QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Child Care Critic Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale – High Park) is urging the Ford government to address the child care workforce shortage by passing her bill to establish an Early Years and Child Care Workforce Advisory Commission.
At a press conference organized by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators held Wednesday, Karpoche stressed the need for the government to consult workers on a comprehensive and long-term workforce strategy to recruit and retain child care staff.
“Child care providers across the province struggle to find the workers needed to operate their existing spaces, let alone the tens of thousands more who will be needed to staff new spaces in the coming years,” said Karpoche. “Ontario has a child care workforce crisis because child care workers are not paid well, have poor working conditions, no pension, no paid sick days, no paid time for planning or professional development.
“Child care is often viewed as just a job, rather than a career. We need to change that if we’re going to have enough workers to meet the expected demand for $10 a day child care – and to do that, we need to listen to child care workers.”
Karpoche’s bill, the Early Years and Child Care Worker Advisory Commission Act, would establish a Commission to develop recommendations on how to support the early years and child care workforce and address staffing shortages. One of the Commission’s main tasks would be to develop a salary scale that sets out increased compensation based on skills and experience. The bill would also require the Minister of Education to meet with the Commission and hear their recommendations.
Carolyn Ferns, Public Policy, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
“We need the Ford government to understand the scale of the challenge. To meet the anticipated demand for $10-a-day child care, we need a comprehensive and long-term workforce strategy. Passing Bill 49, the Early Years and Child Care Worker Advisory Commission Act, would be an important first step in that direction.”