Alberta’s early childhood educators will receive a one-time payment and wage top-up, the provincial government announced on Thursday.
This move is being done to help recruit and retain staff. Existing wage top-ups for all paid hours will increase by up to two dollar per hour as of Jan. 1, 2023.
“The Government of Alberta supports parental choice in childcare and the workers who help provide it,” said Mickey Amery, Minister of Children’s Services.
“This announcement will help retain staff who are currently caring for our children, and attract new workers in child care. Because every dollar matters, this one-time payment will provide affordability relief for these hardworking Albertans heading into Christmas and the new year.”
All employed early childhood educators with claimed hours in October and November 2022 who worked an average 30 hours-plus per week and continue to work in December will also be eligible to receive a one-time payment of $900. Those averaging fewer than 30 hours per week will be eligible for a $450 payment.
The one-time payment and wage top-up represents an investment of over $174 million in federal and provincial funding through to the end of the fiscal year 2025-26.
The one-time payment for early childhood educators represents an investment of about $13.3 million in federal funding. The Alberta government will invest $2.72 million in provincial funding for the same one-time payments for certified early childhood educators working in out-of-school care programs.
The increased wage top-ups for early childhood educators represent a $165.5 million investment in federal funding through to the end of fiscal year 2025-26. For the same increased wage top-ups for certified ECEs working in out-of-school care programs, the Alberta government will invest about $22.4 million in funding.
Amanda Rosset, Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta board chair, said better compensation for early childhood educators is a step in the right direction “to transform the early learning and child care workforce into a recognized profession.”
“Early childhood educators are the heart and soul of a high-quality early learning and care system and deserve to be well supported for the very important work they do,” said Rosset.
“The Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta advocates for higher educational standards, better wages and working conditions and comprehensive system supports.”