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Labour Market

ECEBC is coordinating the sector led Evaluation of BC's Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy (ECL R&R Strategy). Funding for this project has been provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

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children learning as they play

Early Care and Learning Recruitment & Retention Strategy

The British Columbia government – with support from the Government of Canada – has a 10-year plan to increase the quality, affordability and availability of childcare. This includes an ‘Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy’ to support people who work in childcare. This ECL R&R Strategy includes:

  • Wage enhancements
  • Student bursaries
  • Professional development and
  • Training supports

Evaluation of the ECL R&R Strategy

The evaluation project was set up to develop a continuous mechanism for the sector to provide feedback and information regarding the impact of the diverse Strategy tactics as they are implemented. The research and community engagement process is governed by a Sector Steering Committee, key stakeholders who provided expertise and disseminate the engagement opportunities within their networks. Their commitment to the project is instrumental to its success.

The research, analysis and reports are provided by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC). SRDC is a non-profit research organization, created specifically to develop, field test and rigorously evaluate new programs.

How is this strategy working for you?

The aim of the evaluation is to hear from the entire sector to ensure that the results accurately reflect what is happening in child care across the province. We want to know the impacts of the ECL R&R Strategy on BC's child care workforce.

One way to share your opinion is through our annual survey each fall (2019-2021). While the survey is open, it will be posted here. If the survey isn't open and you want to be notified about the next survey, you can sign up on SRDC's website.

Reports

There are a number of reports related to the child care labour market.

In 2020 SRDC produced the Benchmarking Report. The report summarizes data on 13 key performance indicators with respect to the government’s ECL R&R Strategy. Over 2,700 individuals contributed to the report, including employers and employees from all types of childcare settings and Early Childhood Educators no longer working in child care. The project also surveyed more than 2,000 members of the general public and high schoolers to understand better how they view work in early care and learning.

Benchmarking Report Webinar
Dr. Reuben Ford hosted a webinar on the Benchmarking report on August 19th, 2020. View the webinar and the questions asked by participants.

This report from June 2018 describes the first Sector Labour Market Partnership Project which engaged childcare sector stakeholders in order to build a shared understanding of key early care and learning labour market issues, produced a preliminary BC specific sector research synthesis, and developed preliminary research questions, as well as a leadership and governance structures to support future labour market research.

This report from May 2018 presents a preliminary review of recent BC‐specific childcare sector research reports and identifies key research themes and findings. A preliminary identification of research gaps, including secondary data and primary data gaps, leads to preliminary recommendations for further review of key literature and cross-‐jurisdictional opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions regarding the Sector Labour Market Partnership Project Survey other than those listed below please email bcchildcaresurvey@srdc.org To print the FAQs please download the Survey FAQ's PDF.

Survey Types & Eligibility

The evaluation sent a single survey in all 2019 that captured information from employers about their workplaces and from everyone working in child care about their working conditions. We received feedback that combining both topics was challenging and so for 2020 we split the survey into two separate surveys.

The Employer Survey – launched first, in September 2020 – asks questions about the recruitment and retention of Early Care and Learning professionals. It is intended to be filled in by owners and operators of child care workplaces where other child care workers are employed.

The Workforce Survey – launched in October 2020 – asks every professional working in BC’s Early Care and Learning sector about their individual workplace experiences. It is also designed for ECEs / ECEAs who no longer work in early care and learning.

We hope these changes will make it easier and quicker for everyone in the sector to provide their feedback.

All individuals in BC who work in BC’s early care and learning (in manager or front-line roles) programs or who are ECEs / ECEAs but no longer work in early care and learning. Early care and learning programs include licensed child care, preschool programs, school-aged child care, license not required care, and home-based child care.

ECEs / ECEAs no longer working in early care and learning are encouraged to complete the workforce survey. Others not working in the sector will find the survey is not designed for their experiences. However, people who strongly desire to participate will be directed an open question at the end of the survey where they can share their views on the ECL Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

The employer survey should be filled out by owners and operators of child care workplaces where other child care workers are employed. It asks for anonymous staff-level information about employees in licensed child care, preschool, and before-and-after school programs. SRDC will send each employer a survey invitation in September. Employers can also share their survey link with their management team, allowing those staff to assist in filling in the survey.

We want to hear from everyone currently working in child care in BC. An ECE Assistant who is now an ECE student doing a practicum should complete the workforce survey. Other students doing a practicum who are not yet paid to work in child care do not complete the survey. These students should watch out for their invitation to participate next year.

We want to hear from everyone currently working in child care in BC. If you are currently an ECE student and working in the child care sector, you should complete the survey. If you are an ECE student but not yet working in the child care sector, you should not complete the survey this year, but may be eligible to participate in future surveys.

We want to hear from everyone currently working in child care in BC. If you do not currently work in child care in BC and you are not registered with the province as an early childhood educator or assistant, you would not complete the survey.

If you are not working in the sector, and not registered as an ECE / ECEA, you will find the survey is not designed for your experiences. However, people who strongly desire to participate will be directed an open question at the end of the survey where they can share their views on the ECL Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

Invitations & Completing The Survey

In order to reach as many professionals as possible, the workforce survey invitation is being distributed through direct email and the social media profiles of our sector steering committee as well as the research lead, SRDC. As a result, some individuals may receive many invitations.

If you are the owner/operator of licensed child care, preschool or before-and-after school program, you should receive invitations to two surveys. In September, you should receive an invitation to complete the Employer Survey. In October, you should receive an invitation to forward the Child Care Workforce Survey to each of your staff. You will also be asked to complete this workforce survey yourself.

SRDC has a toll-free helpline 1-833-298-3016. You can also send inquiries about your survey to bcchildcaresurvey@srdc.org.

Please call SRDC’s toll free helpline 1-833-298-3016 and leave a message. Include your contact information (name, telephone number and address) and how you heard about the survey. A member of the survey team will get back in touch so you can complete your survey without using a computer.

The employer survey could take up to 45 minutes depending on the size of your organization. This year, we implemented several changes to make this process easier by adding a Table of Contents. Should you choose to invite multiple team members in your management team to add content about your organization, the Table of Contents will allow them to do this easily.

The workforce survey will take from 15 to 25 minutes to complete depending on your unique situation. We recognize that answering surveys is time consuming and so we try to limit the questions to only those necessary.

We appreciate the effort every respondent puts in to supporting the evaluation and have prepared thank you gifts and a draw prize as incentives for the surveys.

Yes please! Due to privacy regulations, when you answer a survey the answers can only be used and shared exactly as described in the survey introduction. In other words – we don’t have access to your responses from other surveys. We need to hear directly from you, and we really want to hear from everyone.

This year, if you are an owner / operator of a child care workplace where other child care workers are employed, you will be asked to fill out the Employer Survey as well as the Workforce Survey. Also, if you think you may have completed a survey but you are not sure, please complete it (again) now. If needed, SRDC can find and remove duplicates.

Yes please! We need to know how things have changed in the last year. (And we will be asking again in 2021!)

The Evaluation

ECEBC has selected SRDC to produce and deliver the evaluation. SRDC has developed the evaluation plan in collaboration with a Steering Committee of early care and learning sector representatives. Funding is provided by the Province and the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

Read the press release announcing the evaluation project.

The evaluation project is designed to measure the impacts of the ECL R&R Strategy on BC's child care workforce. It will measure both the direct and indirect effects of the Strategy on the sector over time. Specifically, we will be looking to see if there are changes related to:

  • An adequate supply of ECEs and other child care staff with relevant knowledge and credentials entering the workforce;
  • Worker satisfaction and views on appropriateness of compensation;
  • Employment stability: the long-term engagement of ECEs and others in the workforce;
  • Participation in professional development activities;
  • How education, training, and professional development are supporting the workforce to hold the skills, knowledge and abilities required to provide quality services to children and families;
  • How career pathways provide opportunities for career growth and development within the sector;
  • The public’s confidence in the professionalism and accountability of early care and learning professionals through rigorous standards and oversight.

Individuals are not being evaluated by this project. The project is evaluating the impacts of the government’s ECL R&R strategy. SRDC will not share specific information that you provide in the survey with anyone. Results will be anonymous and aggregated across groups in the child care workforce. SRDC needs to gather information and views from as many members of the child care workforce as possible. Only by doing this can SRDC make sure the evaluation is accurate and reliable.

