AHS ECE Wage Enhancement Equivalent (AHS ECE-WEE) Announcement For 2023-2024
For EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS who work in Aboriginal Head Start Programs in BC funded through AHSABC.
1. Round 2 & 3 AHS ECE WEE:
The Growing AHS in BC agreement between AHSABC and the Province recognizes the delivery of quality early learning depends on ECEs and as such ECEs in AHS programs must be well educated, respected, and fairly compensated. Compensation for qualified ECE personnel in AHS programs currently starts at a minimum of $26 per hour, plus benefits.
Recruiting and retaining a skilled, knowledgeable Early Childhood Educator (ECE) workforce is a key factor in implementing the ChildCareBC and Growing AHS in BC Plan. Improving the recruitment and retention of ECEs contributes to enhancing the overall quality of Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) programs throughout British Columbia, ensuring that more Indigenous children and families have access to quality AHS child care in their community.
The AHS ECE Wage Enhancement Equivalent (AHS ECE-WEE) and has been approved to continue for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year. AHSABC will administer the AHS ECE WEE in 2 Installments:
ROUND 2: For April – September 2023 at $4 / hour for eligible AHS ECE employees.
ROUND 3: For October – November 2023 at $4 / hour and December 2023 - March 2024 at $6 / hour in alignment with the Province’s Oct 30th, 2023, announcement for wage enhancement. Increased wages recognize early childhood educators’ vital role Note: A ROUND 3: Application package will be shared in January 2024 representing updated terms and conditions.
2. Who is Eligible?
The AHS ECE-WEE is dependent upon the following 2 factors:
Eligibility of the Organization as a fully funded Growing AHS in BC Child Care Centre with AHSABC, signified by having a current Contribution Agreement between AHSABC and themselves; and
Eligibility as current AHS ECE Employees of the Organization, who were employed during the period of April – September 2023.
Organizations must currently be receiving AHS Operating funds from AHSABC in order to receive the AHS ECE-WEE. Organizations must apply on behalf of their eligible AHS ECE Employees.
AHS ECE Eligibility:
To be eligible, AHS ECEs must:
Hold a valid Early Childhood Educator, Infant and Toddler Educator, and/or Special Needs Educator certificate issued by the BC ECE Registry, which has not expired, been suspended, or cancelled, for the time period being compensated for, and include copies of certification for each eligible ECE.
Be in Good Standing with the BC ECE Registry.
Be an AHS ECE Employee who is directly employed on a full-time, part-time or substitute basis by an eligible Organization, from April 2023 up to September 2023.
Continue to be employed as an ECE and working in the same AHS program.
Be an AHS ECE working as an Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) Worker who is directly employed by an eligible Organization and has qualifying employment hours in the AHSABC funded AHS program during the noted time period.
Staff that are ineligible to receive the AHS ECE-WEE include individuals who do not hold active ECE certification issued by the BC ECE Registry and/or who are not directly employed by a fully funded Growing AHS in BC Child Care Centre with AHSABC. Ineligible individuals include, but are not limited to:
ECEs working as Supported Child Development Consultants.
SCD/ASCD Workers who are employed and paid by SCD/ASCD programs directly and assigned or deployed to the Licensed AHS Child Care Facility.
Volunteer (unpaid) staff.
ECEs who are employed as independent contractors.
Other non-ECE staff.
3. AHS ECE-WEE Administration Compensation:
AHSABC recognizes that this AHS ECE-WEE funding requires additional administration time and commitment that is not part of our regular reporting requirements and uses organization resources that were not planned and committed. Therefore, administrative compensation is allowable for 5% of the total payable AHS ECE-WEE calculation. The AHS ECE-WEE Calculator Tool is formatted to populate the eligible 5% administration.
4. Statutory Benefits Funding:
The AHS ECE-WEE includes statutory benefits funding and the AHS ECE portion of the statutory benefits funding to you in the total amount of 19.56% for all ECE wage top up funding in this application. The AHS ECE-WEE Calculator Tool is formatted to populate the eligible benefits.
The organization / employer portion of the benefit funding, includes:
CPP funded at 5.95%
EI funded at 2.28%
WCB funded at 1.46%
The ECE Employee portion of the statutory benefit funding payable to the ECE Employee includes:
Vacation Pay funded at 5%
Statutory Holiday Pay funded at 4%
5. Round 2 - Additional AHS ECE-WEE messages:
AHSABC recognizes that ECE Assistants and all Early Care and Learning Professionals are important to the sector and support the overall provision of quality care. At this time, however, eligibility for the AHS ECE-WEE is limited to certified ECEs.
The purpose of targeting this AHS ECE-WEE to certified AHS ECEs is to encourage more individuals to obtain their ECE certification.
The intent of the AHS ECE-WEE is to support ECEs working in fully funded Growing AHS in BC Child Care Centres with AHSABC.
Eligible Organizations that choose to employ a higher number of ECEs than what is required under the Child Care Licensing Regulation are eligible to report hours worked by all ECEs currently employed at the AHS throughout the identified time period, regardless of staffing ratio.
Eligible Organizations that employ unionized AHS ECEs may be eligible, provided they have reached a local agreement with their union to amend their collective agreements to implement the AHS ECE-WEE.
This AHS ECE-WEE will help support wage parity with ECEs elsewhere in BC.
The AHS ECE-WEE payment to the organizations includes an allowance for employee benefits.
The AHS ECE-WEE cannot be used to replace wages or scheduled wage increases, nor can it be reduced to less than $4 per hour.
The AHS ECE-WEE must be shown as having been paid directly to eligible staff, should an audit of the program be required.
All funds will go towards eligible AHS ECEs based on actual hours worked (not including holidays, sick leave, or other leave types) at the approved rate of $4 per hour.
ROUND 3: Additional Messaging, Terms and Conditions will come in January 2024.
6. How to apply for the AHS ECE-WEE Funding for your Early Childhood Educators in your fully funded AHS Child Care Centre with AHSABC:
Complete the AHS ECE-WEE Application for April – September 2023.
Complete the AHS ECE-WEE Calculator Excel Form for each eligible employee.
Provide each eligible AHS ECE with the Employee Acknowledgement forms for review and signing.
Send in all forms and supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org before November 30, 2023.
7. Important Dates & Timeline:
Deadline to apply for the AHS ECE-WEE is November 30, 2023.
Review of applications will happen as they are received at the AHSABC office.
Approved applications will be processed weekly.
8. More Information:
Reach out to your AHSABC Advisor for more information and support in completing your application.