Today's announcement from the provincial government outlines a plan to transform the way early years and child care programs are provided and steers Ontario on the path toward a real system of high 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.
The commitment to provide child care at no cost for children who are 2.5 - 4 years and at an affordable fee for infants and toddlers will provide much-needed financial relief for families while the establishment of a transparent wage scale for early childhood educators and child care staff will ensure that children benefit from high-quality programs delivered by well-educated and well-compensated ECEs.
"High-quality early years education for children begins and ends with well-educated, well-compensated and passionate early childhood educators (ECEs). Registered early childhood educators are trained professionals who play a valuable and important role in our communities by caring for and educating children while their parents go to work or finish studying. Nearly 10,000 people have added their names to the AECEO's petition calling for all ECEs to have professional pay because we know that children benefit when their educators are well-supported. By establishing a provincial wage scale supported with appropriate public funding Ontario can recruit and retain qualified early childhood educators who will be better able to build stable and fulfilling careers in the early years and child care sector. This unprecedented announcement means that Ontario will take a bold leap away from a patchwork of services toward a real system of quality care and education that families can trust." expressed Lyndsay Macdonald, RECE and Coordinator, Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario.
This is a true testament to the power that early childhood educators have when we come together and work toward creating positive change that we know will benefit children, families and society. "It is truly inspiring and empowering to see that our advocacy efforts and the efforts of every ECE who has joined our campaign really are making a difference for ECEs, children and families."
Stay tuned for AECEO's full response to the 2018 Provincial Budget on Wednesday.
-reprinted from the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario