On May 27 2019, First Call sent a letter to Minister of Children and Family Development, Honourable Katrine Conroy, and Minister of State for Child Care, Honourable Katrina Chen. We wrote on behalf of First Call’s Early Childhood Development Roundtable to reinforce the call for a more urgent focus on the issue of fair compensation for early childhood educators (ECEs) in government’s work to develop a universal child care system for BC.
The letter notes appreciation that the initial wage enhancement program that will see a $2-per-hour increase for eligible ECEs by April 2020. However, even with this increase, median ECE wages remain low for this predominantly female workforce, frustrating government’s goal to improve both recruitment and retention in the child care sector.
We are, therefore, calling on the provincial government to accelerate the wage enhancement program through the development of a provincial ECE wage grid that helps to bring the lowest paid educators up to the current average, followed by additional wage enhancements across the grid. This will help government achieve the recommended goal of reaching an average wage of at least $25-per-hour plus benefits for the ECE workforce as soon as possible.
“As noted in your government’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, child care providers have pointed to low compensation as the main reason they have difficulty recruiting qualified staff.” – Adrienne Montani, First Call Provincial Coordinator