Early Childhood Educators are some of the lowest paid workers in our community. They take on the largely thankless task of caring for our youngest children. Today is Early Childhood Educators Day, and a chance to thank the (mostly) women who care for and teach our children.
My children, William and Claire, like children in early childhood education across the country, are currently in the wonderful care of Lucy, Nicole, Valerie, Mikayla and their staff.
When William was just 12-weeks-old, I was hit by a wave of sadness. Someone once described having a baby as a great joy and a rude shock, while gazing at the baby in my arms and I knew instantly that this was true.
I was overjoyed to have William in my life, but I found myself grieving for my old life, where I was in charge of my future and footloose and fancy free.
A baby instantly yanks control from you, wresting it to themselves and leaving you helpless in response and a whim to their needs. I cried every day for a week until I finally decided to go back to work.
I had no idea what to expect from childcare or from the educators that would look after my baby. But I quickly found myself in awe of these people who had chosen (despite the low wages and a somewhat limited career path) to spend their days with tiny people teaching and nurturing them.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that as William would spend nine hours a day in the company of his educators they would become very important people in his life. We formed a parenting team around William, working together to bring up my little boy.