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Ontario early childhood educators still waiting for promised 2024 wage increases

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DeClerq, Katherine
Publication Date: 
19 Apr 2024


Ontario Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) are still waiting for their promised 2024 wage increases and advocates say the delay is causing stress for workers and contributing to the ongoing staffing shortage.

In November 2023, the Doug Ford government pledged to increase the minimum wage for RECEs to $23.86 an hour, a nearly $4-bump from what they were expected to get that year. The new wage floor would be implemented in 2024, officials said at the time, with additional $1 raises implemented every year until 2026—at which time they are supposed to make $25.86 an hour.

However, staff have yet to see any of the additional money they were promised.

“I think overall, what this has just reinforced for us, is that this isn't a priority for Ontario,” Alana Powell, RECE and Executive Director at Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, told CTV News Toronto in an interview Friday.


In a March memo sent to municipal service managers, the government indicates the new wages went into effect on Jan. 1. However, the memo goes on to say they expect cities to flow the cash to child-care operators by the end of April.

Additional provincial payments to those service managers, however, aren't expected until the summer.


“We even saw last week an early childhood educator started a GoFundMe to help pay her bills because she’s struggling that much and she’s certainly not alone.”


The increase applies to RECEs working in child-care facilities who opt in to the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, which will eventually result in an average fee of $10 per day for parents with children under the age of six in licensed child care by September 2025.