For the first time in a generation Early Childhood Educators in BC will receive a publicly-funded wage increase.
After nearly two decades of government ignoring the growing recruitment and retention crisis in the Child Care sector, new funding for wages and education are very welcome. Now that government is supporting the child care workforce, making child care more affordable for families and creating new licensed spaces, the foundations for achieving quality, universal child care are in place.
Wage enhancements of $1/hr in 2018 ($2,080 annually for a 40 hour week), with another $1/hr in 2020, are important steps towards addressing the recruitment and retention crisis across BC. Yet, today’s wages are so low – averaging about $17/hour province-wide – that we’ll be urging all MLA’s to support an additional wage lift before 2020.
“We hear consistently, from every community across the province, that it’s difficult or impossible to find qualified Early Childhood Educators” says Sharon Gregson, Spokesperson for the $10aDay Plan. “Child Care is a demanding career, the level of responsibility is very high, and the wages have not reflected the value of this important work to families, communities and our economy.”
Good news for Early Childhood Educators in British Columbia means good news for families and employers who depend on Child Care. The announcement today of a comprehensive workforce strategy supporting Early Childhood Educators, who are the backbone of the Child Care sector, is long overdue.
The province recently announced funding for 22,000 much-needed licensed Child Care spaces, but with the staffing crisis people questioned the ability to staff new programs. Today’s announcement helps alleviate those concerns, and begins to show Early Childhood Educators that British Columbians value their expertise and skills.
“Research and evidence clearly show that a quality Child Care system depends on a well-educated, fairly compensated and respected workforce,” says Lynell Anderson, CPA, CGA and Family Policy Researcher. “The $10aDay Plan calls for an average wage of at least $25/hr for Early Childhood Educators, plus benefits, and we will continue to advocate for a wage grid that reaches that goal.”