In the federal government's speech from the throne on September 23, 2020, Ottawa committed to "a significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and child-care system.” For 2021-2022, the federal government has proposed an investment of $420 million to be distributed to the provinces and territories to support the attraction and retention of early childhood educators. Knowing that this funding will be allocated to the workforce, the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) and the Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus (ALC) have researched and proposed two strategies the Government of Alberta could use to support educators:
Developing and investing in an ELCC workplace education model.
Ensuring workplace supports for ECEs.
The workforce initiatives included here are to be inclusive of all certified ECEs working in Alberta, including those in licensed facility-based and home-based programs. The Government of Alberta and stakeholders will need to think creatively on how the recommendations will work best in all types of licensed ELCC: child care centres, preschools, out-of-school care programs, and family day homes. The whole province must be considered, including smaller urban settings, rural, and remote areas.
AECEA and ALC know that Alberta’s ELCC workforce is made up of predominantly women. It includes ECEs who are Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), who were born in Canada, and are newcomers to Canada. ECEs’ languages, backgrounds, and experiences are diverse and should be respected and valued. With suitable support, all these ECEs can gain an educational credential, build their capacity and confidence, and better serve Alberta's children and families who also come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse abilities. Every child has a right to education guided by ECEs who are well-prepared, valued, and supported for the important work they do.
This proposal was shared with the Government of Alberta and AECEA members on Monday, March 8, 2021. If you would like to be among the first to hear about AECEA's work, please consider becoming an AECEA member.