Image from here.
In the last little while, we have heard stories about children being burnt to a crisp, bitten on the lip by a carer, photographed by paedophiles, smacked, left behind when they closed up... the list goes on.
Honestly, WTF!!! It's hard enough to leave our babies and children in the care of others, practically strangers, but we console ourselves by thinking that they are experienced, qualified, screened and suitable for the role. Seems things couldn't be further from the truth. How the hell are these people getting, and then keeping, these jobs! Don't we have some sort of screening process, what about that preserver of children's safety - the almighty Blue Card?
My Dad once had to get a Blue Card as a visitor teaching a high-school manual arts class, and was amazed how easy it was. Maybe that's because he's an upstanding guy, maybe it's because it's a rubber-stamp process designed more to ease parent's concern than actually keep unsuitable people aways from our kids. Much easier to administer that way.
What about the other staff in these centres, did they think these workers were unsuitable and/or dangerous to be around kids? Is there a system in place where they can air these concerns, anonymously and safe from retribution? Nope.
What about qualifications - surely you'd need to be trained in some fashion to be responsible for someone else's greatest love? Nope. Sure to be Group Leader you do, and sure, it's preferable, but apparently anyone can "assist" in a child care room. Although it seems this is about to change, and it will be mandatory for ALL child care workers to be qualified.
I'm so lucky that GG attends a great child care centre, based on the Montessori theory of childhood development. They have lovely staff who we've got to know, transparency in all their policies, a community feel and practically no staff turnover (a red flag for a less-than-great centre I'm told). I had no shortage of heartache when I first decided to go back to work part-time and put GG in care, but I don't think it's anything on what Mums must be going through now, wrestling with the idea of putting their babies into care with all these stories scaring the crap out of them.