October 17, 2023 is the 23rd Annual Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day!
This day recognizes the commitment, skills and hard work of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and staff who work with young children. Each year, the day is proclaimed by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), municipalities and school boards across Ontario, and is marked by hundreds of child care centres, unions, and allies.
This year’s Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day theme is WORTH MORE! This Appreciation Day will be important as we continue to navigate the implementation of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system and push for it to include decent work and pay for ECEs and child care workers. They deserve decent work and pay.
“Our Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Workers are the foundation of our Child Care system.” says Cyndy Jefferson, Director, Child Care. The work they do each day to support the growth and development of children is of critical importance. “We need a global shift of focus from academics to wellbeing and from educators to human developers”; a quote from Dr. Jean Clinton, renowned advocate for children’s issues, speaks to the important role of our Child Care team. The YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce “human developers” support our youngest as they learn, grow, and develop in safe, caring environments.
To fulfil the promise of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system we need to ensure high quality spaces for every family who needs it. We have seen how affordable child care is life-changing for many families, but we need to make that possible for all. To make that vision a reality we need to expand access to child care by building new programs – but most importantly we must ensure that we retain, re-attract and recruit ECEs and child care workers with decent work and fulfilling careers to lead these vital, educational programs.
We asked our Early Learning and School Age parents to share words of appreciation for our staff and we received an overwhelming response. We are not the only ones that think they’re the best. Click images below to read a few, much more are posted on our Facebook page.