Enhancement (ECE-WE) - FAQs
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Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement (ECE-WE) – FAQs Updated: July 18, 2019 Contents What’s new for 2019/20 ........................................................................................................................... 1 ECE Wage Enhancement Overview........................................................................................................... 1 Eligibility .................................................................................................................................................... 4 Organization/Facility Eligibility ............................................................................................................. 4 ECE Staff Eligibility ................................................................................................................................. 5 ECE Employees in Unionized Facilities .................................................................................................. 7 Application Process ................................................................................................................................... 7 Funding and Payments.............................................................................................................................. 7 Retroactive Period ................................................................................................................................. 10 Reporting Requirements and Process .....................................................................................................11 What’s new for 2019/20 The Ministry of Children and Family Development has made the following changes to the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement for 2019/20: • The statutory benefits funding on each ECE-WE dollar paid for mandatory benefits has increased to 18.57%, to better reflect the actual costs for providers. This benefit will be adjusted again in January 2020 to 18.85% due to changes in tax rates effective Jan. 1, 2020. • The ministry may now share high-level information about a provider’s ECE-WE status with parents or staff when they contact the ministry to inquire, including: o The status and date of a facility’s application. o The high-level reason why the provider was approved or not approved for the ECE-WE. • Policies around overtime pay, statutory benefits funding, and assessment of organizations with multiple facilities have been clarified. ECE Wage Enhancement Overview 1. What is the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement (ECE-WE)? The Province provided a wage enhancement of $1 per hour to eligible front-line Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) effective January 2019, and retroactive to September 1, 2018. An additional $1 per hour increase will come into effect in April 2020, for a total of $2 per hour by Year 3 of the Childcare BC plan. This wage enhancement is for eligible ECEs, who provide direct care to children in eligible licensed child care facilities that have opted in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative [CCFRI] if eligible to do so, OR are approved as a Childcare BC Universal Prototype Site1, and is intended to 1 Facilities that are ineligible for the CCFRI may still be able to participate in the ECE-WE. Please refer to the ECE- WE Funding Guidelines for more information. In most circumstances, Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites are also eligible for the ECE-WE.
support the recruitment and retention of ECEs. Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information on the program, including ECE and facility eligibility criteria. 2. How did you come up with the dollar amount? And the eligibility criteria? Child care providers throughout the province have told Government that compensation is the main reason why they are struggling to find qualified staff. Yet child care providers are unable to offer higher wages for staff without passing this cost on to parents in the form of fee increases. To help address this issue, the Ministry is supporting a $2 per hour wage increase by Year 3 of the Childcare BC plan in order to help retain current ECEs working in the sector and recruit new professionals to the field. Much of the ECE-WE and the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines, including eligibility criteria and implementation processes, were developed through consultation with a cross-section of licensed child care providers, including for-profit and non-profit organizations, Family and Group providers (including In-Home-Multi-Age care providers), representing urban and rural communities across the province. 3. Why is Government only offering a total $2 per hour increase between September 2018 and April 2020 when other jurisdictions are offering higher levels of wage support for ECEs? Government recognizes this wage enhancement for ECEs is a starting point in responding to the issues facing the early care and learning sector in B.C. To put this investment into perspective, every dollar an hour added to wages costs taxpayers roughly $21 million per year. The wage enhancement is part of a $136 million investment over three years to better support the sector and improve the quality of B.C.’s child care system. Provincial funding under Budget 2018 also went to support the recruitment and retention of ECEs and other child care staff through other mechanisms. For example, under the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is funding more seats in public post- secondary ECE programs to increase the number of certified ECEs entering the workforce. In addition, federal investments of $16.3 million through the Province’s Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada is providing increased support for education and professional development, including expanded access to bursaries and other supports. 