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The importance of retention in the ELCC workforce has been consistently and repeatedly documented.

In the research conducted by the now dissolved Child Care Human Resources Sector Council (CCHRSC) in 2009 Christine McLean, currently Associate Professor and CYS Department Chair at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia, stated, “This is not about just putting people in positions, but about putting the right people in the positions. Without a strong workforce, child care quality is affected and without child care quality child development outcomes are affected. The more trained early childhood educators we have, the better the quality and the better the child development outcomes.” (Click here to read that article.) The CCHRSC conducted a study that identified, in 2009, “There are two major conundrums in the ECEC labour market: Why are wages low? & Why have they not increased along with demand?” (Click here to read the study.)

An American study, “It Matters: Early Childhood Mental Health, Educator Stress, and Burnout,” reviews the systemic challenges in ELCC settings, such as high child-teacher ratios, stressful environments, heavy workloads, low pay, and limited advancement opportunities and how these stressors contribute to lower job satisfaction and high turnover rates among ECEs. This not only impacts ECEs, it also impacts the children under their care. This study details how ECEs encounter young children with exceptionalities who may require specialised behavioural guidance techniques, as well as mental health support regularly in their work and their ability to respond effectively has lasting impacts on each individual child and on the collective functioning of our communities. In addition, an ECE’s ability to feel confident about supporting children in this way impacts the mental wellness and workplace satisfaction of ECEs. The research points to the necessity of a focus on the well-being of ECEs to enhance workforce retention as well as the quality of the programming in the ELCC environments.

The retention of qualified ECEs in the ELCC sector is not just important for the ECEs and the children in their care at that time. As this study says, “Confronting the concerns that impact ECEs and the children in their care has far reaching impacts that are beneficial to society.”

Click here to read the full study.

The now dissolved Child Care Human Resources Sector Council (CCHRSC) did some research on employee retention from an HR perspective. To review details about how to retain ECEs based on this research, click here.

Interested in learning more about the importance of early learning and child care? Click here and click here!

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