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Do Childcare Workers Deserve Equal Pay to Primary School Teachers?

daycare payrise

We all know that raising kids – especially little kids can be hard. Whether we have them with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or we go to work but still juggle the bedtime routines and housework – raising a family can be exhausting work.

There are days when I’m at home with my three kids and think why would anyone want to be a daycare worker and have a room full of toddlers running amok? Truth-be-told some mums send their darling toddlers to daycare for a bit of respite and sometimes, going to work can feel like a break.

So it’s concerning that a news segment on Nine News reported Childcare Workers are resigning from their jobs due to being underpaid. The question needs to be asked, should our Childcare Workers get equal pay to Primary School Teachers? If they are giving the best care to our darlings, when we can’t, do they deserve to be paid more than they are?

Cassandra Reitano believes they should and has shared a pressing argument on Facebook which has gone viral,  explaining why those who are dedicated to looking after our children deserve to be paid more.

childcare workers deserve a payrise

I don’t usually vent like this, BUT I watched a segment on Nine News today about Childcare Workers resigning from their jobs due to being underpaid – which brought forth the question, do Childcare Workers deserve equal pay to Primary School Teachers?

I will argue anyone who disagrees – but we DO deserve a pay INCREASE.

There is an ignorant assumption that our job is to “play” with children.

From start to finish, we are on our feet.

We read notes from parents informing us about anything that happened at home the night prior.

We carry the babies, cuddle them when they scream (and I mean, nonstop screaming). We do a minimum of twenty nappy changes a day, we toilet train, we feed, clothe, sunscreen and clean them.

Do you remember the vomit from your own child that made you cringe? We have to clean every spillage.

If they are injured, there is no First Aid Room with a Nurse. WE are the Nurses.

We are faced with challenges about family hardship, Child Abuse and children with Special Needs and on a DAILY basis.

We have to actively play with each of them outside, ESPECIALLY the little ones who are wobbly on their feet.

We are not talking about ONE child – there are MULTIPLE. Regardless of ratios, we are responsible for ALL children in our care.

We educate them indoors through books, songs and group time (usually a minimum three books and songs a day).

When/if we settle the children to naptime, we must disinfect every room and bathroom thoroughly.

During our lunch, we are most likely writing their individual learning stories or reports, or trying to remember every important thing that happened in each child’s day so that we can inform their parents.

Most of us who are full-time in the industry, are working STRAIGHT through the year – we are not entitled to block holidays.

Our days are exhausting, and we are exposed to a CONTINUAL lingering cloud of germs because of their young ages.

I would know, as I fell seriously ill from working with the children two years ago, and haven’t worked in the industry since.

There is a reason why the following saying goes: “not every person is cut out for Childcare”.

It’s because it is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting.

You are VERY special if you have the patience, immunity and strength to take on this career. I applaud you.

But the ones who stay, do because they absolutely LOVE their job. I am counting down the days until I can return.

I was getting paid $19 an hour, which is one dollar more than I was receiving working in a Fast Food Outlet where I took orders through a window or speaker.
Now you tell me – do we deserve a payrise?

The post raises a good argument but it begs the question on who will pay the pay rise? Childcare costs are already expensive in most inner city areas, with some centres charging $100 per child, per day, not including food or nappies.

Despite the rebates from the government, childcare costs chew a fair amount of money from a mum’s pay packet. Add in the cost of multiple children and it’s almost pointless for mum to go back to work as she is better off staying home to look after her kids.

We want to know what you think. Should Childcare Workers get a pay rise? Should their pay be equal to a Primary School Teacher? Fill in our poll so we can find out what you think.

Should Childcare Workers Get a Pay Rise?
Yes
No

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Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are http://www.theplumbette.com.au and http://www.styledbybec.com.au/blog

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