Your voice matters. It's tough to stress just how important it is for you, as an ECE, to support your provincial association and have a voice on issues of importance to you. We depend on the size and strength of our membership to allow us to engage, plan and advocate for system changes and further public investment in the ELCC sector.
In November 2022, the Government of Alberta (Children’s Services) issued a request for proposals to develop a competency-based model for early childhood educators (ECEs). AECEA, in partnership with Ottawa-based Human Resource Systems Group (HRSG), is thrilled to have submitted the winning proposal!
With this project, Children’s Services intends to further professionalize the early learning and child care (ELCC) sector by setting foundational requirements for knowledge of early learning and child development theory and application. The project recognizes that ECEs play a critical role in the lives of children and as such, must demonstrate a core body of knowledge, competencies and skills. The project aims to further professionalize the ELCC sector, expand existing investments in quality frameworks and standards, professional development and skills training, and improve certification levels of the ECE workforce and includes the development of a compensation review for ECEs, including wages and benefits.
A team of well-known ELCC researchers from across Canada have been brought together, including Jane Beach (BC), Kathleen Flanagan (PEI), Jane Hewes (BC, formerly from AB) to work alongside Nicki Dublenko (past AECEA chair) and a team working with AECEA on a compensation framework project: Mary-Frances Smith, Miranda Brown, and Abhiroop Saha. The HRSG team includes experts in competency-based assessment, with broad experiences across Canada over the past 30+ years.
If you are interested in participating in the consultations for the competency-based model, register here: https://aecea.ca/form/competency-based-model-for-early
A post-graduate research team, supported by the Community-University Partnership (CUP), the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN), and the Edmonton Council of Early Learning and Care (ECELC) in partnership with the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA), has been conducting community-engaged, qualitative research on a compensation framework for early childhood educators of Alberta.
Over the past few months, the aim for the team has been to create a values-based wage grid recommendation focused on professionalizing the workforce and ensuring experience, education, and training are embedded in the grid. This presentation will show the wage grid recommendation and highlight the journey to creating the grid.
The post-graduate research team includes:
- Mary-Frances Smith, a master's student at the University of Alberta in Community Engagement. Her research uses a qualitative, community-engaged approach to understand workforce stability in the early learning and child care sector. Partnering with AECEA, her research is supported by Community-University Partnership (CUP) and the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN) and funded by SSHRC and WCHRI. Through this research, she hopes to reveal the complex nature of ECE’s experiences by examining their motivations to enter and remain in the sector, give voice and agency to their hopes and struggles, and provide policymakers with frontline solutions as we build a system of ELCC. The wage grid recommendation is the focus of the pan-Canadian post-graduate research team.
Miranda Brown, a master's student at York University in Development Studies and a research assistant at ECELC. Her master's research uses data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey to make regional comparisons of biomonitoring data collected from 2009-2019. She has been working on research and advocacy for the ELCC sector since May 2021. With a focus on economic well-being and human development indicators, since the summer of 2022, Miranda has been a part of a pan-Canadian research team working on a wage grid for early childhood educators. The wage-grid project is a partnership with AECEA, supported by Community-University Partnership (CUP) and the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN).
- Abhiroop Saha is a Master of Public Health Student at the University of Saskatchewan. His focus in the program is to learn more about social determinants of health, health promotion, Indigenous health, and effective leadership and communication strategies. He is currently a research assistant with AECEA and is collaborating with the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN) and Community-University Partnership (CUP). His research is focused on creating a values-based wage grid for early childhood educators with the goal of increasing workforce stability and retention in the early learning and care sector. He hopes to work in collaboration with community partners and members to reach effective and thorough solutions.
To view the research team's written recommendation report, go here.
Want to be a part of the wage grid engagement? Complete an expression of interest at https://aecea.ca/form/wage-grid-engagement-expression-
In Fall 2022, The Muttart Foundation, in partnership with the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) and the Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders’ Caucus (ALC) within the Canadian Child Care Federation hosted a series of focus group discussions with early childhood educators. The research aimed to identify the challenges facing the early childhood educator (ECE) workforce and strategies for increasing its size and capacity to support high-quality early learning and child care (ELCC) delivery in Alberta. In light of the proposed expansion of services in the Canada-Wide agreement, the partners felt it important to gather insights from certified early childhood educators on the workforce challenges they face and the strategies they recommend to address these challenges. They were also asked what they knew and understood about the Canada-Alberta Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and how they would like to contribute to the work that lies ahead. This AECEA Connect will have Christopher Smith and Tara Stang share the findings from the research. Review the report by going to: https://aecea.ca/news/workforce-investments-required-ELCC-system-buildi….
The Government of Alberta has released its plan to reduce child care fees in Alberta by an average of 50% by early 2022. Under this plan, every family’s out-of-pocket fees will decrease, but lower-income families will not see a 50% decrease—and some may see a decrease of less than 15%. As a result, child care may still be unaffordable for lower-income families under the new system. This talk will explain how the new system works, why it creates uneven decreases for different families across Alberta and will discuss both short-term and long-term options for changing this situation.
