September 13th, 2023
September 13th, 2023
SUDBURY - Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, and Sudbury MPP Jamie West met with staff from local early learning centres today to discuss the impacts of the staffing crisis in child care. Stiles and West highlighted the importance of child care centres and the invaluable role child care workers play in our communities.
"Early Child Educators (ECEs) are not babysitters - they are highly qualified professionals who nurture, educate, and care for our children," said Stiles. "Yet, years of stagnant wages are driving many ECEs out of the profession, resulting in a shortage of child care spaces. If Ford’s Conservatives were actually focused on growing our economy, they would realize access to child care is critical and start to treat workers fairly."
"These qualified professionals have invested time and effort in their education and training. They’re being driven to take jobs outside their field simply to make ends meet," said West. "Our children's future and the well-being of families depend on a well-funded and supported child care system. It's high time we put the welfare of our children, families, and the backbone of our workforce—our child care professionals—front and center in our priorities."
"It couldn't be more obvious – Ford’s corrupt Conservatives don’t care about the people of Ontario and its hardest workers," added Stiles. "In today's economy, it's unthinkable that they are expected to survive on a mere $19 per hour. Ford is building an Ontario that only works for a select few of his friends while parents, our kids and educators struggle to stay afloat."
Tracy Saarikoski, Executive Director of Discovery Early Learning & Care:
"While other provinces have made substantial investments in wages for early childhood educators, Ontario must step up before our child care programs face closures. The current wage floor of $19/hour, with a mere $1/hour increase, falls woefully short in attracting and retaining qualified RECEs, and it fails to encompass support staff and other essential program personnel."