Retention– Keeping the Right People

The ECEC sector is currently facing turnover and workforce retention issues. The Child Care Human Resources Sector Council’s 2009 report on Understanding and Addressing Workforce Shortages in the ECEC Sector indicates that between 2001 and 2007, there was a cumulative shortage of 24,766 ECEC workers across Canada. The problem of recruitment is directly related to retention. Retention challenges are primarily caused by staff turnover, with close to nine of every 10 new recruits being required to replace existing staff.

In addition, according to the National Graduate Survey included in CCHRSC’s 2004 labour market update study, Working for Change: Canada’s Child Care Workforce, only 55% of ECE students graduating in 1995 were working as child care educators and assistants just two years later. By 2000, the proportion had dropped to 43%. The Labour Market Update (LMU) survey provides similar data.  Only 55% of the ECE students surveyed as part of the labour market update study planned to work in regulated child care in five years. Only about half of focus group participants saw themselves working in child care upon graduation. The others said they would seek work in family child care, as school teachers or in some other capacity with children.

These statistics may be of concern when you consider the talent of the staff in your organization, all that you have invested in them and the organizational knowledge they hold.

In this section of the HR Toolkit, you will find information to assist you as you build an ongoing relationship with staff, ideas about employee retention, as well as the steps you need to take when an employee leaves your organization.

In this Section:

Thank you to the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector for sharing the content of their extensive HR Toolkit. This was a tremendous resource upon which the CCHRSC's ECEC-specific toolkit was built.