The City of Windsor’s campaign aims to alleviate the shortage of early childhood educators
The City of Windsor is behind efforts to recruit more Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) in the area in the face of labor shortages.
The city held Thursday morning’s press conference at the Connections Early Years Family Center to promote its recruiting campaign. Mayor Drew Dilkens, Commissioner for Health Services Andrew Vom and Director of Child Services Dawn Bosco were present.
According to Dilkens, 1,540 new childcare places will come to the city over the next five years, which underscores the need for more ECEs.
The initiative is called the Windsor Essex Registered Early Childhood Educators (WERECE) Recruitment and Retention Campaign and is a strategy to “raise awareness of the important role this role plays [ECEs] play in the life of a child and our community,” the city said in a press release.
“I can assure you that all levels of government agree and recognize that high-quality early education and childcare systems play a central role in promoting and developing the well-being of young children,” Folger said.
The WERECE campaign was funded by the Department of Education through the Canada-Ontario Early Childhood Workforce Agreement, which, according to the press release, aims to “retain, enhance, develop and attract staff in the childcare and early childhood workforce.”
Ontario-wide shortage of ECEs affecting parents
The announcement came as childcare centers across Ontario are facing shortages of ECE.
Bosco said demand has grown with the launch of national early education and childcare arrangements.
“Children and families attend more childcare and therefore need more childcare staff. To meet the demand and all of these new little ones coming into childcare, we need more ECEs, which is why we are making this push.”
Agencies that operate daycares have said they have so few ECEs that they doubt the national program of $10-a-day child care — which the federal government has promised — can be offered to all children.
“It’s the worst child care crisis on record,” Carolyn Ferns, policy coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, told CBC News.
“We had problems recruiting and retaining children in childcare for years prior to the pandemic, but it’s only gotten a lot worse.”
Ellie Gauvin, a Windsor parent, has witnessed the shortage firsthand.
“Apparently I should have had him on a waiting list before he was even born,” Gauvin said.
“Some waiting lists are a year and a half to two years long, as far as I know, and my daycare in particular is very understaffed.”