Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement

As part of Government's Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) working in licensed child care facilities are eligible to receive a $4 per hour wage enhancement. This is the third wage enhancement offered to licensed ECEs since September 2018.

This latest wage enhancement came into effect September 1, 2021 with a retroactive lump sum payment to providers on behalf of ECEs in March 2022.

Additional funding for statutory benefits is also provided at a rate of 19.25% (effective Jan 1, 2022).

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 opt-in status.

Eligibility

To apply, the facility must be approved for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (if eligible). $10 a Day ChildCareBC Centres are also eligible to apply.

All 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:

Apply or Renew 

Once approved

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

Access the following support documents:

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). 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 2020 tax year are now closed. Applications for the 2021 tax year will be available in 2022.

Frequently asked questions

Eligible ECEs receive the Wage Enhancement (plus applicable Mandatory Statutory Benefits) for all hours worked for an eligible child care facility up to a monthly maximum of 195 hours.

For hours worked until March 31, 2022, only front-line ECEs, defined as spending 50% or more of their hours worked providing direct care to children at an eligible child care facility, are eligible for ECE-WE.

For hours worked after March 31, 2022, all ECEs directly employed by an eligible child care facility are eligible for ECE-WE.

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.