4. Why are you not improving access to benefits for ECEs, many of whom don’t receive benefits through their employer? This initial strategy focuses on delivering wage enhancements and improving access to training for the child care sector, and includes the provision of 18.57 cents for every dollar of ECE-WE in additional funding to organizations. This 18.57% offsets increases to statutory benefits resulting from the wage enhancement (e.g. CPP, EI, statutory vacation, etc.) for the 2019 taxation year, and increases to these rates for 2020 and 2021 will be addressed before the start of the new calendar year. The issues that the child care sector is facing cannot be fixed overnight. Government is taking action to address the challenges of compensation, as well as access to educational and professional development opportunities. There’s more to do – the new Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy is a positive step forward in supporting ECEs and giving them the recognition they deserve. 2 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
5. Why are you flowing the funding through providers, rather than directly to the ECEs? This increases the amount of reporting my facility has to complete. ECE-WE funds flow through providers because the Ministry holds a contractual, legal relationship with organizations in receipt of Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF), which ensures the funds are allocated in an accountable, consistent manner. As well, employer involvement would still be required even if the funding were to flow directly to ECEs, because organizations would still need to confirm ECEs’ employment status, certification, eligible hours worked, and other key facts. 6. Is participation in the ECE-WE mandatory for providers in receipt of CCOF? No, participation in the ECE-WE is voluntary. 7. I’ve chosen not to opt-in to the CCFRI. Why are you penalizing my staff? The CCFRI is a foundational component of the Childcare BC plan. Government has had to strike a balance in order to improve access, affordability and quality as quickly as possible. While government recognizes that some providers have chosen not to opt-in to the CCFRI at this time, all providers are encouraged to enrol in order to reduce fees for families, receive enhanced administrative funding, and enhance staff wages through the ECE -WE. Government invites providers to enrol as part of the province’s transition to universal child care over the next 10 years. 8. Can a facility that has been approved for the ECE-WE decide to opt out mid-contract? No. A facility that has opted into the ECE-WE cannot opt out during the length of their current contract period. 9. Did ECEs with Infant/Toddler or Special Needs Certification receive more than the $1 per hour wage enhancement in January 2019? The wage enhancement is being applied consistently to all front-line ECEs. This wage enhancement represents a first step in addressing the current staffing shortage, and is intended to help retain BC’s current workforce, including ECEs with basic and post-basic certification, as well as recruit new ECEs to enter the field. The Ministry will monitor and evaluate the impact of this wage enhancement to determine if any future initiatives should consider targeted supports for ECEs holding post-basic certification in Infant/Toddler and/or Special Needs. 10. Why aren’t ECE Assistants eligible for the ECE-WE? While ECE Assistants are important to the sector and support the overall provision of quality child care, they are not eligible for the ECE-WE unless they hold ECE certification (certified ECEs working in ECE Assistant positions are eligible; however, ECE Assistants working in the role of an ECE under a Health Authority exemption are not eligible). Government is responding first to the most urgent needs within the sector: to increase ECE staffing and responding to the critical need for trained and qualified ECEs, as well as improve families’ access to affordable child care. The Government is targeting this wage enhancement to certified ECEs, while at the same time providing supports to assist and encourage more individuals to obtain their ECE certification. Please refer to the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy for more information. 11. I am a Licence-Not-Required (LNR) child care provider and I hold an ECE certification. Do I qualify for the ECE-WE? No. At this time, the ECE-WE is only available to front-line ECEs working in eligible licensed child care facilities. There are supports available for unlicensed providers who are working to become licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. Please refer to the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy for more information. 3 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
