THE BC GOVERNMENT COMMITTED to develop and implement an early childhood educator wage grid in its 2021 Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, and in the recent mandate letter of BC’s Minister of State for Child Care. With these commitments in mind, this briefing note:
- Builds on our 2020 Next Steps report, which identified a comprehensive publicly-funded wage grid as the best option to achieve fair wages for early childhood educators (ECEs) in BC;
- Scans, analyzes and compares recent progress across Canada toward ECE wage grids and higher ECE wages;
- Scans and analyzes recent progress in BC toward higher wages for ECEs, compared to similar positions and relevant provincial salary data; and
- Provides updated recommendations to the BC government to support the immediate implementation of a fair, competitive and effective ECE wage grid.
Low ECE wages are a significant and longstanding concern across the child care sector. In May 2023 the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, Early Childhood Educators of BC and Métis Nation BC issued a joint statement pledging to continue to work and advocate for the child care system BC families want, need and deserve, including one that provides fair compensation and working conditions for educators. The joint statement acknowledges progress to date, and observes that there is much more for governments to do to realize their commitments under the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and to uphold Indigenous rights as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.