April 12th, 2022

On Equal Pay Day, Horwath pitches wage floor for child care workers

Horwath will set a $25-per-hour floor for RECEs in child care, $20 for other program staff

TORONTO – On Equal Pay Day, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she will ensure all early childhood educators are paid a decent wage — $25 for registered early childhood educators and $20 for all other child care program staff.

That will help people make child care work a career, and grow the number of spaces so every working parent can find affordable child care.

“Making child care $10 per day is absolutely critical for families — but there’s no child care without child care workers. It’s already hard to find a child care space, and we’ll need thousands more spaces when we finally make child care affordable for all families,” said Horwath.

“Child care workers teach and protect our littlest ones. We trust them with our babies’ lives. Yet many of these professionals — who are predominantly women — are working two or three jobs to make ends meet. Lots of them are living without benefits. And they’re leaving the profession in droves. Together, we can fix it. We can make a job in child care a career that actually pays the bills. We can respect child care workers, and grow the number of workers and number of affordable, high-quality, public and non-profit child care spaces, so every working parent can find an affordable space when they need one.”

The NDP will start with an immediate wage floor of $25 for registered early childhood educators in the child care sector, and $20 for all other child care program staff. Horwath will also work with unions and child care advocates to design and implement a Workforce Strategy, leading to a wage grid and decent work standards including benefits, pensions and support for child care workers to upgrade their qualifications.

There are only enough licensed child care spaces in Ontario for about one in four children. In 2019, Doug Ford cut millions from child care, taking $2.8 million away from the City of Toronto’s child care programs alone. Ford is moving ahead with a wage floor of just $18 per hour for registered early childhood educators working in child care.

The price of child care rose dramatically under the previous Liberal government in Ontario, reaching as high as $2,000 a month per child for infants.
Savitri Sinanan, RECE

“When I heard Premier Ford announced a wage floor of $18 per hour I felt angry and disrespected. $18 was my wage in 2017 and I struggled back then and $18 is not a living wage today.”