Your child care program is not being evaluated by this project. The project is evaluating the impacts of the government’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy. Part of this evaluation requires us learning how the strategy is affecting different child care programs throughout the province. We do this, in part, through the surveys. We will not ask for personal information from you, your colleagues, or your staff. The researchers at SRDC will never share specific information about your child care program or any identifying information.

Information Storage, Usage & Results

SRDC is collecting data from many sources, including the surveys from members of the child care workforce. This information will help in evaluating the impact of the ECL R&R Strategy. The summary findings of the project will be shared with the government and the public. The first (benchmarking) report can be found on ECEBC’s website.

Each time SRDC collects data it provides an informed consent process. It describes how data will be collected, stored and used. It provides a toll-free helpline and email support to ask further questions. It handles and stores participant data appropriately and securely within Canada. Its practices comply with privacy principles and requirements of federal and provincial legislation and Treasury Board policies. It holds Facility Security Clearance at the Secret level and Document Safeguarding Capability up to the Protected B level. SRDC’s clearance was renewed in 2009 indefinitely. SRDC has been subject to several external data and security audits over the years and met requirements on each occasion.

Results from the surveys are analyzed along with other data and form annual reports. The first report was published in the summer of 2020 and gives a benchmark for future changes. The Benchmarking report, webinar, and questions are found on this (www.ecebc.ca) web page, above the survey FAQs.

Background Information & Resources

British Columbia is making a $136m investment in an Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy (ECL R&R Strategy) for the province’s Early Care and Learning sector. The ECL R&R Strategy is part of a larger ten-year plan (“Childcare BC”) to increase the quality, affordability and availability of child care spaces in British Columbia.

Learn more about the ECL R&R strategy.

The ECE Education Support Fund provided bursaries to support the post-secondary education of individuals working, or wishing to work, in the Early Care and Learning (ECL) sector in BC.

Bursaries were provided through two separate streams: the ECE Student Bursary and the ECE Workforce Development Bursary Fund.

Due to a higher than expected number of applications, the ECE Education Support Fund’s budget is now fully expended.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is currently working with ECEBC to evaluate the impact of the ECE Education Support Fund on increasing the quantity and skill level of ECE professionals working in BC. The outcome of this evaluation will help determine next steps for the Fund, and other training and professional development supports for Early Care and Learning professionals throughout the province.

Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) working in eligible facilities can receive a wage enhancement. An eligible facility is a licensed child care program receiving Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF).

There were two $1 an hour top ups, bringing the total wage enhancement to $2 per hour.

Learn more about the wage enhancement program.

The Stakeholders & Their Roles

Funding is provided by the Province and the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The Sector Labour Market Partnerships program helps sectors understand and respond to labour market changes and supports collaborative partnerships for long-term, strategic, and sustainable solutions to workforce challenges.

ECEBC is responsible for the evaluation. ECEBC has selected SRDC as its subcontractor to produce and deliver the evaluation. ECEBC coordinates SRDC's work with that of a sector steering committee. The committee includes representatives from 20+ child care organizations from across the province. ECEBC and the steering committee provide feedback and approve the evaluation activities SRDC undertakes.

SRDC is a non-profit research organization with offices in Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Montreal. ECEBC contracted SRDC to produce and deliver the evaluation. SRDC has worked with ECEBC and the sector committee to plan the evaluation. The plan is to determine how the ECL R&R strategy impacts the child care sector between 2019 and 2022. SRDC designs, seeks feedback, and implements how data is collected for the evaluation. It undertakes analysis and reports to the sector steering committee on its activities and findings. SRDC’s work enables the sector to provide informed feedback and gather evidence regarding the impacts of the ECL R&R strategy.

Labour Market Latest News

Visit the posts below for the latest updates on the Labour Market Sector Initiative.

The Next Early Care & Learning Workforce Survey

Aug 21, 2020

The next Early Care & Learning Workforce survey will be available this fall. If you are interested, please sign up to participate in the survey and an invitation will be sent when the survey is available.