Media Release: BC's new $2/hr top-up for ECEs is a step forward

Today we are pleased that Early Childhood Educators will be receiving another well-deserved and significant step towards fair wages in our province.

The announcement of an additional $2/hour in publicly-funded Wage Enhancements for early childhood educators (ECEs) is welcome news for the [mostly] women working in child care programs. For too long professionals in the sector have been underpaid and undervalued. With federal and provincial commitments to $10aDay systems Canada-wide - that is changing!

Vancouver child care operator, Alison Merton confirmed the news will be welcomed by frontline educators, noting “they’ll be pleased with the increase, they really deserve it, and they expect a wage grid to be coming soon, as promised.”

“In such a low-wage sector this $2/hour Wage Enhancement will be welcome news for educators,” said Sharon Gregson, spokesperson for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, “and the next step is to ensure that the Wage Enhancement, which will now total $6/hour, is not a separate, temporary line item in government’s budget.”

BC made a commitment to develop an educator wage grid in its 2021 agreement with the federal government and confirmed this commitment in Minister of State for Child Care Grace Lore’s 2022 mandate letter. “A comprehensive, publicly-funded wage grid would recognize credentials and years of service while providing permanence and stability for the sector,” said Gregson. “A wage enhancement is just a top-up and does none of those things. So, we are glad to see Minister Lore recommit to introducing a wage grid.”

Regrettably, although the $10aDay Plan was created in BC, we are now falling behind on implementation. Six other provinces have already implemented ECE wage grids, and four provinces – plus Nunavut - have also lowered parent fees to $10aDay in all licensed programs. BC has only about 10% of spaces in $10aDay sites.

Government should fulfil its child care commitments to British Columbians by:

  • transitioning the $6/hour Wage Enhancement and the temporary annual bonus for those with infant/toddler & special needs credentials - into a province-wide, publicly-funded and fair educator wage grid of at least $30 to $40/hour
  • increasing access to affordable public post-secondary ECE education

Both actions are essential to recruiting and retaining qualified educators to staff the expansion of $10aDay programs required to meet the needs of children and families across the province.

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Contact: Sharon Gregson 604-505-5725 or [email protected]

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