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Ontario announces comprehensive strategy to boost child care workforce and protect children

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Major enhancements to wages and working conditions supporting greater access to affordable and safe child care
Government of Ontario
Publication Date: 
16 Nov 2023



The government of Ontario is also taking action to further protect the safety of children by requiring all licensed child care operators to implement a Safe Arrival and Dismissal Policy by January 1, 2024. This will ensure that when a child does not arrive at the licensed child care program or is not picked up as expected, parents will be informed in line with existing protocols within Ontario’s publicly funded schools. This closes a gap that will protect children from exceptional and preventable tragedies.


“If we are to succeed in building an early learning and child care system for families across the country, we need a well-compensated and valued early childhood workforce,” said Jenna Sudds, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Early childhood educators are highly skilled professionals who do incredible work in caring for our children, and that work needs to be valued and recognized here in Ontario, and right across the country. Today’s announced strategy is an important step in ensuring that Ontario can recruit, retain and recognize this vital workforce.”

After extensive consultation, the province has developed a workforce strategy that responds to the issues and priorities of the sector. Starting in 2024, initiatives in the strategy include:

  • Increasing the starting wage for RECEs employed by child care operators enrolled in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system to $23.86/hour in 2024 from the planned $20/hour
  • Extending the eligibility ceiling for a $1/hour increase so more RECEs can benefit
  • Supporting entry into the profession and career development
  • Cutting red tape for employers and providing more flexibility in staffing their programs
  • Launching a promotional campaign to bolster awareness and value of the child care profession


The province remains committed to ensuring the safety of Ontario’s youngest learners and the success of the CWELCC system. We will continue to work with municipalities and the sector to ensure affordable child care is available in communities where it is needed most. As the strategy rolls out, Ontario will track and monitor the strategy’s impact on RECE recruitment and retention.