Early Childhood Educators Need Decent Work!

Image credit: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development

As Canada moves forward with a national early learning and child care system, the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development is releasing a new report, Canada’s Children Need a Professional Early Childhood Education Workforce. Authors Kerry McCuaig, Emis Akbari, and Allison Correia examine the state of the early childhood education workforce, the challenges workers are facing, and promising practices that can be built on in a national strategy.

Early childhood educators (ECEs) are critical for making a national system work and for children’s development.  But the wages, benefits, and working conditions they receive vary widely across the country, which has led to workforce shortages and retention issues. The report takes an in-depth look into how practices in the provinces differ and concludes that decent work for ECEs must be the foundation of national system.

The key recommendations are:

  • Setting wage grids that validate the work of ECEs and increase their earnings
  • Bringing ECEs into public sector pension and benefit plans or other sector-wide plans
  • Creating national standards for child care, that enable good teaching practices and better working conditions
  • Professional development opportunities for leadership
  • Creating minimum requirements for education and training of ECEs

Read the report here.