12. How does this wage enhancement support licensed Family Child Care providers? Licensed Family Child Care providers must meet the same eligibility criteria, at the staff, facility and organization level, as ECEs working in licensed Group facilities. In other words, the Family Child Care provider must be a front-line ECE in good standing with the BC ECE Registry, and their facility must be in receipt of CCOF and enrolled in the CCFRI (if eligible to do so, OR be approved as a Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites). Please note, Family Child Care providers who are not yet qualified ECEs may be eligible to access supports to pursue their ECE certification through the training and professional development funding included in the Early Learning and Care Recruitment and Retention Strategy. 13. What do organizations need to do to receive the ECE-WE funding? *Note: The deadline to have applied for the Retroactive Period was December 31, 2018.* Organizations can apply at any time. Once approved, organizations will be able to submit claims for eligible staff hours worked January 1st to March 31, 2019 at each of their facilities on a monthly basis. Organizations will have the opportunity to enrol in the ECE-WE as part of their 2019/20 CCOF Agreement in order to submit claims for hours worked April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. Eligibility 14. Who is eligible to receive the ECE-WE? In order to be eligible, the organization (e.g. the contractor under CCOF), the organization’s facility, and the staff working at the facility/organization must meet all of the specific eligibility criteria. For more information on eligibility for the ECE-WE, please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines. Organization/Facility Eligibility 15. Is my organization eligible to receive the ECE-WE? Organizations in receipt of CCOF that have also enrolled eligible facilities in the CCFRI are eligible to apply2 for the ECE-WE. Additionally, organizations with CCOF facilities that are not eligible to apply for CCFRI funding (i.e. preschools, school-age facilities that do not have kindergarten enrolments, and facilities that do not charge parent fees) may also apply for the ECE-WE. 16. Is my facility eligible to receive the ECE-WE? An organization’s facility/facilities must be approved to opt-in to the CCFRI, if eligible to do so, OR be approved as a Childcare BC Universal Prototype Site, in most circumstances. Additionally, organizations with CCOF facilities that are not eligible to apply for CCFRI funding (i.e., preschools, school-age facilities that do not have kindergarten enrolments, and facilities that do not charge parent fees) may also apply for the ECE-WE. Funding will be approved and provided based on the facility’s physical address/location rather than by facility licence, in most circumstances. 2 Excluding Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, which while eligible in most circumstances, are not required to submit an application for ECE-WE. 4 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
17. My organization includes multiple facilities, some of which have opted in to the CCFRI, and some of which have not. What does this mean for my staff? Eligibility for the ECE-WE is determined on a facility basis, similar to the CCFRI. As such, if an organization’s facilities are eligible for the CCFRI, the facility must be approved for the CCFRI in order for staff at the facility to be eligible for the ECE-WE. If a facility is not eligible for CCFRI, the organization can apply for that facility to receive the ECE-WE. 18. Are CCFRI-ineligible care types (i.e., licensed preschools, school-age facilities that do not have kindergarten enrolments, and facilities that do not charge parent fees) able to apply to receive the WE? Yes, as long as the organization is in receipt of CCOF. ECE Staff Eligibility 19. Who is eligible for the ECE-WE? Eligible ECEs must: • Hold a valid Early Childhood Educator, Infant and Toddler Educator, and/or Special Needs Educator certification issued by the BC ECE Registry; • Be in good standing with the BC ECE Registry, meaning their certificate has not been cancelled or suspended; • Be a front-line ECE directly employed or self-employed on a full- or part-time/casual basis by a licensed child care facility that is in receipt of CCOF and has been approved to opt in to both the CCFRI (if eligible to do so) and the ECE-WE. 20. How is ‘front-line’ ECE being defined? For the ECE-WE, “front-line” refers to a certified ECE who spends 50% or more of their working time at the approved facility/organization providing direct care to children enrolled in a licensed facility. Please note, the remaining 50% of working time must also be conducted in the licensed child care setting, but could also include administrative time, etc. So long as 50% of the ECE’s working hours, on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis, are spent providing direct care, the ECE is eligible to receive ECE-WE funding for all hours worked in the child care facility (including administrative time) up to a monthly maximum of 195 hours (including any overtime hours worked). 21. What does it mean to provide ‘direct care’? This refers to an ECE who is directly responsible for and engaged in the care and supervision of children enrolled in an eligible licensed child care facility. 22. What does it mean to be in ‘good standing’ as an ECE? If an individual holds a valid ECE Certificate issued by the Director of the BC Early Childhood Educator Registry that is not expired, suspended, or cancelled, and they are able to be employed as an ECE in a licensed child care facility under the Child Care Licensing Regulation (CCLR), they are considered to be in good standing for the purposes of the ECE-WE. 5 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
