A recent report by Child Care Now reveals a lack of cohesive workforce policies and funding programs at the provincial/territorial level. 

While governments across Canada have introduced scattered initiatives such as new bursary programs, expanded professional learning and wage increases, challenges persist. Many provinces and territories maintain low wages for ECE, with minimal attention given to addressing benefits and pensions. Moreover, governments have not prioritized revising regulations to enhance ECEs’ working conditions. Despite the potential for significant improvements, regulatory aspects like space requirements, job roles, and staff-child ratios have received little attention to create a better work environment for ECEs.

While recent agreements between the federal government and provincial/territorial governments recognize the need for better pay and support for ECEs, policies about the ELCC workforce continue to unfold in a patchwork and reactive fashion.

The bigger questions about how the evolving Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System should be set up for optimal care and how we can best support those working in the sector remain unanswered by governments.

This is why Child Care Now is embarking on Educators Matter, a project to develop a shared vision of Canada’s early learning and child care (ELCC) workforce.

The ELCC workforce policy summary report, the first of many to be released by the project, takes stock of policies implemented by provinces and territories to recruit and retain ECEs as the Canada-wide ELCC system was rolled out. Child Care Now has also formed a new National Early Learning and Child Care Workforce Policy Table as part of the project. It brings together educators, advocates, and policy experts to create evidence-based policy recommendations grounded in research and community knowledge. The National ELCC Workforce Table will provide analyses of workforce policy and programs as Canada’s child care system continues to develop. 

For regular project updates and information on workforce issues, sign up for the Child Care Now mailing list. 

Read A summary of ELCC workforce policies as of December 2023 under the Canada-wide child care system

This report is also available for download in PDF format.

Learn more about the Educators Matter project