May 20th is Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, child care providers continue to feel the strain of labour shortages

·3 min read
YMCA of Northern Alberta
YMCA of Northern Alberta

EDMONTON, Alberta and FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta and GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alberta, May 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day on May 20th, many child care providers are looking to the province to develop a workforce strategy to help with the labour shortages felt by the sector across the province. Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day will commemorate the important work that early childhood educators do for the future leaders of our communities, at a time when they have proven to be more valuable than ever.

During the first five years of their lives, children’s brains develop connections faster than they ever will again, building the foundation of health, wellbeing, learning and behaviour that will set them up for life. Early childhood educators play a major role in their lives during this critical time — and with recent labour shortages in the child care sector, coupled with the challenges presented by the pandemic, early childhood educators have more than shown their worth.

“Early childhood educators build strong relationships with parents, they support children’s learning, and they help children develop to their fullest potential and navigate the world around them,” says Carolyn Parkes, a spokesperson for the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA). “Even in extremely challenging times, early childhood educators work diligently to provide high-quality early learning and child care to Alberta’s children and families.”

YMCA of Northern Alberta, Western Canada’s largest nonprofit child care provider, identifies with that sentiment. “Despite being short-staffed at times, and dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, our educators have done a truly remarkable job creating a safe and stable environment where our littlest citizens can learn, grow and truly thrive,” says Annalise Yuzda, Vice President of Child Care Services at the YMCA.

The AECEA says that a workforce strategy from the province is vital to stabilize the workforce in the sector and meet the demand of qualified educators. “We need a strategy that works for all early childhood educators to become well-qualified, well-compensated, respected as professionals, valued for their important work, and supported in providing high-quality care for Alberta’s children and families,” Parkes explains.

The YMCA knows how true that is. “We deeply value our educators and know how vital they are to the foundation of our province’s future,” Yuzda says, adding, “and we are always hiring into this rewarding career at the Y.”

About YMCA of Northern Alberta

YMCA of Northern Alberta is a registered charity dedicated to building healthy communities since 1907. From providing quality child care and supporting people in their health and wellness, to providing important housing and community outreach programs, the YMCA of Northern Alberta works to strengthen communities in the Wood Buffalo, Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Red Deer regions. For more information, visit


Deanna Barker

Carolyn Parkes

Manager, Marketing & Communications

Communications and Public Relations

YMCA of Northern Alberta

Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta



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