23. What if I don’t spend 50% of each day providing direct care to children, but in an average week I do? The intent of the “front-line” requirement is to ensure the ECE-WE is being provided to ECEs whose primary responsibility/function is providing direct care/supervision to children in an eligible licensed child care facility. If, on average, an ECE spends 50% of their time – on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis – providing direct care/supervision to children, they qualify for the ECE-WE. 24. Will I be paid the WE for all hours worked, or only for those hours worked providing direct care to children? Eligible ECEs receive the $1/hour Wage Enhancement (plus applicable Mandatory Statutory Benefits) for all hours worked in the child care facility, including administrative time, up to a monthly maximum of 195 hours. 25. Are ECEs in administrative or management positions eligible for the ECE-WE? Yes, as long as the ECE meets the eligibility criteria, which includes that they spend at least 50% of their working time – on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis – providing direct care/supervision to children at the approved licensed facility. 26. Are part-time, casual or substitute ECEs eligible for the ECE-WE? Yes; there are no minimum hours required to be eligible for the ECE-WE as long as the ECE meets the staff eligibility criteria. However, in order to have received the retroactive component, ECEs had to be in the direct employ of the child care facility for which they claimed hours during the retroactive period, on January 15, 2019. 27. Are ECEs hired through the Labour Market Impact Assessment eligible for the ECE-WE? Yes, as long as the ECE holds a certificate to practice in BC, and meets the staff eligibility criteria they are eligible to receive the ECE-WE. 28. Are overtime hours paid? Are there maximum weekly hours per employee? Overtime hours should be reported and are eligible for the ECE-WE. The ECE-WE is paid to front- line ECEs based on the total number of eligible hours worked in a month up to a maximum of 195 hours per month, including any overtime hours worked. The ECE-WE is provided as a flat-rate enhancement, separate from the employee's hourly wage. As such, the ECE-WE is paid at a rate of $1.00 per hours worked ($2.00 per hour as of April 1, 2020), including overtime hours. 29. Is there a requirement around minimum hours worked per employee? No, there is no requirement for minimum hours worked to be eligible to receive the ECE-WE. 30. What happens if my ECE Certificate is expired? How will the ECE Registry timelines impact my ability to claim the enhancement? In order to practice in BC, ECEs must hold a valid certificate issued by the Director of the BC ECE Registry under Division 2 of Part 3 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation (CCLR). ECEs that don’t hold a valid certification are not qualified to be employed in a licensed child care facility as an educator, and are therefore also not eligible to receive the ECE-WE. 6 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
It is the ECE’s responsibility to ensure their certification has not expired, and the organization’s responsibility to verify their staff’s ECE certification is valid. To verify an ECE Certificate and ensure ECE staff meet these criteria, the facility/organization can use the ECE Registry online Certificate Validation tool. As timelines may vary, ECEs are encouraged to submit their renewal applications at least 4-6 weeks in advance of expiry, in order to provide sufficient time for processing and review. 31. Can I receive the ECE-WE for hours worked caring for my own children? Yes, as long as you meet the staff/facility/organization criteria and are also providing care to other children enrolled in the approved licensed facility. ECEs providing care solely to their own children are ineligible to receive the ECE-WE. 32. As an ECE owner/operator providing licensed child care in my own home, do I qualify for the ECE- WE? Yes, owner/operators of approved facilities, including Licensed Family, In-Home-Multi-Age, and Multi-Age Family child care are eligible to receive the ECE-WE as long as they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines. ECE Employees in Unionized Facilities 33. How does the ECE-WE apply to unionized environments? Approved organizations with facilities that employ unionized front-line ECEs may be eligible for the ECE-WE, provided they have reached a local agreement with their union to amend their collective agreements in order to implement the ECE-WE. Organizations with facilities who have provincially- funded child care programs (i.e. the Province funds more than 50% of the program) where unionized ECE wages are set through Joint Job Evaluation Plan classification and wage grids currently do not qualify