After extensive consultation, the province has developed a workforce strategy that responds to the issues and priorities of the sector. Starting in 2024, initiatives in the strategy include:
- Increasing the starting wage for RECEs employed by child care operators enrolled in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system to $23.86/hour in 2024 from the planned $20/hour
- Extending the eligibility ceiling for a $1/hour increase so more RECEs can benefit
- Supporting entry into the profession and career development
- Cutting red tape for employers and providing more flexibility in staffing their programs
- Launching a promotional campaign to bolster awareness and value of the child care profession
This wage enhancement builds on actions taken by the province through the introduction in 2022 of a new wage floor for RECEs working in settings participating in the CWELCC system which includes annual $1/hour wage increases beginning in 2023.
The announcement builds on Ontario’s leadership having already delivered on a multitude of commitments to Ontario families under the CWELCC system, including a 50 per cent reduction on average in child care fees representing $6,000 to $10,000 in savings per child, the ongoing creation of 86,000 new licensed spaces, and support for parental choice in child care.
Investments from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada in the child care and early years system for 2024 will total nearly $4 billion. Funding will support the implementation of previously announced fee reductions, workforce supports, and other measures. This investment represents a significant increase of $42 million over 2023 and will ensure Ontario is providing competitive starting wages for RECEs in Canada, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to further valuing and ultimately retaining this critical workforce.