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Increased wages recognize early childhood educators’ vital role

Press Release

Oct. 30, 2023

VICTORIA – Early childhood educators (ECEs) will receive another hourly raise, starting on Jan. 1, 2024, to support the essential work they do to educate and care for young children.

New annual grants recognizing ECEs with specialized training will be available in the new year.

Eligible ECEs working at participating licensed child care facilities will receive a $2-per-hour raise in January 2024, based on hours worked in December 2023, on top of the existing $4-per-hour raise. This government-funded raise is the most recent in a series of increases to the ECE Wage Enhancement, bringing the total raise to $6 per hour and increasing the median wage for ECEs up to approximately $28 per hour.

“ECEs play a vital role in children’s early development and are critical for families and our economy, and we are taking steps to ensure their compensation continues to grow,” said Grace Lore, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care. “We look forward to introducing and refining a wage grid as we test a new funding model to help us continue to build child care as a core service here in B.C. While we do this work, these new investments will provide people working in this important sector with a much-needed boost.”

In addition to the latest increase, ECEs who hold an infant toddler educator or special needs educator certification through the ECE Registry will be able to apply for a further $2,000 per year. ECEs who hold both certificates will be eligible to receive $3,000 per year. ECEs with specialized training are needed to ensure families have access to quality, inclusive child care.

“If we are to succeed in building an early learning and child care system for families across the country, we need a dedicated, well-compensated and valued early childhood workforce,” said Jenna Sudds, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Today’s announcement is an important step to recognize the early childhood educators who help take care of children in the province. I look forward to the continued efforts by provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to recruit, retain and recognize this vital workforce.”

In 2018, as part of ChildCareBC, government launched an ECE recruitment and retention strategy to help ensure a sufficient number of qualified ECEs in the province. This has resulted in more families finding child care to meet their needs, enabling them to work, train or pursue other opportunities. Government has also helped families by reducing the cost of child care and funding the creation of new spaces.

In addition to supporting ECEs through enhanced wages and the new grants, government is also:

  • helping with the cost of education;
  • offering ECE dual-credit programs in high schools in 30 school districts;
  • offering work-integrated learning and new student spaces at post-secondary institutions throughout the province;
  • prioritizing international ECEs under the Provincial Nominee Programs; and
  • recently introduced legislation that will help remove barriers and get internationally trained ECEs working in B.C. quicker.

“I think it is important to note that early childhood educators require a minimum of two years’ post-secondary education,” said Susanne McMillan, an ECE and Camosun College early learning and care program graduate. “As professionals in this field, we create kind, inclusive and responsive environments that support each child to reach their potential in a constantly changing world. The additional hourly wage raise is another financial step to keep us in the field, while the grants acknowledge the additional specialized education many of us undertake.”

The Province is committed to developing a wage grid for ECEs. As a first step toward developing a wage grid that recognizes the level of education and experience that ECEs bring to their workplaces, the Province will start testing the first iteration of a funding model at select child care centres this year.

These additional investments for ECEs represent further progress in partnership with the federal government under the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. To support the goal of ensuring access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada is contributing $3.2 billion over five years for early learning and child care in B.C. through March 2026.


Lori Zehr, dean, school of health and human services, Camosun College –

“The early learning and care program at Camosun College prepares students for a career in early childhood education through a combination of academic and hands-on practical experience. Enhanced wages and the two new grants for specialized training recognize the work of early childhood educators in making a difference in the life of each child.”

Learn More:

To learn more about becoming an ECE, visit:

For more information and to read the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, visit:

For more information about Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care:

To find out more about ECEBC or the ECE Education Support Fund, visit:

A backgrounder follows.


Esme Mills
Ministry of Education and Child Care
Media Relations
250 896-4891

Soraya Lemur
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jenna Sudds
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development


Support for early childhood educators in B.C.

  • Early childhood educators (ECEs) will be able to apply to access the specialized certification grants through Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) in January 2024.
    • More information will be available on the ECEBC website soon.
  • More than 12,000 eligible ECEs working at participating licensed child care facilities will receive the additional $2 per hour (total of $6 per hour) effective Dec. 1, 2023.
    • The first payments will be provided in January 2024, based on hours reported for December 2023.
  • ECE students may also be eligible for funding through the ECE Education Support Fund to help with the cost of their education.
  • B.C. anticipates more than 12,000 job openings for certified ECEs and ECE assistants in the coming decade.
    • Government’s recruitment and retention initiatives are helping to reduce the gap between supply and demand.
  • The overall number of ECEs has increased by approximately 4,000 from 10,400 in 2018-19 to 14,400 in 2023-24.
  • Sector-wide retention for ECEs receiving the wage enhancement was 90% between 2021-22 and 2022-23.


Esme Mills
Ministry of Education and Child Care
Media Relations
250 896-4891

Soraya Lemur
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jenna Sudds
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development


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