Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize early childhood educators week and honour the thousands of ECEs from coast to coast.
Every day, ECEs perform some of the most crucial work in our communities. We all know that the first few years of a child’s development are the most important, and ECEs help ensure that our little ones get the best possible start in life.
However, ECEs, 98% of whom are women, are not compensated fairly for their labour. In fact, a quarter of them work second jobs to supplement their low income. Years ago, I worked as an ECE. I loved the job, but the low pay and lack of benefits resulted in me leaving this noble profession.
As $10-a-day child care is implemented across Canada, we must make raising ECE wages and providing ECEs with good benefits, including pensions, a priority. This week, let us do more than just thank ECEs; let us ensure they are paid fairly for the work they do.