With the cost of living increasing, it is becoming more the norm to place children into childcare in order to allow both parents to work. Numerous studies report the benefits of the childcare experience for children, so there is little doubt of its importance to the socializing and education of the child as well as the economic benefits of improving our economy with parents working adding to our economic prosperity.
Even with these undeniable benefits of childcare, the workers who provide the caring environment for our children are under appreciated. To demonstrate this lack of respect, the Abbot Government is back flipping on the wage increase promised to these struggling workers prior to the election.
Contracts were signed with the previous Labour government for 1,100 Childcare Centres to bolster the Certificate III Childcare Workers hourly rate by $3.00 per hour and $6.00 per hour for Early Childhood Teachers.
The rise was designed to provide some stability to the childcare industry. This industry has historically suffered from high staff turnover and funding shortfalls.
While there now appears no wage increase in sight from the 1st of January new training qualification requirements are being enforced.
From January 1 2014, 50% of all childcare educators are required to have a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113) or be in the process of studying towards at least a Diploma level of education.
From January 1 2014, all educators in childcare centres will be required to have at least a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113) or be in the process of studying towards this Certificate III level of education.
While it should be applauded that education and training requirements are being upgraded to perform such an important job, how can the government then turn around and undermine its future development by not addressing the wage increase that these dedicated workers are entitled to.
Dr Paul Batman