On April 27 2023, the Manitoba government announced an increase in the Manitoba wage framework for early childhood educators. The bump in wages is to be financed by federal funds transferred to the province under the Manitoba-Canada Early learning and child care agreement. Child care centres will receive public funds to raise the rates of pay through their operational grant beginning July 2023. However, the updated wage framework is designed to serve as a goal and implementation by providers is not mandatory, meaning there is no guarantee that early childhood educators will see a wage increase, and variations in pay will likely continue to exist.
The wage framework provides for an increase in pay over 2022/23 levels for all position/classification levels. For example, the recommended starting wage for an entry level ECE is $20.73, up from $19.53 in 2022/2023.
Despite these small increases, ECE wages are still much lower than needed to solve the child care workforce crisis in Manitoba.
The Manitoba Child Care Association has recommended a mandatory starting wage for entry level ECEs of $25/hour. This $25/hour was promised by the Manitoba government when it signed the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. As Executive Director of the Manitoba Child Care Association Jodie Kehl notes, “every early childhood educator in the province of Manitoba has not forgotten that number.”
Child Care Now echoes the MCCA call for more significant increases in wages and compensation to solve Manitoba’s staff recruitment and retention crisis.
Manitoba will also be issuing a request for proposals for a consultant to do market research on wage grids, and develop a broader implementation plan. Child Care Now will continue to advocate for the implementation of comprehensive workforce policy as laid out in the Roadmap to a Quality Early Learning and Child Care System in Manitoba.