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.

Shark removed from rock wall at Ballina

A dead shark washed up on the rocks at North Wall.

Dusky whaler shark removed for research

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

Marathon fight against "horrible" disease

Headshave team captain Suanne Richards (left) helped to raise $2,000 at Relay for Life on Saturday.

"It's really hard being on the sidelines of all this.”

Local Partners

Bungawalbin hunkers down again as rain revisits

A RISING watertable and incessant rain mean more flooding for Bungawalbin residents who are still recovering from the earlier downpours.

Future Islands gear up for Splendour gig

Future Islands is an American synthpop band composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals).

Their new album is "music from the heart than from the mind".

The Lyrical, beyond the 'F' word

Roots, Hip-Hop and Reggae artist Karl Smith, also known as The Lyrical.

Hiphop artist brings his latest music to the area

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Gogglebox shock: ‘This is so bloody juicy’

THE Gogglebox households can’t quite believe their eyes as they watch one of the most scandalous TV...

New Oscars fiasco safety net

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. During the acceptance speech, the real winner was revealed.

Academy ‘won’t sack PwC’ but new safeguards in place.

Frozen’s original ending was much darker

Disney’s hit movie Frozen nearly turned out very, very differently.

IF THE original script had gone ahead, Frozen would have been grim.

Bea's parting gift: The Freak's in the frame

Pamela Rabe stars as Joan Ferguson in a scene from season five of the TV series Wentworth.

Gripping prison drama Wentworth returns for a volatile fifth season.

What's on the big screen this week

A scene from the movie The Lego Batman Movie.

LEGO Batman and Scarlett Johansson take on Beauty and the Beast.

MOVIE REVIEW: Crazy Boss Baby story is a little far-fetched

A scene from the movie The Boss Baby.

After nailing Trump, Alec Baldwin’s career takes a strange detour.

MKR’s Amy blasts Josh’s ‘sl*t’ slur

Amy Murr, pictured with brother Tyson, said rival contestant Josh Meeuwissen crossed the line when he called her a ‘sl*t’.

AMY responds after being called a ‘sl*t’ by MKR’s villain Josh.

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Northern Rivers vacancy rates slip backwards

LITTLE ROOM: Vacancy rates on rental properties have dropped by .5% in the Northern Rivers to just 1.1%.

Northern Rivers rental housing shortage beats Sydney

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!