Simcoe County Warden Statement regarding Provincial Child Care Workforce Strategy
Midhurst/November 20, 2023 – Our Child Care sector is extremely important to our families, our economy and the health, wellbeing, and development of our youth. Last week, we were informed about the Ontario Government’s comprehensive Child Care Workforce Strategy and its investment in Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) across Ontario and here in Simcoe County. We were pleased to see that this strategy is comprehensive and is well-funded to provide increased wages and additional support for the recruitment of high quality, qualified Early Childhood Educators across the province.
We thank the Province for increasing the starting wage of over 650 RECEs in Simcoe County, employed by Child Care operators enrolled in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, to $23.86/hour in 2024 from the planned $20 per hour. This wage enhancement builds on actions taken by the province through the introduction in 2022 of a new wage floor for RECEs working in settings participating in the CWELCC system, which includes annual $1 per hour wage increases beginning in 2023.
The increased salaries will help recruit new RECEs and support staff retention. As labour shortages have been a challenge in this important sector, this increased funding will ensure wages more closely align with industry standards and hopefully support recruitment efforts. The hiring of more RECEs will also support the County’s goals as we continue building up licenced child care in our region by creating over 3,000 new child care spaces.
Earlier this fall, County of Simcoe Council took significant action to building up futures through the approval of the region’s new Early Learning and Child Care Directed Growth Strategy, a five-point plan that creates spaces, increases affordability, and builds knowledge of the positive impacts that a strengthened early learning and Child Care system will have in our communities.
I’m pleased that both the County and the Province continue to invest in new strategies and supports for this important sector to assist workers, families and our economy.
County of Simcoe Paramedic Services Food and Toy Drive Returns for 21st year
County of Simcoe Administration Centre, 1110 Highway 26 in Midhurst between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and at the following County of Simcoe Paramedic Stations, where outdoor drop boxes are available:
- Alliston – 6933 Industrial Parkway, Alliston
- Angus – 1 Tree Top Street, Angus
- Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus – 110 Fairview Drive, Barrie
- Barrie North – 667 Bayfield Street, Barrie
- Barrie Tiffin – 113 Tiffin Street, Barrie
- Beeton – 51 Main Street East, Beeton
- Bradford – 170 Artesian Industrial Parkway, Units 6 & 7, Bradford
- Coldwater – 1 Firehall Lane, Coldwater
- Collingwood – 169 St. Paul Street, Collingwood
- Craighurst – 2298 Horseshoe Valley Road, Oro-Medonte
- Elmvale – 17 Allenwood Road, Elmvale
- Midland – 395 Cranston Crescent, Midland
- Orillia – 68 West Street, Orillia
- Penetanguishene – 10 Robert Street West, Penetanguishene
- Stayner – 6993 Highway 26, Stayner
- Stroud – 2394 Victoria Street West, Stroud
- Wasaga Beach – 23 Oxbow Park Road, Wasaga Beach
- Washago – 401 Anchor Drive, Severn
In addition to the above, many locations across the county will also be accepting donations and pop-up collection points may be in a community near you, including the following:
Friday, November 17, 2023
- Collingwood Walmart ~ 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
- Collingwood Walmart ~ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Collingwood Santa Claus Parade ~ 5 p.m.
- Bradford West Gwillimbury Santa Claus Parade ~ 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- Barrie Santa Claus Parade ~ 4 to 8 p.m.
- Orillia Santa Claus Parade ~ 5 to 7 p.m.
For an up-to-date list, visit simcoe.ca/toydrive.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.