Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Monday that early childhood educators working at licensed centers are getting a $1-an-hour increase this month.
Richard J. Brennan Provincial Politics, Laurie Monsebraaten Social justice reporter, Staff Reporters, The Toronto Star
Kathleen Wynne announced an extra dollar for every ECE that makes under $26.27 per hour. Increasing the pay allows for the quality to rise and to keep good quality staff to stay in the field.
“When daycare workers heard about the wage increase last year they were ecstatic,” said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. “They will be happy that this is finally going through.”
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) said increasing salaries for workers in this sector is just part of the answer to child care availability.
“As much as it is good idea to give out pay increases to child care workers, I think the government has got to do a lot more around affordability and availability to help families,” he told the Star.
The new provincial cash will help non-profit centers that are struggling to pay good wages while keeping fees low for parents, said Ferns at the coalition. About 75 per cent of licensed child care spots in Ontario are offered in public or non-profit settings.
But the coalition, which represents Ontario’s non-profit child care sector, wonders how the government is going to ensure commercial centers spend the money on wages and don’t use the funds to increase their profits.
A pay raise is the best investment Ontario can make in the future of a strong early childhood system, said Shani Halfon of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, the professional association for registered ECEs.
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