ECEBC Logo

Standing Strong Together

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.

Can_BC_LMDA_rgb_pos.png
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 BC Child Care Survey each fall (2019-2021).

Reports

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

This report is the first to capture how the ECL R&R Strategy has impacted the sector over time. The results include multi-year data from administrative sources, the 2019 and 2020 cross-sectional workforce survey, case study interviews and more. These data document the province’s position in 2020 on many of the Key Performance Indicators in the evaluation framework and changes relative to 2019 and earlier. Observations from professionals working in the sector add meaning to these statistics.

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 BC Child Care Survey other than those listed below please email bcchildcaresurvey@srdc.org

British Columbia made a $136 million investment in an Early Care and Learning (ECL) Recruitment and Retention Strategy for the province’s ECL sector. The ECL Recruitment & Retention 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.

Survey Types & Eligibility

The Employer Survey – launched first, in early October – asks questions about the recruitment and retention of ECL professionals. It is intended to be filled in by owners, operators, or directors of child care workplaces where other child care professionals are employed. One survey should be completed per child care workplace.

The Workforce Survey – launched in mid October – asks every professional working in BC’s early care and learning sector about their individual workplace experiences. It is also designed for those who used to or are trained to work in ECL but do not currently work in early care and learning.

All individuals who work in BC’s child care sector (in manager or front-line roles) or who are trained to work in ECL. Child care includes licensed child care, preschool programs, school-aged child care, license not required care, home-based child care, recreational care, and Seamless Day Programs.

StrongStartBC Facilitators, those working in Supported Child Development roles, and others trained to work in ECL but who have left the field are also encouraged to complete the workforce survey. Anyone who is not working in the sector and has never worked in ECL 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, operators, or directors of child care workplaces where other child care professionals 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 October. Employers can also share their survey link with their management team, allowing those staff to assist in filling in the survey.

Self-employed owner/operators who do not employ other ECL professionals will find that the employer survey is not designed for them, and are invited to complete the Workforce 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. Practicum students who are not yet paid to work in child care should not complete the survey.

We want to hear from everyone currently working in child care in BC. If you are currently a 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.

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 October, you should receive an invitation to complete the Employer Survey. Later you should receive an invitation to forward the Workforce Survey to each of your staff. You will also be asked to complete this Workforce Survey yourself.

The Employer Survey should take 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your organization. This process should be made easier by using the Table of Contents within the survey, and by referring to your most recent Provider Profile Survey or Licensing Template. 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.

Survey progress is saved when each new page is loaded; the Employer Survey can be completed across multiple sessions.

The Workforce Survey will take 15-20 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. You can select the option to stop and continue later at any time.

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.

As a thank-you for your time spent completing the Workforce Survey, you will receive access to a free webinar coordinated by ECEBC or a free digital poster download.

Additionally, everyone who completes the Workforce Survey will be entered into a draw to win a $500 gift card to Wintergreen Learning Materials or Strong Nations. All workplaces completing the Employer Survey will be entered into a separate draw for a $500 Wintergreen Learning Materials or Strong Nations gift card. Gift cards will be issued in November.

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

Please call SRDC’s toll free helpline 1-833-298-3016 and leave a message. Include your contact information (name, telephone number) 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.

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.

If you are an owner/operator of a child care workplace where other child care professionals are employed, you will be asked to fill out the Employer Survey as well as the Workforce Survey. If you think you may have completed the survey already 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 future years!). Hearing from you every year helps us understand how the sector is changing over time.

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

  • An adequate supply of ECEs and other child care professionals with relevant knowledge and credentials entering the workforce;
  • Workplace satisfaction and 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 Recruitment & Retention Strategy. SRDC will not share identifying 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. This is the only way to ensure the evaluation is accurate and reliable.

Individual child care programs are not being evaluated by this project. The project is evaluating the impacts of the government’s ECL Recruitment & Retention Strategy. Part of this evaluation requires learning how the strategy is affecting different child care programs throughout the province. We do this, in part, through the surveys. The researchers at SRDC will never share identifying information about you or your child care program.

Information Storage, Usage & Results

SRDC is collecting data from many sources, including the surveys from members of the child care workforce. These data will help in evaluating the impact of the ECL Recruitment & Retention Strategy. The summary findings of the project will be shared with the government and the public. All current reports can be found on this (ecebc.ca) webpage, above the survey FAQs.

SRDC handles and stores participant data appropriately and securely within Canada. Only authorized SRDC staff and contractors have access to SRDC’s corporate network infrastructure, and permission to access individual files is granted based on a need-to-know basis. The survey platforms being used for this project (Voxco and Qualtrics) are compliant with all privacy protection legislation in Canada.

Each time SRDC collects data it provides an informed consent process. This process describes how data will be collected, stored, and used. SRDC provides a toll-free helpline and email support to answer further questions. 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. Reports are found on this (www.ecebc.ca) web page, above the survey FAQs.

Background Information & Resources

The ECE Education Support Fund provides bursaries to support the post-secondary education of individuals working, or wishing to work, in the early care and learning sector in BC.

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

Although initial investments were expended due to high enrolment, new funding for this program occurs periodically; for information on the current status, please view the Education Support Fund webpage.

Early Childhood Educators working in eligible facilities can receive a wage enhancement of $4 per hour. An eligible facility is a licensed child care program receiving Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF). More details on who is/isn’t eligible are listed on the government’s Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement webpage.

The Stakeholders & Their Roles

Funding is provided by the Province of BC 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 across Canada. 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 Recruitment & Retention Strategy impacts the child care sector between 2019 and 2024. 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 Recruitment & Retention Strategy.

Labour Market Latest News

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

BC Child Care Workforce Survey Now Available!

Nov 2, 2020

Latest Update: The Workforce survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who particpated.

You are invited to complete this year’s BC Child Care Workforce Survey – open to anyone who is part of the ECL sector in BC. We look forward to getting your feedback on how the BC government’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Strategy has impacted you including your working conditions in the COVID-19 era.

The Next BC Child Care Workforce Survey

Aug 21, 2020

Update Dec. 2020: The BC Child Care Workforce Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who particpated.

Update Nov. 2020: The BC Child Care Workforce Survey is now available. Find out more.

The next BC Child Care 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.