Question: Why don’t we value childcare? I worked as a child care educator and was paid the same amount as a person who collects trolleys in a supermarket car park. What’s more important – a child or a trolley. Do we value our children so little? Or is it considered women’s work and therefore grossly underpaid?


Terese Edwards from the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children says: We have always undervalue what women bring to the table. This still lingers in the 'care economy'. We don’t economically acknowledge unpaid care. It’s missing from legislation and absent from Treasury. Sorry, the undervaluing of formal care, despite its critical importance is part of this issue. It’s time to get real. Care matters. https://theconversation.com/the-reality-of-the-gender-wage-gap-5168

Megan Keyes from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute says: I agree that early education and care is very much undervalued. One of the most significant periods of development is from conception to age 5, and yet our society places greater emphasis on the formal schooling years. Ideally, the first five years of a child’s life would receive the same (if not more) investment than the schooling years. I do think society as a whole does value children – but I think there is a lack of understanding of how significant these early years are – and how they lay the foundations for the rest of a person’s life. I also feel that because this important work has been traditionally carried out by women, and has been seen as ‘caring’ rather than enhancing development, it has again been undervalued. Across the early years sector, we are trying to change that.

Melissa Wilson from Kidspot says: I completely agree with you, childcare workers are incredibly undervalued! It is a tough job and they're teaching the people that will shape our future - plus they're most precious things in the world to us. The whole childcare sector is a mess, it's like a leaky bucket and they keep patching up the holes. Fees continue to rise, yet the money is not being passed on to workers. Plus the government is putting more pressure on centres by increasing the amount of red tape. I interviewed the Education Minister recently and we asked him that very question. He claims the new reforms coming into place mid 2018 will completely overhaul the whole system and hopefully that means higher pay rates for workers. You can listen to that interview here - http://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/real-life/in-the-news/even-the-education-minister-simon-birmingham-says-centrelink-is-painful/news-story/0c95a61f64014968c554d45973e6db50

Stacey Fox from Our Place says: Early childhood education is every bit as important as school - and we should be treating it with the same seriousness, including paying professional wages for our educators. I think there is definitely a gendered element to the pay gap we see in this sector.

Researchers in Queensland wrote a really interesting report, based on the last workforce census - https://goo.gl/SLtSVg

Stephanie Gotlib from Children and Young People with Disability Australia says: I think we are a bit all over the place in terms of how we view childcare in the community. On one hand there is very high expectations from families, government regulations etc and yet wages are low and we have problematic systems for supporting parents at home in this role. From CYDA's perspectivce it is something that is incredibly highly valued and we would welcome opportunties to supporting futher the range of providers in this role, partiuclarly in relation to bulding of a system that is inclusive of children with disability #WTFAustralia


Stacey Fox from Our Place says: Early childhood education is every bit as important as school - and we should be treating it with the same seriousness, including paying professional wages for our educators. I think there is definitely a gendered element to the pay gap we see in this sector.

Researchers in Queensland wrote a really interesting report, based on the last workforce census - https://goo.gl/SLtSVg

Stephanie Gotlib from Children and Young People with Disability Australia says: I think we are a bit all over the place in terms of how we view childcare in the community. On one hand there is very high expectations from families, government regulations etc and yet wages are low and we have problematic systems for supporting parents at home in this role. From CYDA's perspectivce it is something that is incredibly highly valued and we would welcome opportunties to supporting futher the range of providers in this role, partiuclarly in relation to bulding of a system that is inclusive of children with disability #WTFAustralia