Bookmark this page

Child Care and Children's Programs
Child Care Wage Enhancement/Home Child Care Enhancement

2017 Wage Enhancement Information

On Dec. 15, 2016, the Ministry of Education provided direction to the Children's Services Division, as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager responsible for implementing the Wage Enhancement program in Durham Region. The announcement stated that Ontario Wage Enhancement funding for eligible licensed child care staff/home visitors and licensed home child care providers will continue in 2017. To access related background information, please visit the Ministry of Education website.

The Regional Municipality of Durham, Social Services Department, Children's Services Division is dedicated to implementing the 2017 Wage Enhancement program in a manner that offers eligible staff and home child care providers continuity, and supports operators to implement the program.

The Ministry of Education's Wage Enhancement goals and priorities are to:

  • Close the wage gap between RECE wages in the school board and licensed child care sectors.
  • Stabilize licensed child care operators by helping them retain RECEs/child care staff.
  • Support greater employment and income security.
  • Stabilize and transform the existing child care system to increase program reliability for parents, and support consistent, higher quality child care services to support children's learning and development.
  • Support licensed home child care agencies and strengthen the licensed home child care system.

These goal and priorities were essential considerations used to develop the process and expectations set out by the Region of Durham.

Operators must apply for funding in 2017. Operators that participated in the 2016 application process will be able to submit an attestation to have funding based on the 2016 application flow monthly in 2017. The allocations will include salary, benefit, and supplemental and administrative funding. Allocations will be adjusted once the 2017 applications are reviewed and approved.

Note: Application Deadline is February 28, 2017

The Children's Services Division is dedicated to supporting operators through this process. Operators must apply annually to receive this funding. If an operator chooses not to complete the 2017 application process by the February 28 deadline, funding will not be allocated to the eligible positions within the operator's organization.

Please note: Individuals may not apply. Individuals inquiring about their individual Wage Enhancement allocations funding for must submit the Wage Enhancement Inquiry Form.

Information Update

Operator 2017 Wage Enhancement allocations will flow to operators based on their 2016 allocations monthly beginning on Jan. 18, 2017, if the attestation form has been submitted. Once 2017 applications are reviewed the monthly allocations will be modified to reflect the 2017 annual allocation calculation.

Wage enhancement funding agreements and allocation packages will be sent out once the operator application review process is complete.

Wage Enhancement Update (August 2016)

Wage Enhancement Allocation Memo (2016)

Wage Enhancement Memo (2016)

Attestation Form

Application

Operators that participated in the 2016 Wage Enhancement program must complete an attestation form to receive WE payments in 2017 until the 2017 applications are processed and approved.

Durham Wage Enhancement contact information

Licensed child care centres and licensed home child care agencies may seek out support specific to their individual application. Wage enhancement questions should be directed to WageEnhancement@Durham.ca or by telephone 1-800-387-0642 ext. 3782.

The application deadline is February 28, 2017. It is recommended that operators contact the Children's Services Division by February 10 if individual support is required. Applications must be submitted by the deadline.

Complaints and Concerns

Please note: Individuals may not apply. Individuals inquiring about their individual Wage Enhancement allocations funding for must submit the Wage Enhancement Inquiry Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the wage enhancement/home child care enhancement grant initiative?

The 2014 Provincial Budget included an investment of $269 million over three years to support a wage enhancement in the licensed child care sector. The wage enhancement will benefit low-income child care program staff in the sector, help retain Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs), and support access to stable, high-quality child care programs for children in Ontario. The enhancement will also help close the wage gap between Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in full-day kindergarten (FDK) programs, and RECEs/child care professionals in licensed child care settings.

Who is eligible to receive the wage enhancement/home child care enhancement grant initiative? How much is the wage enhancement?

Staff working in eligible, funded positions in 2017 will receive wage enhancement allocations on their payroll from their employer.

Wage Enhancement: Child Care Centre Program Staff and Home Child Care Visitors

Full Wage Enhancement

To be eligible to receive the full 2017 wage enhancement of $2.00 per hour, plus 17.5 per cent in benefits, staff must:

  • Be employed in a licensed child care centre or agency that applies for Wage Enhancement funding.
  • Have an associated base wage, excluding year one's wage enhancement of less than $24.68 per hour (e.g. two dollars below the wage cap of $26.68).
  • Be in a position categorized as a child care supervisor, RECE, home child care visitor, or otherwise counted toward adult-to-child ratios under the Child Care Early Years Act (CCEYA).

Partial Wage Enhancement

Where an eligible centre-based or home visitor position has an associated base wage rate, excluding year one's wage enhancement, between $24.69 and $26.68 per hour, the position is eligible for a partial wage enhancement. The partial wage enhancement will increase the wage of the qualifying position to $26.68 per hour without exceeding the cap.

For example, if an RECE position has a base wage rate excluding years one's wage enhancement of $25.00 per hour, the position would be eligible for wage enhancement of $1.68 per hour.

Staff positions that spend part of the day in ineligible positions and part of the day in a position that support ratios in the child care center may be eligible for wage enhancement funding for the part of the day that is spent covering ratios. The position must spend at least 25 per cent of the time supporting ratio requirements. In this case, the staff would only be eligible for wage enhancement for the hours worked in the eligible position supporting ratio.

Home Child Care Enhancement Grant (HCCEG) - Home Child Care Providers

Full Home Child Care Enhancement Grant

In order to be eligible to receive the full HCCEG of $20 per day, home child care providers must:

  • Hold a contract with a licensed home child care agency.
  • Provide services to one child or more (excluding the provider's own children).
  • Provide full time services on average (six hours or more a day).
  • Receive base daily fees, excluding year one's HCCEG of less than $266.80.

