Early Childhood Educators Wage Enhancement
Giving children the best possible start in life, and ensuring families have access to safe and modern child care, is a top priority for the Ontario government. As part of this commitment, the Ministry of Education is providing a special compensation adjustment to Early Childhood Educators in the licensed child care sector.
The wage enhancement will help close an existing wage gap in the sector and help operators attract and keep the best early childhood educators possible.
How does it work?
Starting this month, Ontario is implementing a wage increase of $1 per hour for eligible child care workers in the licensed child care sector. Another wage increase is set for next year. The Ministry of Education will work with its regional and municipal partners to provide this wage enhancement to eligible front-line child care staff.
Who is eligible?
Wage enhancement funding will be available to eligible child care program staff working in all licensed child care centres employed as of January 1, 2015, as well as licensed Private Home Day Care (PHDC) home visitors and providers, including:
- Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs).
- Program staff.
- Private home day care visitors.
- Private home day care providers.
To be eligible for the wage enhancement, centre-based staff must not earn more than $26.27 per hour. An equivalent daily rate has been set for private home day care providers.
How will this help the licensed child care sector?
The wage enhancement funding will help close the wage gap between Registered Early Childhood Educators in the public education system and those working for licensed child care providers. It will also help operators recruit and retain highly skilled child care professionals, supporting greater access to stable, high-quality child care programs for Ontario's children.
What is a Registered Early Childhood Educator?
Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) are trained professionals specializing in the early development and learning of children, and are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators. RECEs work directly with children in licensed child care settings, and are responsible for planning and leading activities to stimulate and develop the intellectual, physical, emotional and social growth of young children.
RECE qualifications and staffing requirements are prescribed by the Day Nurseries Act, which is the current legislation governing child care, along with its associated regulations.
About licensed child care sector in Ontario
In Ontario, municipalities and regions are responsible for planning and managing the delivery of local child care services for their surrounding area.
Licensed child care programs are operated by non-profit and for-profit providers, school boards, First Nations and municipalities. The province provides funding to municipalities and First Nations who are responsible for planning and managing the delivery of local child care services, including operating funding, fee subsidies and special needs resourcing.
As of March 2014, there were more than 5,000 licensed child care centres in Ontario.
Since 2003, access to licensed child care has grown by more than 130,000 spaces.