EDMONTON - Today, following sustained advocacy from the child care sector, the Government of Alberta announced a one-time payment and modest wage top-up for Alberta’s Early Childhood Educators, effective January 2023. While child care advocates are happy to see some investment into the wages of this critical workforce, the policy does not go far enough to address the working conditions of ECEs in the province.
“Today's announcement shows that advocacy works, but there's still so much more to be done,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “While a one-time payment and wage top-up is welcome news, low wages and inadequate employee benefits, including pensions, will continue to drive people, mostly women, out of the child care field.”
“This is the first increase to the government wage top-up of early childhood educators since it was introduced in 2008, but it is a small increase on a small portion of wages paid” said Susan Cake, Chair of Child Care Now Alberta. “This payment and wage top-up in the midst of record-breaking inflation and a widespread affordability crisis is the least the government could do. It does not address the lack of wage floor for ECEs and it does not solve the structural issues with staff attraction and retention.”
“The provincial government must establish a salary grid with competitive wages and benefits,” added Lafortune. “Anything less is a band-aid and won't solve the workforce challenges we’re seeing."
“The working conditions of ECEs become the care conditions of kids,” said Cake. “An investment in ECEs is an investment into Alberta’s future.”