Your little one's educators need a raise
Friend, I have a problem. Maybe you can relate. I joined every child care seeker’s forum I could find in hopes of finding the perfect spot for my youngest. And now, every time I open Facebook, I’m hit with desperate pleas from families seeking child care placements. Of course, I read them. So of course the algorithm thinks I’m into this kind of thing and sends me more, and more and more…
The BC government has committed to develop and implement an early childhood educator wage grid, both in its 2021 Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, and in the recent mandate letter of BC’s Minister of State for Child Care.
With this commitment in mind, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and ECEBC are releasing a new study showing that:
1. BC has fallen behind
In terms of Canada-wide progress toward an ECE wage grid; and in terms of effective minimum ECE wages
2. To be competitive and effective, wages in BC’s promised grid now need to be at least $30–$40/hour
Depending on qualifications, experience and years of employment
Our formal submission to the BC government recommends three key actions in Budget 2024.Read more
THE COALITION OF CHILD CARE ADVOCATES AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS OF BC are very pleased that the government of British Columbia is currently undertaking a project to develop the first-ever province-wide child care facility design (and cost) standards.
These forthcoming standards are an opportunity to create conditions for ethical care and practice in support of the underlining vision, principles, and learning goals of BC’s Early Learning Framework, and to broadly ensure all children and educators can play, learn, and work in high-quality physical environments that are safe, inclusive, environmentally healthy, and climate-friendly.
Through late 2022 and early 2023 — consulting with academic experts, municipal planners, and others — we have been working to put together specific recommendations that speak to:
- Fundamentals upon which we believe the standards should be developed;
- Practice/context considerations for their effective use;
- Specific components of the standards; and
- Complementary projects we believe the province should initiate that flow from the new standards.
Joint Statement to Acknowledge May is Child Care Month 2023
BCACCS, ECEBC, MNBC, CCCABC
Across British Columbia children are thriving, parents are able to be at work or school, and communities are prospering in a multitude of ways, all because of quality licensed child care programs.
Recognizing May as Child Care Month brings public and political acknowledgement of the significance of quality child care as an essential community service.
This year, May brings with it a heartfelt recognition and appreciation for all who work in the child care sector; the educators, administrators, Elders, cooks, and other professionals who together care for children and families. We collectively celebrate the skilled professionals who care for and educate children in licensed child care programs across the province. Without them there is no child care system.
Since 2018, with provincial and federal funding, there has been some measurable progress towards a child care system in BC that:
- meets the needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children through equitable and culturally grounded teaching which reflects Indigenous knowledge.
- reduces fees for families in licensed programs, creates more licensed spaces, and invests in early childhood educators.
Yet, there is much more for governments to do to realize their commitments under the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and to uphold Indigenous rights as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Today there are child care spaces available for fewer than 25% of BC children, educators are not fairly compensated, not all families have affordable fees, and there are too few culturally relevant programs for Indigenous families.
In 2023 our pledge for Child Care Month is that we will continue to work and advocate for the child care system BC families want, need and deserve. A system that cares for and provides supports to include all children successfully, provides fair compensation and working conditions for educators, respects First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledge, promotes gender equity, creates strong communities and a robust economy.
In February 2023 hundreds of $10aDay supporters wrote to government highlighting the urgent need for a fair wage grid for educators in the child care sector, and for publicly planned expansion of new programs.
This letter from Minister Grace Lore was received in response in which she states BC has committed to developing and implementing a wage grid for ECEs.
Other provinces are catching up and surpassing B.C. as leaders in affordable child care
There’s been amazing progress on child care in B.C. over the last few years, so why are child care advocates concerned now?
Our province led the country by being first to introduce $10aDay child care programs in 2018. Families now pay no more than $10 a day in about 13,000 spaces across the province, and for those not yet in a $10aDay space their fees have been reduced by up to $900 a month. These are huge improvements on affordability for families with young children, with fee reductions for school-age programs coming in September.
And historically under-valued early childhood educators now receive a $4/hour publicly funded wage enhancement, with opportunities for post-secondary tuition bursaries. Plus, the province has funded the creation of more than 30,000 new licensed child care spaces since 2018 with another 30,000 committed with the help of the feds by 2026.
So, with all this progress, what are our concerns?
Media release from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC
February 28, 2023
BC Budget 2023 & Child Care: Lack of Profile or Next Steps to $10aDay….. but Commitments Remain
Child care progress highlighted for contribution to family affordability and growth in women’s employment.
Despite measurable progress since 2018, the ongoing increases in federal funding, and the acknowledgement of child care as an essential service, BC Budget 2023 was surprisingly silent on child care.
“We had to dig deep in the budget documents to see that the multi-year funding detailed in last year’s budget remain in place” noted $10aDay Researcher Lynell Anderson, CPA, CGA.
“We’re surprised there was no mention of the continuing fee reductions for families, including for preschool and school age child care”, stated Sharon Gregson, $10aDay Spokesperson. “Parents expected to see new targets for more $10aDay programs” she added.
There is still a crisis in the ECE sector emphasized Emily Mlieczko, ECEBC Executive Director. “The essential next step for government is to address recruitment and retention of Early Childhood Educators and recognize the pedagogy and ethical commitments of this work,”. “It is vital that this step includes an equitable ECE wage grid, with benefits, and establishes working conditions that will stabilize, and grow the profession to address the shortage of qualified educators.”
Too many families today are facing the worry of long waiting lists for a child care space. Government must fulfill its commitment to develop and implement a capital plan to build high quality, publicly-funded, community-owned facilities to meet local needs and priorities.
The next five years of the ten year $10aDay Plan are crucial, and we remain committed to working with governments to achieve an inclusive, high quality and equitable $10aDay child care system. We expect that government will continue to fulfill the commitments made under the Canada-wide Agreement with the federal government, and included in Minister Lore’s mandate letter, both of which must be aligned with UNDRIP.
Chinazor is an Early Childhood Educator in Victoria, British Columbia and a member of the CCCABC Wage Grid Committee. She has a message about the importance of a fair province-wide wage grid for educators. Please watch...