Lifestyle

OPINION: Childcare workers are underpaid, underrated

CRUCIAL ROLE: Many early childhood educators earn less than the average cleaner.
CRUCIAL ROLE: Many early childhood educators earn less than the average cleaner. Thinkstock

MORE than a thousand childcare professionals and early childhood educators around Australia stopped work early to protest their pay rates as part of International Women's Day.

Their rates of pay are appallingly low and challenge a standard of living, longevity in the profession and the ability to be granted a mortgage.

These staff are nurturing our children at a critical time in childhood, yet, they are paid less than cleaners.

They earn half the national average wage, just above the minimum wage - as little as $20 an hour.

These staff have at least a Certificate III.

How is it that the government is satisfied that a male metal fitter and machinist with a Certificate III qualification can earn $37.89, compared with the $20.61 earned by the Certificate III-qualified early years educator?

Many early childhood educators have diploma qualifications, and bachelor degrees. And, their pay is only marginally better.

The government needs to get serious about its commitment to early childhood education.

Yes, the government has recognised the need for educators to have increased skills and qualifications.

But, they are failing to give staff the professional recognition and the sort of pay and conditions that properly value the work they do and the benefit they bring to children's development.

Current scientific knowledge proves the early years are a critical time for brain development.

Google it and read the science for yourself.

Healthy early development depends on nurturing and dependable relationships with supportive and nurturing adults.

If your child is in a childcare setting, then the nurturing adults supporting your parenting role are childcare professionals.

Early experiences lay the foundation for learning in later life, affect the development of the brain and lay the foundation for intelligence, emotional health, and future well-being.

The emotional, social and physical development of a young child has a direct effect on overall development and on the adult they will become.

So, how can we afford to pay staff a pittance when so much is at stake?

It is time governments and communities recognised the significance of what this profession does.

Can we expect high-quality early education while handing out poverty wages for such valuable work?

Early childhood staff build strong, nurturing relationships with children which in turn are ensuring healthy development and well-being.

They are engaging in responsive care-giving interactions which bring to children a sense of belonging and a knowledge they are cared for, and can trust the world around them.

If we get it right in the early years, children thrive throughout school and their adult lives. I think that is worth a pay rise, don't you?

Topics:  careers dr ali black early childhood education education employment family life


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'He just wants friends': dad says Hanson comments hurt

Xavier Grayson, 7, has autism and "loves school", says his dad Ben.

LISMORE single dad Ben Grayson has been rallying for four years to find out what’s...

Flood appeal funds begin to soak in

Deborah Ray from Music Bizarre receives the first Lismore Flood Appeal allocation from Lismore Flood Appeal Steering Committee Co-chair, Councillor Eddie Lloyd.

Lismore Flood Appeal funds begin to flow to residents and businesses

Opera Australia to sing most popular arias to support NORPA

SING FOR A CAUSE: Opera Australia is coming to Lismore for a fundraiser to benefit NORPA.

Special gala show in Lismore for flood relief

Local Partners

PUTRID MESS: Council and SES remove carcasses from river

COUNCIL Rangers and SES volunteers have cleared two dead cows from the Wilsons River which were trapped among a pile of flood debris for several days.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Take luxury food, wine tour around Toowoomba

FOODIE CULTURE: Emily Moon (left) and Cheryse Bliesner with the Hummer used for Toowoomba's Luxury Food and Wine Tour.

It is designed to highlight the best produce the region has to offer

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

MasterChef: Fish fry feast too much for Ipswich cook

NICOLE Stevenson narrowly misses out on MasterChef's Top 10 but local dad Ben Ungermann makes the cut.

Thor on holiday: Chris Hemsworth is here!

If you didn't know who he was - you'd think he was a Gympie region local

Nintendo set to release the Super NES Classic Edition

Nintendo is releasing a miniature version of their Super NES console

Brad and Sienna spotted ‘holding hands’

Brad Pitt has been spotted at Glastonbury.

ACTORS were seen together at the Glastonbury festival.

Big Brother winner Reggie Bird could end up homeless

BACK in 2003 she won the third season of Big Brother Australia, pocketing $250,000 for her win — but Reggie Bird’s life has been far from easy since then.

The reality star makes a heartbreaking confession

Schapelle Corby's Bali boyfriend 'lonely' now she's free

“I really hope we can see each other again in the future."

‘One of the most ludicrous films ever made’

Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Last Knight.

Transformers: The Last Knight has been shredded by critics.

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Ocean views up for sale at Bargara Rise

LAND RELEASE: Rob Sergiacomi on site at the Bargara Rise development off Watsons Road Bargara.

More ocean-view land comes on the market at Bargara

Blueberries help property market boom

RURAL MARKET: Elders sale agent Terry Deefholts, Norman Arkan and rural sales agent Angus McDonald.

Growth in the rural property market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!