night but do we have an idea if they will look at this seriously? I have been in a situation where I don’t know if I want to stay in this career because poor working condition. Pay, sick time, benefits etc…
  • Dupe Akinsanya
    commented 2017-11-30 11:42:31 -0500
    I strongly believe that this recommendation is very well grounded and has an understanding of the different sectors that RECEs work. Having a regularized pay scale that cuts across the board will not only ensure quality early care but, ensures young children that developed to be happy and productive to the society and country at large.
  • Lyndsay Macdonald
    published this page in Professional Pay & Decent Work 2017-11-29 22:09:47 -0500