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The Burnout Crisis: A Call to Invest in ECE and Child and Youth Workers  

Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and Child and Youth Workers are vital to the success of the economy. However, their work is grossly undervalued as evidenced by stagnant wages and chronic underinvestment in what is an essential part of our social safety net. CMHA National has partnered with BGC, the Canadian Child Care Federation and YWCA Canada to produce a report looking at burnout among ECEs and Child and Youth Workers. 

Approximately 50% of ECEs leave the field within the first 5 years[1]. According to participants in our report, while many want to come into the field, a lack of funding means employers pay low hourly wages and are unable to offer sufficient hours. This leads to high turnover rates and staffing shortages. Participants spoke about feeling guilty for taking days off because of the impact it would have on their coworkers, who are already overworked and stretched, and risking burnout.   

COVID-19 has taken an enormous mental health toll on Canadians, including ECE and youth workers. Burnout among frontline workers has a lasting impact on the quality of care for children and youth 

We are advocating for increased funding for community-based mental health services and support delivered to frontline child and youth workers. By improving mental health support, we can provide significant returns to the economy, while also supporting children’s development.