Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Caring for (and paying) staff is just as important

I personally believe that you can not provide quality care if you do not provide a working environment where the staff are financially secure, recognised for their skills professionally, challenged intellectually and empowered.

Part of this is recognition that a vital part of convincing parents what is good about your centre is the fact that you look after your staff and provide working conditions that minimise their stress and enables recognition of their responsibilities which includes providing the staff with time (at work and paid for) to complete everything they need to get done.

Fortunately my new workplace is pretty much on board with this philosophy - so it is a vast improvement!

I think we are completely underestimating parents if we think they cant understand that we too need decent wages and conditions to work and be happy in our jobs (and the subsequent impact it has on their children and the care we can provide)  - as such I hope you all planning intensely on how you are going to participate in the IEU Teachers are Teachers Blue Day.

I know it will be much easier (hopefully) for those of you who work at council, community and not for profit centres because of higher union density and higher acceptance of workers right to organise so if you have any inspiration for our fellow teachers in the private sector I would love to hear your stories.

For those of us in private sectors, all we are asking for is a recognition of our education and skills its not unreasonable and all research points that early childhood teachers in long day care centres make a very significant impact on the quality of care for their children - and without adequate pay we will not remain in the sector leading to a continuation of the incredibly high turnover of staff which is unsettling for their children and everyone.

Don't be scared get up and fight for what you are entitled for!! its the only way change happens.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Wendy. You are so right. I've worked in child care for over 20 years now, and am fortunate now to work within a unionized center for the past 3 years, receiving a good wage, with regular pay raises, and quite good conditions. I really think it is important as well to have ample planning time for staff to do what needs doing, and at this point we don't have quite enough. It is true most child care professionals do alot on their own time. I often work 1 hour extra a day, to prepare my room for the next day, etc., and while I'm used to it, and do it because I want to do a good job, it would be nice if it was built in as part of my work day.

    So more power to you for speaking up!