But 31 years later, I am walking off the job today because I, and my colleagues, feel the Turnbull Government is simply refusing to acknowledge the difference educators make.
I know I make a difference to the lives of children and their families when I see the wonderful people I looked after as babies now as adults, and they say, “I remember when …”. Or when a parent who may have needed a little bit of help and understanding comes back and gives you a hug and a genuine thank you.
Being an early childhood educator is more than sitting and playing with children – though this is important too, because we all know that children learn best through play. Being an educator often means unpaid early starts to prepare for the day and completing the necessary paperwork as per government legislation. I very rarely get to leave on time at the end of the day because the children’s needs come first and the paperwork gets completed after.