›› Eric Swanson

We’re at a historic moment for child care, in BC and across Canada. Promises by the provincial and federal governments to build a quality $10aDay system are becoming reality. The number of life-changing $10aDay spaces – including those provided by Fernwood NRG – is steadily increasing, as are fee reductions for those still waiting for a $10aDay spot. There is a lot of work left to do, but one issue demands especially urgent action: we need to give far more support to our child care educators.

Here in Victoria and across the country childhood educators and other child care professionals report high levels of stress and burnout, with many opting to leave their chosen profession in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Often, child care programs can’t run at their full capacity, and some new facilities are sitting empty because of challenges finding enough qualified staff.

The solution: BC needs to treat early childhood educators like the professionals they are.

Specifically, advocates in our province are calling on the BC government to ensure all early childhood educators and school-age educators:

  • Are paid professional wages and benefits in the form of a provincially funded wage grid that reflects educators’ qualifications, years of experience and crucial role in society – just like our K-12 teachers!
  • Have paid time dedicated to professional development and advancement of BC’s Early Learning Framework and the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
  • Have enough colleagues to share the load, via a comprehensive strategy to attract and educate new ECEs – including far more Indigenous educators.
    Can practice in professional, healthy and culturally safe work environments.
  • Are supported to enter the profession through tuition-free access to public post-secondary programs, student loan forgiveness and public education campaigns.
  • BC officials report that work on some of the above, including a professional wage grid for child care educators, is ongoing, but progress can’t come soon enough.

If your family is enrolled in a child care program please consider telling your child care educators just how much you appreciate their hard work, and consider joining others across the province in calling on the provincial government to do more. You can take action at 10aDay.ca/bc_action.