5.7 Workplace Health and Wellness Benefits

Employees may want to inquire about health and wellness benefits they can receive when accepting an offer of employment in an early years setting. Workplace insurance, short and long term disability benefits, prescription allowances, dental care benefits, pension plans, and paramedical services may be part of employment packages. Typically there is a probationary period to complete before being eligible for health and wellness benefits.

Many early years employers offer professional learning allowances to help grow capacity and to support RECEs in maintaining their CPL requirements with the College of Early Childhood Educators. Professional learning may take place internally with a dedicated plan for pedagogical growth or employees may be eligible to receive funding for learning opportunities and paid time off to attend professional learning sessions. Tuition allowances might also be part of a hiring package. Under the new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program, Ontario now funds the equivalent of two paid professional learning days for each licensed home child care provider and employees working in licensed child care centres, family centres, and Early ON centres (OME, 2022).

Another benefit offered by licensed child care agencies may be the provision of discounted child care fees for employees’ children. These reductions in fees often range from 10 – 25%. Child care fee discounts may be slowly eliminated under the new CWELCC program as fees are slowly being reduced to $10 per day.

Early years organizations have attendance management and disability policies that outline the amount of time each employee is entitled to for sick days, health and wellness days, and bereavement days. Vacation policies are also outlined during the hiring and orientation process. All employees are entitled to 10 working days off after one year of employment according to the Employment Standards Act (2023). Employees can determine if the health and wellness policies at an organization are a good fit for their lifestyles.

Follow the link for more information about the Employment Standards Act:

As students complete their early childhood education programs and become registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators they begin seeking employment with early years employers, if they haven’t already gained employment in the profession. Many positions are available, allowing new graduates the opportunity to find a good fit in employment that matches their professional and personal philosophies in care work with children and families. Health and wellness in the workplace are essential for retention in employment.


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Holistic Care and Wellness in Early Years Settings Copyright © 2023 by Barbara Jackson and Sheryl Third is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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