Early childhood educators to receive wage increase

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Early childhood educators (ECEs) will receive another hourly raise, starting on January 1, 2024, to support the essential work they do to educate and care for young children.

New annual grants recognizing ECEs with specialized training will be available in the new year.

Eligible ECEs working at participating licensed child care facilities will receive a $2-per-hour raise in January 2024, based on hours worked in December 2023, on top of the existing $4-per-hour raise.

This government-funded raise is the most recent in a series of increases to the ECE Wage Enhancement, bringing the total raise to $6 per hour and increasing the median wage for ECEs up to approximately $28 per hour.

In addition to the latest increase, ECEs who hold an infant toddler educator or special needs educator certification through the ECE Registry will be able to apply for a further $2,000 per year.

ECEs who hold both certificates will be eligible to receive $3,000 per year. ECEs with specialized training are needed to ensure families have access to quality, inclusive child care.

In 2018, as part of ChildCareBC, government launched an ECE recruitment and retention strategy to help ensure a sufficient number of qualified ECEs in the province.

This has resulted in more families finding child care to meet their needs, enabling them to work, train or pursue other opportunities. Government has also helped families by reducing the cost of child care and funding the creation of new spaces.

The Province is committed to developing a wage grid for ECEs. As a first step toward developing a wage grid that recognizes the level of education and experience that ECEs bring to their workplaces, the Province will start testing the first iteration of a funding model at select child care centres this year.

These additional investments for ECEs represent further progress in partnership with the federal government under the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

To support the goal of ensuring access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada is contributing $3.2 billion over five years for early learning and child care in B.C. through March 2026.