Alberta’s government has expanded the paid hours that are eligible for existing wage top-ups for front-line certified ECEs. As of Oct. 1, all paid hours are now eligible for the existing wage top-ups, including indirect time and employer-paid vacation time.
These measures represent an investment of nearly $90 million in federal and provincial funding through to the end of fiscal 2025-26. Provincial funding will support this enhanced wage top-up for certified ECEs working in out-of-school care programs.
To build the ECE workforce, the governments of Alberta and Canada are making it easier for Albertans to start a career in child care.
The enrolment capacity for the free level 1 child-care orientation is more than doubled from 4,000 to 10,000 spaces. The course is now available to any Albertan, regardless of whether or not they are currently working in a child-care program.
Alberta is also moving forward on other workforce supports, including:
- Developing a new competency-based approach to certification, which will better assess and factor in an ECE’s experience, knowledge and skills, as well as their educational background.
- Supporting career pathways for ECEs through the development of a free online portal that will be a single point of access to educational information and other resources.
- Creating an ECE substitute/casual pool to provide employment opportunities and help staff child-care programs during planned and unplanned staff absences.
- Launching pilot programs with diverse communities to promote their entry into the child-care field.
- Continuing to work with Advanced Education to improve access to post-secondary programs, creating more in-person and virtual ECE spaces in targeted locations and programs.
- In early 2023, level 1 ECE orientation course content will be modernized to include new modules for out-of-school care and family day home environments.
The governments of Alberta and Canada will continue to support the ECE workforce through longer-term investment strategies currently being developed, with a commitment to work with stakeholders on their implementation.
- Alberta’s government has set aside $306.16 million in federal funding through the Canada-Alberta Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2021-22 to 2025-26 to support quality initiatives and the licensed child-care workforce serving families with children zero to kindergarten age.
- The governments of Canada and Alberta are also providing:
- $5.2 million to help more than 3,350 early childhood educators sharpen their skills through free early childhood brain science and development training.
- $1.5 million for in-person and virtual mental health training workshops for early childhood educators working in licensed child-care centres.