Media Release:

Celebrating Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day

October 13, 2023 – The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) encourages the community to recognize the 23rd annual Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day on Tuesday October 17, 2023.

CCW & ECE Appreciation Day is an opportunity to show appreciation for the heroes in early learning who work tirelessly to support children’s wellbeing and engagement every day.

To quote Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, How Does Learning Happen:

Educators are competent and capable, curious, and rich in experience. They are knowledgeable, caring, reflective, and resourceful professionals. They bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. They collaborate with others to create engaging environments and experiences to foster children’s learning and development.

TBDSSAB values and appreciates the hard work and dedication of child care workers and early childhood educators across the District of Thunder Bay. The significant role that educators play in the lives of children and families is not to be underestimated. Educators go beyond simply caring for young children by teaching and guiding future generations. Their commitment to children and families is essential to the success of our community as a whole.

The child care and early years sector has been particularly hard hit by staffing shortages in the last few years. Between educators retiring or leaving the field for other career paths, there are simply not enough staff to meet the growing demand for child care spaces. Without enough staff, our child care system has been unable to operate at full capacity. Without enough staff, families who would otherwise qualify for the lower fees promised via Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (CWELCC) are left without hope of getting off the child care waitlist anytime soon.

As service system manager for Child Care and Early Years, TBDSSAB is working with community partners to try to address the shortages of qualified educators in our district. In partnership with Confederation College, future educators can access bursaries, free pre-ECE certification, and a fast-track ECE program that honours prior learning experience. Though we are excited about the impact these programs will have on the ECE staffing pool, we recognize that change will not happen overnight. We also recognize that keeping qualified staff in the system is just as important as recruiting new people to the field.

We empathize with the families in our communities who feel the impact of the child care shortage every day. We also stand with the child care workers who continue to show up and are exhausted from carrying the burden of an understaffed system.

Now more than ever, we encourage families, children and community partners to embrace CCW & ECE Appreciation Day with an open heart. Show your appreciation and support for child care workers in a meaningful way. A little bit of kindness and gratitude can go a long way to reminding our educators how important they are to all of us–and how lost we are without them.

To make it easier for families to recognize CCW & ECE Appreciation Day, TBDSSAB has posted free downloads on our website. These resources can be downloaded, printed, or shared electronically with our heroes in early learning on October 17.

For more information, please visit:


“On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you to all the child care professionals across the district for your dedication to the families in our communities. Child care professionals truly are heroes and I admire your tenacity and dedication to preparing our children for a successful future during their early years. Child care workers and early childhood educators are the key to successful communities.”
– Ken Boshcoff, Chair, TBDSSAB

“As a community, we can make sure that this CCW & ECE Appreciation Day is a meaningful occasion for child care professionals across the district. A show of gratitude from the right person could give them the boost they need to stay in the child care sector. CCW & ECE Appreciation Day is an important opportunity to remind our educators how much we value, respect, and rely on their expertise. To all the heroes in early learning, I thank you.”
– Bill Bradica, CAO, TBDSSAB

Quick facts:

  • Number of operators: 22 licensed child care providers with a total of 49 centres; 1 licensed private home child care agency with 6 licensed homes
  • Child care waitlist stats*: 1,718 unique children on wait list
  • Number of spaces in system*: 2,756 spaces
  • Number of spaces filled*: 1,709 spots filled
  • Shortage of ECEs in our system*: 130 educators needed to operate at full capacity of 2,756 spaces (Positions filled: 160 of 290)

*as at May 30, 2023