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Stereotyped Image Linked To Low Pay In Childcare Sector


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I haven't read the whole article but just this short paragraph:


Stereotyped image linked to low pay in childcare sector

By Katy Morton, Nursery World, 12 November 2008

The stereotyped image of childcare workers as female and vocational-minded rather than academic is to blame for low pay in the sector, says the Daycare Trust.

Speaking at the launch of the Daycare Trust's latest policy paper, joint chief executive Alison Garnham said, 'There is no coincidence that the bulk of people working in early years are women. Would they be quite so poorly paid if the bulk of the workforce was men?' Delegates to the Trust's seminar in London on Tuesday (11 November) discussed whether childcare workers were doing a disservice to themselves, giving high- quality care on low...




I would just like to make the comment that even if men were on the workforce, you can only pay according to the income generated by the setting. In order to pay staff £10.00 an hour (or whatever people deem reasonable above the minimum wage that is currently paid to many), settings have to have the income generated by fees to cover staff wages.


Personally speaking I am really struggling with staff wages after the last minimum wage increase and am also struggling with whether parents can afford the fees if I have to put them up in January. But realistically I don't have a choice but to increase them as otherwise I may well go under.


The only way that the industry can ever pay staff, who are long serving, dedicated and well trained is by being subsidized by the government or raising fees way beyond what most parents could afford, even if given help via tax credits (which is only subsidisation but in another way), most parents would bulk at fees of £200 per week.


What do other setting providers feel? Although the subject of well paid staff is always being raised - real solutions are never bought forward to campaigned for.

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Hi Sheila


This article refers to the document "Raising the bar What next for the early childhood education and care workforce?" by the TUC and the National Day Care Trust which is campaigning for the Government to do more to raise our pay.


It makes very interesting reading - it is arguing for child care to be subsidised to fund better wages, acknowledging that providers can't afford to pay more in current conditions.


You can find the article at this link - or just google it.






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Made interesting reading. However the recommendations, although highly compendable in ensuring that low pay is reviewed and looked at, still didn't seem to suggest that the government will need to look at how THEY will sub the low salaries to make them up to a more decent living wage.


I can envisage that this may be looked at and pay scales published to be implemented, but that it will be down to the PVI sector to try and meet the cost. That's my very negative interpretation anyway.


I would dearly love for their to be able to attract good highly qualified and motivated staff into the industry. However, on doing a lot of private research and as an employer myself, I am still finding that there are very few people who, even after being offered funded training to improve their qualifications - even to Early Years Professional Status - want to take the time to train and improve their skills.


I have also employed a gap year Early Years graduate who wanted to come in and spend a year learning about child development. Great I thought, somebody who wants to go into teaching but really wants to understand child development right from birth so that they understand children who come to them in Nursery/Receiption/Year 1.


Unfortunately the lack of enthusiasm for the job soon showed up when they discovered that working with babies was hard work, and that toddlers and tweenies also proves to be challenging at times and also very hard work. My fear is that if graduates are tempted into working at PVI settings with young children, they won't want to do the basic jobs of nappy changing and will only be there as Managers to oversee. If we really want to improve childcare, we need enthusiastic individuals who we can pay well and who are prepared to continually update their knowledge.


I am doubtful that finding qualified graduates who are willing to do the non Pre-School jobs, that involve changing nappies, feeding etc., will stay in the industry.

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