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A summary of ELCC workforce policies as of December 2023 under the Canada-wide child care system

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Child Care Now
Publication Date: 
23 Apr 2024


About this paper

This paper is intended to provide a thematic summary of the primary areas of ELCC workforce policy that have been put in place by Canada’s provinces and territories to support an evolving Canada-wide early learning and child care system (CWELCC).

The paper surveys the “lay of the land” as of December 31 2023, about two and a half years after the first CWELCC funding agreements were signed and provides an overview of all policies currently in operation. The policies and funding programs discussed are not exclusive to the CWELCC agreements, and some were implemented under earlier bilateral funding agreements or were pre-existing provincial/territorial policy. However, the Canada-wide funding represents such a significant funding infusion and subsequent policy change across the country that these agreements remain the primary focus of our investigation into the trends and themes of Canadian ELCC workforce policy at this point in time. 

With this in mind, this paper does not include Quebec, due to its Asymmetrical Agreement on the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Component in which it will meet its own child care plans rather than report to the federal government on an agreed-upon Action Plan1.

This paper also does not discuss progress under the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, under which the federal the Government of Canada has committed to $1.7 billion over 10 years to strengthen early learning and child care programs and services for Indigenous children and families starting in 2018 to 20192.

The first part of this paper is primarily a summary of workforce policy across relevant Canadian jurisdictions under the areas of post-secondary access; compensation; professional learning and regulatory changes. It attempts to find trends and general themes rather than getting into detailed descriptions of each jurisdiction’s policies individually. The second part of the paper presents an analysis regarding what is missing from existing workforce policies, focusing on long-term planning and vision, and the need for data collection and evaluation. It concludes with situating this paper within Child Care Now’s “Educators Matter: Workforce Policy for Quality Early Learning and Child Care” project and presenting next research steps for the project and its Workforce Policy Table.