The most in-depth survey of Manitoba’s child care workforce was conducted by Probe Research for the Manitoba Child Care Association, October 6 – 21, 2016. Over 2200 MCCA members that are Early Childhood Educators (ECE), Child Care Assistants (CCA), and licensed Family Child Care Providers (FCCP) with emails on file with MCCA were invited to participate. 88% of those who responded were employed in a child care centre and 12% were self-employed licensed family child care providers.
The online survey sought to determine job satisfaction, experiences and preferences, training and education levels, and views on possible policy changes affecting Manitoba’s child care system.
Key findings indicate:
- 74% overall have a college diploma in early childhood education or higher
- 86% took some professional development in the last year
- on average, they have 14.7 years of experience
- ECEs employed in centres earn an average $18.38 an hour
- Family Child Care Providers reported offering 40-50 hours of care a week for an average annual revenue of $30,000.00, however a significant number were unsure of their annual revenue, expenses, and deductions
- 50% of licensed Family Child Care Providers plan to continue operating for four years or more
- child care centre directors report recruitment challenges, including ECEs to work with children, and also those with management skills, and inclusion facilitators for children with additional support needs
- a whopping 49% of centres have operated with a conditional license due to staff shortages
- finance related challenges, such as increasing operating costs, paying competitive wages, and fundraising were top of mind for centre directors
With 15,273 children on the online registry wait list, Manitoba needs a plan to ensure every child who needs a licensed space gets one. Along with new spaces, there must also be a human resource development and expansion strategy to ensure enough ECEs are available to meet licensing requirements for proportion of trained staff. On average, for each 10 new spaces licensed in a child care centre, there must be 1 ECE available to hire. The strategy must include market competitive wages reflective of level of certification and experience, along with province wide access to post-secondary ECE programs articulated into degree granting programs.