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Media release: Urgent call to address child care workforce shortages

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Child care workforce report highlights
Globe Newswire
Publication Date: 
14 Sep 2022


Ottawa, ON, Sept. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Public Policy Forum (PPF), in partnership with the YMCA, has released a new report that outlines recommendations to support the professional child care workforce to meet the needs of the Canada-wide child care plan. The report, An Investment that Works for Child Care, outlines recommendations for five categories, recruitment, (re)training, retention, recognition, and co-operation, that contribute to the growth and stability of a high quality, accessible child care system and workforce.
Written by Katie Davey and Jessica Lue, the report highlights educators as the key component to a robust and high-quality Canada-wide child care system. The child care sector is facing workforce shortages that pose a risk to the expansion and access of high quality, affordable child care in the country. The report states that recognition of the workforce and broadened recruitment and retention initiatives are needed to support educators and grow the early childhood education system.
“All aspects of the child care work force need to be considered to not only attract new early childhood educators to the system, but to ensure all educators are valued for the critical work they do. Without a full systemwide approach to growing the work force, an affordable and accessible system will not be realized,” says Director of PPF Media and Policy Lead Katie Davey. 
As Canada’s largest employer of early childhood educators, the YMCA is experiencing the impact of these challenges first-hand. “Canada’s early childhood educators play a critical role in children’s growth and development during their most formative years. They are responsible for the delivery of high-quality early learning and child care programs that keep children safe, and help them learn, grow and thrive. Without enough educators to meet the demand today and tomorrow, program quality and system-wide expansion will be hindered,” says Jessica Lue, Vice-President of Government Relations and Advocacy at YMCA Canada.

The report includes recommendations such as expanding pathways for newcomers to become trained ECEs, expanding professional development opportunities for educators, improving compensation and mentorship opportunities, and more emphasis on data collection to support continued improvement in workforce retention and development.
PPF’s partners for this project were YMCA Canada, the Lawson Foundation, the Ontario Pay Equity Office, and Women and Gender Equality Canada.