Childcare workers need a pay rise to reflect the importance of their work

When the Fair Work Commission rejected early childhood educators equal pay claim, Lisa Bryant wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald on 8 February, 2018:

One in five early childhood educators are considering leaving the profession because of the low wages, status and standing of their work. They are sick of doing demanding jobs without love or money. In Sydney, high rents are forcing many out of living near their workplace — don't even talk about home ownership to this lot.

So with no wage rises imminent and a minister that makes it clear that childcare is really no more than that — caring for children to enable more important workers to go off to more important jobs — why would anyone want to remain in the job?

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Early learning is smartest way to spend tax dollars - Ross Gittins

Sydney Morning Herald Economics Editor Ross Gittins wrote on 5 February, 2018

There are no magic bullets in government spending, but putting money into early education – whether by lifting the quality of childcare, or beefing up preschool – comes a lot closer than most of the other things governments spend on.

We've known it for decades, but the evidence keeps growing. According to the Ontario early learning study, "the early years from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life cycle on brain development and subsequent learning, behaviour and health".

The bad news is that, when it comes to making sure all children attend preschool, we started much later than most of the other rich countries, and aren't catching up nearly as fast as we would be if we had more sense.

Full story: The smartest way to spend taxpayer dollars

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Why is childcare such a hard sell in the federal election?

Spending on early years education seems to be a tough sell for politicians.

A significant number of Australians, both politicians and voters, see “childcare” as a service to help parents get back to work, despite growing recognition that early education is important for children’s learning and development.

The discussion tends to focus on household budgets and the ability of mum (mostly) to go back to work.

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