VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Ontario’s premier is promising to give early childhood educators a raise.
Beginning this month, licensed ECEs in the eastern province will have a $1.00 wage increase. A second dollar increase will follow the year after.
Emily Mlieczko with the Early Childhood Educators of BC is calling for a similar thing to be done in this province. “It’s really welcoming to see what’s happening in other provinces. Knowing that other governments have committed to working with the workforce and supporting them through wages is a big step and something that we hope to see happening here as well.”
She says wages vary depending on the type of setting, but the average is roughly $16.50/h which she feels is not enough to retain staff.
“What we’re seeing right now is a mass exodus of qualified early childhood educators (or ECE), 50 per cent of the sector who’ve gone to school leave the sector because they don’t feel valued in the profession, and secondly because they can’t afford it. Instead, they can go and be a dog walker or other things and make more money and raise their families that way. ”
“So, for you as an individual who might be accessing childcare we know the value and importance of having people that are qualified, how that play on quality of programs. We know how important it is to keep and maintain staff so the relationship with the families are maintained and to keep people there so that we can continue to build a system that there is enough childcare,” she adds.
She says currently there is only one in five licensed childcare spaces available. The proposed ten dollar a day childcare plan for the province includes a bump in ECE wages.