In a significant move to bolster the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector, the British Columbia government has announced noteworthy changes to wages and bonuses. Commencing in the upcoming year, ECEs will witness a substantial increase of $2 per hour, based on their December work hours, in addition to the previously announced raise of $4 per hour.
Moreover, ECEs with advanced certifications in infant-toddler education or special needs education, as recognized by the ECE Registry, can apply for an additional annual grant of $2,000. For those holding accreditation in both specialized areas, an additional $3,000 per year is attainable.
Minister of State for Child Care Grace Lore emphasized, “We believe this recognition is well-deserved and hope it serves as an encouragement for ECEs contemplating upgrading their credentials, not only for their own careers but also for the families they serve.”
The province’s commitment to supporting ECEs extends further by encouraging them to expand their skills in this vital and fulfilling profession. Recognizing specialized skills and additional education that educators bring to their work is a cornerstone of this initiative.
Coming December, applications for these bonuses will be accessible on the Early Childhood Educators of BC website.
These updates are projected to elevate the median pay for ECEs to approximately $28 per hour. It’s important to note that these changes apply exclusively to those working in licensed facilities.
Minister Lore emphasized, “These hourly top-ups are one of the ways we’re acknowledging the vital work of early childhood educators. We’re also in the process of developing and refining a wage grid for the sector. In fact, we’re poised to commence testing the first iteration of a new wage grid at select child-care centers later this fall.”
Addressing the critical role of ECEs, Minister Lore highlighted that these measures form part of the strategy to alleviate shortages and increase child-care spaces. “There is no child care without ECEs. We talk about spaces, but we’re actually talking about educators – the people who do this work.”
This development follows the launch of the B.C. government’s ECE recruitment and retention strategy in 2018. While the province has been criticized for not immediately deploying the federal funds earmarked for universal $10-a-day daycare, Minister Lore clarified that this delay was part of the initial two-year plan to allow the system to scale up gradually.
In tandem with the wage increases, the province remains committed to focusing on the training, recruitment, and retention of ECEs. This encompasses initiatives such as support funds, augmenting spaces in post-secondary institutions, and investments in various programs.
Are you ready to embark on a fulfilling career as an Early Childhood Educator?
Enroll in BC’s most affordable ECE course today and be part of a profession that makes a real difference in the lives of children and families!