for the ECE-WE. In these cases, Government’s Low-Wage Redress funding supports ECE wage adjustments that exceed those available through the ECE-WE. For more information, please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines. Application Process 34. Where can I find the ECE-WE Application Form? The ECE-WE Application Form is available now on the Ministry’s website at www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy. Funding and Payments 35. Once an organization is approved for the ECE-WE, when does the organization begin receiving payments? The Ministry started payments in early 2019, including any eligible retroactive payment for hours worked by eligible employees between September 1 and December 31, 2018. Payments are distributed on a monthly basis (e.g. payment for hours worked in January 2019 were provided in February 2019). Payments are made through the CCOF Program. 7 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
36. Are providers expected to pay the wage enhancement to staff before being reimbursed by the Ministry? No. Facilities are not required to compensate their staff with the wage enhancement prior to receiving the funding from the Ministry. The ECE-WE is an amount that is provided in addition to (not as part of) the employee’s regular wages. Facilities are required to distribute ECE-WE funding to eligible ECEs within 30 days of receiving it from the Ministry, except in specific cases as described in the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines. 37. Is there a maximum funding amount for each facility? While there is no maximum amount of funding per facility, in the event an organization is requesting a higher than expected amount of funding, the Ministry will contact the organization to request more information. This does not mean organizations that choose to employ a higher number of ECEs than what is required under the Child Care Licensing Regulation will be ineligible or penalized. 38. What about employees who work at multiple eligible facilities? How are their hours recognized? When the Ministry receives a claim from multiple facilities and/or organizations for the same ECE Certificate number, the Ministry will provide funding for hours worked at any eligible facility, up to a combined maximum of 195 total hours per month for that employee. In the event that facilities and/or organizations claim in excess of 195 hours, the first facility to submit a claim for that month will receive funding for all eligible hours, and any remaining eligible hours will be paid to the second facility, to a maximum combined total of 195 hours. 39. What about mandatory employer costs, such as Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), WorkSafeBC, statutory holiday and vacation pay – won’t my costs for these go up? Is my facility responsible for paying these? The ECE-WE is considered reportable income and all mandatory statutory benefits apply. Calculations of payroll costs and benefits are to be made using the total salary amount (Wage + ECE-WE). As a result, costs – such as the organization’s CPP and EI contributions, WorkSafeBC premiums, and the calculation of statutory vacation and statutory holiday pay – will be higher. To offset this cost for organizations, the Ministry is providing an additional 18.57% on top of ECE-WE funding for 2019. Increases to these rates for 2020 and 2021 will be addressed before the start of the new calendar year. However, non-statutory benefits, such as extended health and dental, are not covered through the ECE-WE, and in these cases the organization is responsible for any additional incurred cost. 40. What about the Employer Health Tax? Will my facility be compensated for any increase in this tax resulting from the ECE-WE? The Employer Health Tax is an annual payroll tax that applies to some employers as of January 2019. The Ministry is providing funding to offset any increase in the Employer Health Tax (EHT) an organization is required to pay as a result of participating in the ECE-WE initiative. Further information on reimbursement for the EHT will be provided; however, it is expected that employers seeking reimbursement for any ECE-WE-associated EHT increase will be required to provide a copy of their EHT tax return, and their Notice of Assessment showing they have paid their EHT balance in full. 8 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
41. One of my employees is taking a sick leave. Am I required to pay the ECE-WE for the duration of their leave? No, the ECE-WE is paid for hours worked only; therefore, hours of sick time and unpaid leave, as well as paid leave such as parental leave and long-term disability leave, are not eligible for the ECE-WE. 42. My ECE worked less than 15 of the last 30 days and does not qualify for statutory holiday pay; am I still required to pay the Statutory Benefits Funding to the ECE related to statutory holidays? Yes, employers still need to pass along the Statutory Benefit funding for all employees, regardless of whether they qualify for statutory holiday pay. This is provided at 4% of the ECE-WE received as part of the Statutory Benefit funding amount. 