Saskatchewan ECE Survey Reveals the Need for a Workforce Strategy to Raise Quality in the province’s ELCC Sector

    Aging workforce and significant turnover are urgent ELCC workforce issues in the province

    The Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) and the Saskatchewan Leader’s Caucus (SK LC) along with the support of the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association (SECA) conducted an historic, first time survey of the province’s ELCC workforce and sector. The findings support the call and need for provincial investments and comprehensive policy along with federal investments and leadership for ELCC.

    Key findings include:

    • Education is instrumental to supporting quality. The more education—diploma or degree—a person has, the longer they stay in the SK ELCC sector. Along with higher education comes increased earnings, which in turn supports workforce retention.
    • Turnover of the workforce is very high and negatively impacts quality with nearly 60 percent of the workforce being hired or replaced within the past year. For children, this continual addition and/or changing of ECEs in ELCC programs can be damaging on their care and development.
    • Retirement is on the horizon with 33 percent of the SK ELCC workforce being 45 years and older
    • 97 percent of the SK ELCC workforce are women, 9 percent identify as indigenous and 9 percent operate group/family child care programs.

    As we have always known—and as reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic—quality child care is one of the essential and critical services to keep the economy functioning and more importantly provides children with consistency and optimal developmental experiences. The people who provide early learning and child care for Saskatchewan’s children and families are essential to this service.

    The survey results provide specific information related to different role types within the Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Sector.

    The COVID-19 Pandemic experience highlights the importance of the Early Learning and Child Care sector both provincially and nationally. And although life is far from “normal”, the CCCF, SK LC and SECA believe now is the time for everyone in the province to start rallying for our sector. Our goal is to use evidence-based policies to improve ELCC services and outcomes for children, anchored by a comprehensive workforce strategy for the SK ELCC sector.

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