Rob Buschmann, PhD is a research associate at the Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. He is currently CUP’s representative to the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care (ECELC), an organization with the vision of early learning and care for all children that is high in quality, universally available, accessible, affordable, and responsive to the diversity of individual children and their families.
In this session, Miranda Brown focused specifically on early childhood educator (ECE) wages in Alberta from a historical perspective using wage data from 2000-2020. She discussed what wages mean for retention in a labour market as "unique" as Alberta's and what Alberta's current retention philosophy communicates about how the province values ECEs and care work more generally.
Miranda Brown is a Master’s student at York University in Toronto and a Research Assistant at the Community-University Partnership at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Miranda spent the last year working closely with the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care (ECELC) with supervisor Rob Buschmann on policy research in the early learning and care sector.
In this session, Jennifer Usher* talked about how the new ELCC Regulations & Act align with AECEA's recommendations.
AECEA's response to the changes in the Regulations can be viewed here.
AECEA's response to the changes in the Act can be viewed here.
*Jennifer works for the Medicine Hat and District Child Care Association and is a past AECEA board member (2017-2020). In January 2021, Jennifer authored AECEA's Response to the Regulations and Act papers.
<p>What Does it Mean to be an ELCC Professional?</p>
<p>Kei Lei Tomshak is an early childhood educator who has just completed her 3rd year at Mount Royal University in the Child Studies program. Kei shared her journey through her practicum experience on professionalism in the global early childhood sector.</p>
<a href="/sites/default/files/AECEA%20presentaion.pptx" target="_blank">Presentation Slideshow</a>
<p>This presentation covered some similarities, differences, and common issues in views and ideas of professionalism in the industry. Kei shared how her journey as a post-diploma student brought this topic of research to mind, how it reignited her passion for the field of early childhood education and why it is important to keep growing and learning as a professional.</p>
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In this session, we were joined by Carolyn Porter and Julia Moore with the ASaP Program and explored the importance of self-care and mindfulness for caregivers. We looked at the effects of stress and ways to help regulate and relax and at how important it is as caregivers to take care of ourselves and know our own 'hot buttons' so we are best able to support the children in our care.
Handouts from the session:
On November 15th, the Alberta government signed a historic agreement with the federal government to support early learning and child care system building in the province. Under the agreement, Alberta will receive federal transfers of $3.8 billion over the next five years to transform how regulated services are organized, financed and delivered with the goals of reducing parent fees, expanding regulated non-profit or public services and building the capacity of the early learning and child care workforce. In advance of the agreement, the Canadian Child Care Federation, Child Care Now, the YMCA of Northern Alberta and the Muttart Foundation worked with stakeholders to develop a policy roadmap that outlines how early learning child care system building might best begin in Alberta. The roadmap was released shortly after the signing of the agreement and has been shared with the provincial and federal governments. This webinar explores the key policy actions needed to support system building and provides an initial assessment of how this work is beginning to take shape in Alberta.
In this session, we were joined by Christopher Smith and Tara Stang from the Muttart Foundation to present the Alberta results from a National Survey During the COVID-19 Pandemic and to discuss early learning and child care funding in Alberta.
Due to a technical difficulty, the first 10 minutes were not recorded. To view the slides from the session to catch up on what was missed, go here.
Documents referenced in the webinar:
- Canadian child care: Preliminary results from a national survey during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Child Care Now, and the Canadian Child Care Federation
- Early Learning and Child Care in Alberta: Results from a National Survey During the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Muttart Foundation and the Canadian Child Care Federation
- Highlights from 'Early Learning and Child Care in Alberta: Results from a National Survey During the COVID-19 Pandemic'
In this session, we were joined by Corine Ferguson, Nikki Meyer, and Alison Rinas with the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement (ARCQE). Corine, Nikki, and Alison shared information about the expansion of their Pedagogical Partners Project, their new Flight: Alberta's Early Learning and Care Framework professional learning series, and other support services they offer.
In ARCQE's presentation for AECEA connect, it was indicated that there was a discontinuation of ASaP involvement as part of all of curriculum framework support. We have heard that this created some confusion in how ASaP supports continue to be provided. Please be assured that ASaP continues to be a partner in supporting child care programs and will continue to grow in their work across the province.
For further information specific to each program, please visit:
In this session, we premiered AECEA's advocacy videos. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, you will not be able to view the advocacy videos in this recording, but they can be found by going to https://aecea.ca/resources/quality-child-care and selecting which role you best represent!
In this session, we were joined by Jane Beach to speak on her report written for the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care and the Muttart Foundation, An Examination of Regulatory and Other Measures to Support Quality Early Learning and Care in Alberta. To view the report, go to https://www.ecelc.ca/publications-archive/rzxkjnn83rlps2rvf7riw5fzwxocov-fdw8b-mzbkl-xlh5j.
Jane is an early learning and child care research and policy consultant, based in Victoria BC. Over the past 25 years, Jane has developed child care expansion plans, conducted numerous child care studies, and authored many research and policy reports for government, universities, non-profit organizations and labour groups.
To download the presentation slides, go here.