43. My ECEs are occasionally required to complete duties such as purchasing of supplies, attending meetings or assisting with special events as part of their regular paid job-duties. Do they receive ECE-WE for the hours completing these duties? Yes, as long as the ECE meets the eligibility criteria, and spends at least 50% of their time – on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis – providing direct care/supervision to children, they are eligible to receive the ECE-WE for all hours worked in the child care facility. 44. Our organization provides vacation pay at a rate higher than the 5% allocated through the Statutory Benefits Funding. Are we be required to pay the difference to ECEs on top of the 5%? Under the Employment Standards Act, employers are required to pay either 4% or 6% statutory vacation pay depending on the employee’s level of seniority. In addition, some organizations elect to provide a higher rate of vacation pay than what is statutorily required. The amount of offset funding included in the ECE-WE is set at 5%, which means some organizations may receive slightly less or more funding than what is required. However, on average and depending on staff seniority, the amount of offset funding provided should average out to the amount of statutory benefits organizations are required to transfer to employees. The allocation of statutory vacation pay over and above the 5% allocated through the Statutory Benefits Funding is the responsibility of the organization. 45. My ECEs are provided a vacation pay out with every pay. How do I pay them the Statutory Benefits Funding? If you pay vacation out with each pay, add the Statutory Benefits Funding component by adding either 4% or 6% (according to seniority, as per the Employment Standards Act) of the amount paid in Wage Top-Up for Hours Worked. 46. My ECEs are provided a vacation pay out annually or periodically. How much do I pay them for Wage Top-Up? If you calculate and accrue vacation on only the amounts paid by the employer, you need to add the Statutory Benefits Funding amount to the vacation pay out. To calculate the Wage Top-Up portion: Divide the Accrued Vacation amount by the ECEs effective wage per hour before the Wage Top- Up, and multiple by the current ECE-WE rate (i.e. $1). 9 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
47. How do I claim casual or on-call ECEs who worked at more than one facility in a month? If possible, report hours worked by casual or on-call ECEs under each of facilities they worked their hours in. However, you may claim the ECE’s total monthly hours under the facility where the majority of hours were worked. 48. Why haven’t I received a claim form if approved? Monthly ECE Reports were emailed to approved facilities from BCMailDirect@gov.bc.ca – the same email address from which you received your 2018/19 funding agreement. Please check your spam folder or contact the CCOF program for support. 49. Am I able to save the ECE information that I enter on my Monthly ECE Report? Beginning April 2019, for hours worked in March, you will be able to save the ECE information that you enter on your Monthly ECE Report for future months. 50. What if I have more than one CCOF facility at a single address? Do I have to submit multiple reports? Where multiple facility licences are located at one address, organizations have the option to submit one Monthly ECE Report. Simply choose one facility licence to report all hours worked by eligible ECEs at that address each month. 51. Is payment issued in one lump sum? One-time payment will be made that includes the months of Sept 2018 – March 2019. Depending on when the final March enrolment report is received, an additional separate payment may be made. For April 2019 forward, payments proceed through CCOF base payments and CCFRI. Retroactive Period 52. When is the retroactive period for the ECE-WE? The Retroactive Period was from September 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018. 53. What was the deadline for applying for the ECE-WE in order to be eligible for payment for the Retroactive Period? Organizations had to apply by December 31, 2018 in order to be eligible for the Retroactive Period. 54. What was the deadline for reporting hours worked by eligible ECEs during the Retroactive Period, in order to be paid? In January 2019, organizations were able to submit a claim for hours worked by eligible staff between September 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. 55. How were organizations meant to track hours worked by eligible ECEs during the Retroactive Period (September 1st through December 31st, 2018)? An ECE-WE Retroactive Period Tracking Tool to assist organizations in tracking eligible staff hours during the Retroactive Period was made available on the Ministry’s website at www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy. 10 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
