VANCOUVER—This week’s announcement by the provincial government of a new recruitment and retention strategy for early childhood educators is welcome news not only for B.C. children but also for the hard working professionals who care for them, says Local 1936 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Under the Province’s ChildCare BC plan, early childhood educators (ECEs) will be better supported by the new strategy, which includes wage increases, on-the-job training opportunities and other measures designed to support professionals at the centre of B.C.’s child care system. The strategy also includes $16.3 million from the Government of Canada for ECE bursaries and professional development.
“For many years, we have been calling for improvements to the system that cares for B.C.’s children and guarantees them a better future. With this announcement, the government has shown its commitment to moving towards accessible and affordable child care for all,” said CUPE 1936 President Sheryl Burns.
“ECEs are the heart and soul of the agencies that care for our children. The work they do to help B.C. kids at the earliest stages of life is critical to putting them on the right path for a successful future.”
Burns added that quality, affordable child care enables parents to get the education and training they need to access good jobs and allows mothers and fathers to work without having to endure years of child care wait lists or break the family budget. Investing in quality early learning and care helps reduce poverty and increase employment while stimulating the economy, she said.
The new strategy aims to encourage more people to become or stay on as ECEs. With improved recruitment and retention, more B.C. families will have access to high-quality, stable child care programs. Addressing recruitment also supports child care providers, who have cited a lack of qualified ECEs as a key hiring challenge.
The strategy is part of the provincial government’s three-year $136-million investment to boost the quality of B.C.’s child care system and recognize ECEs for the work they do. For more information, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018CFD0057-001707COPE 491