Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care, has released the following statement for Child Care Provider Appreciation Day in B.C.:
“I want to celebrate and honour all of B.C.’s child care professionals for the work you do caring for and providing access to early learning opportunities for our children. I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, sacrifice and dedication.
“Child care providers are the workforce behind the workforce and the heart of child care. You are skilled professionals who care for children at the most important time of their lives, and we can’t deliver child care without you. You are key to families, children, communities and the economy.
“You enabled parents who are health-care workers to continue working throughout the pandemic – you kept our communities safe and the economy running by caring for our children. I know it’s been a challenging two years and many of you are exhausted. On behalf of all B.C. families, we appreciate you and your extraordinary efforts.
“Early childhood educators and child care professionals are the first step in shaping the minds of the next generation. You keep kids safe while helping them develop the critical thinking, communication and social skills they need to succeed. You are doing so when the world is facing a pandemic, climate change, systemic racism, war and poverty. Your contributions have the potential to transform and change our collective futures for the better.
“You do all of this while building meaningful relationships with the children and their families and communities, all while ensuring culturally safe environments. But I know that for too long your skills weren’t appreciated or properly compensated.
“Investing in child care professionals is investing in children, families and communities. We recognize the important role early childhood educators play in caring for children, and we’re taking steps to ensure you are well supported through enhanced wages, bursaries and professional development opportunities. We know there is more work to do, and we are committed to developing a wage grid that reflects your expertise and the value you provide to our communities. With these supports and more to come, there has never been a better time to explore early childhood education as an in-demand and rewarding career.
“As we recognize Child Care Provider Appreciation Day in B.C., thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to fulfil our ChildCareBC vision of making affordable child care a core service that all families can depend on.”