Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement
As part of Government's Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, front-line Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) working in licensed child care facilities may be eligible to receive a $2 per hour wage enhancement. Additional funding for statutory benefits is also provided at a rate of 19% (effective Jan 1, 2021).
Participation in the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement (ECE-WE) is optional, and child care providers can apply at any time.
Parents and child care staff can contact the Child Care Service Centre for information about a facility’s ECE-WE application.
Front-line ECEs, including those who are also owner/operators of a licensed child care facility, are eligible for the wage enhancement if they are directly employed by a licensed child care facility that meets the child care provider requirements above.
Review the full eligibility requirements:
- 2021/22 ECE-WE Funding Guidelines (effective April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022)
Providers approved to participate in the ECE-WE are required to:
- Notify their eligible ECEs and collect a written acknowledgement.
- Distribute the wage enhancement and the applicable funding for statutory benefits to eligible ECEs.
- Remain enrolled for the duration of the funding term.
Employer Health Tax
The Employer Health Tax (EHT) is an annual tax that applies to employers with B.C. remuneration greater than $500,000 (non-profit and charitable employers with remuneration greater than $1,500,000) as of January 2019. Child care providers may be eligible for reimbursement of any EHT they pay as a result of receiving the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement (ECE-WE).
This reimbursement ensures that the amount of EHT paid by providers does not change due to their participation in the ECE-WE.
Applications for reimbursement for the 2019 tax year are now closed. Applications for the 2020 tax year will be available in 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
The intent of the “front-line” requirement is to ensure the ECE-WE is being provided to ECEs whose primary responsibility/function is providing direct care/supervision to children in an eligible licensed child care facility.
If, on average, an ECE spends 50% of their time – on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis – providing direct care/supervision to children, they qualify for the ECE-WE.
Eligible ECEs receive the $2/hour Wage Enhancement (plus applicable Mandatory Statutory Benefits) for all hours worked for an eligible child care facility. This includes administrative time up to a monthly maximum of 195 hours. Administrative time is hours of work paid for by the employer and could include activities such as:
- The owner/manager of a facility asking an ECE staff member to leave the premises to pick up child care related supplies
- Performing administrative or preparation duties on- or off-site, in relation to the direct care of children
- Attending meetings on behalf of the program/facility
In order to practice in B.C., ECEs must hold a valid certificate issued by the Director of the BC ECE Registry under Division 2 of Part 3 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation. ECEs that don't hold a valid certificate are not qualified to be employed in a licensed child care facility as an educator, and are therefore also not eligible to receive the ECE-WE.
It is the ECE's responsibility to ensure their certification has not expired, and the organization's responsibility to verify their staff's ECE certification is valid. To verify an ECE Certificate and ensure ECE staff meet these criteria, the facility/organization can use the ECE Registry online Certificate Validation tool.
In order to provide sufficient time for processing and review, ECEs are encouraged to submit their renewal applications to the ECE Registry at least 4-6 weeks in advance of expiry.