Partial Home Child Care Enhancement Grant

In order to be eligible to receive the partial HCCEG of $10 per day, home child care providers must:

  • Hold a contract with a licensed home child care agency.
  • Provide services to one child or more (excluding provider's own children).
  • Provide part-time services on average (less than six hours a day).
  • Receive base daily fees excluding year one's HCCEG of less than $160.08.

What positions are NOT eligible to receive the wage enhancement/home child care enhancement grant initiative?

Ineligible positions (non-program staff), include:

  • Cook, custodial and other non-program staff positions are not eligible for wage enhancement funding.
  • Special Needs Resourcing-funded resource teachers/consultants and supplemental staff are not eligible for wage enhancement funding.
  • Staff hired through a third party (e.g. temp agency) are not eligible for wage enhancement funding.
  • Staff employed by family support programs are not eligible for wage enhancement funding.

What is the supplemental grant and what can it be used for?

In addition to wage enhancement and HCCEG funding, in 2016, the Ministry of Education will provide a supplemental grant for operators, equal to $150 for each eligible centre-based full time equivalent (FTE) or home visitor FTE, and $50 for each eligible home child care provider. This grant will be automatically calculated on the application forms, based on the information provided by operators.

The supplemental grant must be used to support staff, home visitors and providers' hourly/daily wage or benefits, and provides operators with the flexibility to cover salary shortfalls due to increased hours or staffing, and additional benefits (e.g. additional time in program, new staff or providers, vacation days, sick days, PD days and/or other benefits) once mandatory benefits are covered. Any funding that is not used for these purposes will be recovered.

The Regional Municipality of Durham, Children's Services Division will work with operators to set priorities on how to use the supplemental grant to ensure the all funds not used by Ministry-approved purposes are recovered.

Can a child care operator provide wage enhancement/HCCEG to current eligible positions, or can it only be provided to eligible positions that existed last year?

In 2017, operators have the flexibility to pay wage enhancement/HCCEG to current eligible positions and providers for their hours or days worked in 2017.

Why is the 2016 wage enhancement/HCCEG based on the hours worked in 2016 positions?

As with year one of the wage enhancement/HCCEG initiative, wage enhancement entitlement for operators is based on the hours worked by eligible positions in the previous year. This funding is then used to pay eligible staff for hours worked in 2017.

The HCCEG entitlement for agencies is based on eligible home child care providers' time in a program (part-time or full-time) and days worked in 2016. This funding is then used to make payments to eligible home child care providers for their time in a program in 2017.

Basing the 2017 wage enhancement funding on the hours worked in the previous year will help get the wage enhancement/HCCEG funding to eligible child care professionals sooner.

What if an operator does not apply for the funding?

The operator does not receive an allocation of 2017 wage enhancement. Operators must apply for wage enhancement funding. Individual staff within the organization can not apply for the funding.

Is funding available to operators to support administration costs associated with implementing the wage enhancement initiative?

The Ministry of Education is providing one-time administrative funding in 2017. The Regional Municipality of Durham, Children's Services Division will allocate administrative funding to operators as part of the allocation approval process.

This funding should be prioritized to ensure payroll systems clearly identify wage enhancement payments on individual staff paystubs.

  • Provincial child care wage enhancement
  • Provincial home child care enhancement grant

Are positions that did not receive a paycheque in 2016 eligible for wage enhancement funding?

No. A position must have received compensation through payroll, (that is remitted according to payroll legislation) during the 2016 year to be eligible for wage enhancement funding (e.g. direct deposit or paycheque).

If a staff member begins parental leave in 2017, is (s)he eligible for the wage enhancement?

No. Wage enhancement funding is provided based on positions rather than individual staff. This means funding is allocated by position and is paid to the staff person working the hours in the approved position.

Are positions that received an honorarium in 2016 eligible for wage enhancement funding?

No. A position must have received compensation through payroll, (that is remitted according to payroll legislation) during the 2016 year to be eligible for wage enhancement funding (e.g. Direct deposit, paycheque).

As a child care operator, what impact does wage enhancement have on my historical pay equity obligations?

Wage enhancement funding must be provided in addition to pay equity payments agreed to under the pay equity memorandum of settlement.

Should CMSM/DSSAB funding, such as general operating and pay equity, be included in the hourly wage rate reported through the wage enhancement application form?

Yes. Operators should report the total wage rate being paid to an employee as of Dec. 31, 2016. This includes wages funded by pay equity and general operating funding. For example, if a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) earns $25 per hour as a base wage rate, and then receives $1.50 per hour in pay equity and an additional 50 cents per hour in general operating, the total wage rate is $27 per hour, which means this RECE would not be eligible for the wage enhancement.

What happens if an operator misses the deadline or does not apply for the funding?

Wage enhancement applications must be submitted electronically to WageEnhancementApplication@Durham.ca by the Feb. 28 deadline. If an operator misses the deadline or chooses not to apply for 2017 funding, the positions in the operator's centre or agency will not receive 2017 funding. The operator may apply for 2018 wage enhancement funding.

How will staff know they are receiving the appropriate allocation of wage enhancement funding?

In 2017, operators must pay staff the wage enhancement funding on each pay check or home child care provider transfer payment.

Wage Enhancement must be properly labelled and included in regular payroll. This means that wage enhancement payments will appear on staff T4s and will be remitted for mandatory payroll benefits according to legislative payroll practices.

Operators must clearly identify the portion of funding that is being provided through the wage enhancement/HCCEG on staff pay cheques/home child care provider fee transfers.

  • Provincial child care wage enhancement
  • Provincial home child care enhancement grant

Operators may request an approval from the CMSM to inform staff through a separate letter, if their current payroll systems have limitations with labelling the payments according to the criteria