The women that look after my kids, I will never be able to thank them enough.

At my child care centre, right now, you can fill in educator appreciation forms to say thank you to the people that educate and care for the kids at our centre.

I filled in seven of them yesterday. That’s one for each of the three educators my two kids spend their days with, and one for the managers of my centre.

William and Claire. Image supplied.

It took me 20 minutes. But I don't begrudge a second of that time.

The women (Yes, women. Early childhood education is an almost entirely feminised workforce.) who look after my children while I go to work do an extraordinary job.

They don't just baby sit them while my husband and I are at work. They care for them, they nurture them and they educate them.

They take seriously the need to provide a secure, stable and loving environment for my children. They teach them. They work hard at developing language and numeracy skills. They show them science and engineering. They help them journey into other countries through learning and help them explore cultures, ideas and society.

They pat the little ones to sleep and make sure the big ones get some quiet time. They change nappies, and wipe up spit. They toilet train, they feed, they even occasionally bathe. Hell, one of them, Bindu, even does my daughter's hair.


I will never be able to thank these women enough. There aren't enough words to express the gratitude I feel.

None of us will.

But we can help these women fight for equal pay.

Early childhood educators are diploma qualified staff, who are responsible for some of the most vulnerable members of our community, our very young children.

They get paid around $20 an hour.

Men with similar qualifications are, on average, paid 30 per cent more.

Today, United Voice, the Big Steps campaign and early childhood educators across the country are asking the Government to step up and fund better pay and conditions for educators.

You can support their campaign here.

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