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2016 Wage Enhancement for Early Childhood Educators

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2016 Wage Enhancement for Early Childhood Educators

Ministry of Education

Giving children the best possible start in life, and ensuring that families have access to safe, high quality, licensed child care is a top priority for Ontario. Following a similar wage increase in 2015, this year the Ministry of Education is providing another increase to Early Childhood Educators and other child care program staff in the licensed child care sector.

The increase will continue Ontario's effort to close a wage gap in the sector and help operators attract and keep the best early childhood educators possible.

How does it work?

Ontario is providing a $1 per hour wage increase for eligible child care workers who qualify in the licensed child care sector, bringing the total wage increase up to $2 per hour, plus benefits. The province is also providing an additional $10 per day increase to home child care providers who qualify, bringing the total increase up to $20 per day. Both increases are effective January 2016.

The Ministry of Education will work with its regional and municipal partners to provide these wage increases to eligible child care staff and providers.

How many providers applied for last year's increase?

Applications were high for the 2015 wage enhancement and home child care enhancement grant. In 2015, 94 per cent of licensed centres applied for the wage enhancement, and 91 per cent of licensed home child care agencies applied for the grant.

Who is eligible?

 Wage enhancement Home Child Care Enhancement Grant funding will be available to eligible child care program staff working in all licensed child care centres, as well as licensed Private Home Day Care home visitors and providers, including:

  • Registered Early Childhood Educators
  • Program staff
  • Supervisors
  • Private home child care visitors
  • Private home child 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 programs. 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 are trained professionals specializing in the early development and learning of children, and are registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators. Registered Early Childhood Educators 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.

Registered Early Childhood Educators qualifications and staffing requirements are prescribed by the Child Care and Early Years Act, 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 municipal service managers 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 31, 2015, there were 5,144 licensed child care centres in Ontario.

Since 2003, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 351,000 - an increase of 87 per cent.

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