Workforce shortages threaten child care and full-day early learning and care

Not enough early childhood educators to fulfill
government plan for full-day learning and care

Today, on October 27th 2010, the OCBCC, along with Fred Hahn (President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario) and Marie Kelly (Secretary-Treasurer of the OntarioFederation of Labour) held a press conference at Queen's Park to address the issue of Ontario's shortage of ECEs. Today is also the 10th Anniversary of Child Care Worker and ECE appreciation day - a day to recognize the critical role of child care workers and ECEs in our communities.

To view a Toronto Star article about the workforce shortages in the child care and ECE sector, please click here.

There are 27, 000 ECEs currently registered in Ontario. At full implementation, Ontario’s four- and five-year-old full-day early learning and care program will employ 20,000 early childhood educators working as part of a teaching team in Ontario schools.

"On one hand, the government is creating a new program—four- and five-year-old full-day early learning and care; on the other hand, they have not done enough to increase the supply of qualified early childhood educators. Unless the Liberal Government acts to increase college early childhood education programs and raise wages, the new four- and five-year-old full-day early learning and care program won’t work and community-based child care programs will not succeed. It is clear that a comprehensive plan to stabilize programs for all children from infants to 12 years old, including a labour force strategy, must be developed,” said Hahn.

The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) is calling on the Ontario Government to invest in early childhood educators by raising wages in the community sector and establishing a labour force strategy to increase the numbers of trained early childhood educators to meet the growing demand for staff specializing in early childhood education.

“At my child care centre, we have lost qualified early childhood educators to jobs in the retail sector where the pay was higher. We need to make sure we can pay our qualified early childhood educators a decent wage so an early childhood educator can work in the job she was trained for and loves, and still be able to provide a decent income for her family,” said Tracy Saarikoski, President, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

For the full press release put out by the OCBCC and CUPE Ontario, please click here.

To read an article by Teresa Latchford for, please click here.