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– 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.

a shortage of early childhood educators threatens the development of four- and
five-year-old full-day early learning and care programs and will continue to
destabilize early learning and child care programs.

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 Fred Hahn, President of the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

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.

10 years, many of Ontario’s unions—CUPE, the Elementary, Catholic and Secondary
teachers, the auto workers, OPSEU, the National Union of Public Employees and
the Steelworkers have sponsored this annual appreciation day for child care
staff.  We have led the struggle for
universal, affordable child care with fair wages for early childhood
educators.  As a labour movement, we will
continue to support fair wages and benefits for all early childhood educators,”
said Marie Kelly, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour.

labour force strategy focused on good jobs, with decent wages and benefits,
would also keep more early childhood educators in the field.  “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.


more information, please contact:

Calver, OCBCC                            416-538-0628
Ext. 4 or cell: 416-434-8031

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications        416-559-9300