56. What if an ECE changed employers during the retroactive period (Sept-Dec 2018)? Did the ECE still qualify for the retroactive payment? Eligible front-line ECEs had to be actively employed by the approved facility or organization as of January 15, 2019 in order to receive the retroactive payment for hours worked with that employer. ECEs who left their place of employment or were terminated on or before January 15, 2019 were not eligible for the ECE-WE for hours worked with that employer during the retroactive period. 57. If I am an eligible ECE Employee who worked hours during the retroactive period and am on an approved leave (e.g. parental, disability) as of January 15, 2019, am I eligible to receive the ECE- WE for those hours worked during the retroactive period? Yes. ECE employees on approved leave from their employer, who left on or before January 15, 2019 and who worked hours during the retroactive period, are eligible to receive the retroactive payment for those hours worked, so long as they meet the staff eligibility requirements and the organization met the December 31, 2018 deadline to apply. Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information. Reporting Requirements and Process 53. As an employer, what kind of information do I need to track and report? Organizations are required to capture and track specific information for each eligible ECE employee at each eligible facility, from January 1, 2019 forward. The Ministry collects the following information (note, reporting processes differ at Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites): • Facility name • CCOF Organization and Facility ID #s • ECE name and Registration # • ECE Certificate expiry date • ECE current hourly wage or if salaried, an estimation of hourly wage • Total number of hours worked by each ECE, including overtime 54. Do I need to collect consent from my employees to share their personal information (i.e. name, ECE Certificate number, hourly wage, hours worked) with the Ministry? Organizations need to ensure that ECE employees for whom they report hours worked sign a written consent that confirms their knowledge, consent, and authorization to the organization collecting and disclosing the above information to MCFD, which is used for the administration, ongoing planning, evaluation, and auditing of the ECE-WE. Organizations are required to keep each signed written consent on file in accordance with record retention obligations outlined in the CCOF Agreement and provide a copy to MCFD, upon request. 55. What are my obligations as an employer under the ECE-WE? Employers are obligated to meet all of the following requirements under the ECE-WE (please refer to the ECE-WE Modified Funding Agreement for full details): • Confirming that all staff employed as ECEs hold valid an ECE certification issued by the BC ECE Registry. • Collecting written consent from all ECE employees to share their personal information with the Ministry, keeping a copy of each signed consent, and providing a copy to MCFD, upon request. 11 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
• Making their eligible front-line ECEs aware the ECE-WE is a discretionary payment made by the Ministry, rather than an ongoing wage increase provided by their employer and that it is subject to decrease/increase or discontinuance at the Ministry’s sole discretion. • Reporting – on an ongoing basis the number of front-line ECEs working directly with enrolled children at each approved facility and the number of hours worked by each ECE. • Using the ECE-WE funding to enhance the regular wage and statutory benefits of eligible front- line ECEs, and paying them for the hours worked, up to the maximum allowable 195 hours per month. • Distributing funding over and above the regular hourly wage of the ECE employee and not: o Lowering the wage rate paid by the employer to front-line ECEs; o Replacing planned wage increases by the organization/facility; or o Paying employees for days/hours of sick leave, maternity leave, or other paid leave of absence, other than earned vacation time as permitted. • Distributing ECE-WE payments to ECE employees within 30 days of receiving the funding from the Ministry, as applicable (see Funding Guidelines for exceptions). • Being accountable for how the ECE-WE funding is disbursed under the terms of their funding agreement(s) with the Ministry. The Ministry reserves the right to require the organization to reimburse funding that was not distributed in accordance with the funding requirements and/or under the terms of the organization’s funding agreement(s) with the Ministry. 56. Organizations are required to provide the ECE-WE to eligible ECEs for hours worked during the retroactive period after December 31, 2018. Should these funds to be reported as income for the 2018 or 2019 tax year? Organizations are required to report income on a T4 slip for the year during which it was paid, regardless of when the services are performed, or if the employee is deceased. For the retroactive component of the ECE-WE, organizations were to pay employees in January 2019 for income they earned during the retroactive period in 2018. Organizations will have to report that income on their T4 slip for 2019 since that is the year it was paid. Please consult with Canada Revenue Agency for proper reporting procedures. 57. How are the Wage Top-Up Funding and Statutory Benefits Funding to be reported for payroll purposes? Providers must indicate to the employee the amounts they are receiving as a result of Wage Top-Up Funding. This will include the amount paid for hours worked and may include amounts paid to top up vacation or statutory holidays. The Wage Top-Up is considered income to the employee and therefore all statutory deductions such as Income tax, CPP and EI apply. Please consult with Canada Revenue Agency for proper reporting procedures. 12 Please refer to the ECE-WE Funding Guidelines for more information.
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