Friday, November 6, 2009

Child non-Care

What the hell is going on in child care centres these days?

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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.



  1. Wow, holy crap! Haven't read your post yet but I LOVE what you've done!

  2. hehe - cool huh? Thanks to Hot Bliggity Blog!!

  3. Okay, just read it. Hated (well with the first 2 I was relieved) putting kids into care when I went to work. Heart broke with the 3rd one because she was such a great baby and I actually wanted to stay home with her. With the 4th I can't even do 1hr creche at the gym.

    Jazzy does kindy twice a week now with a centre that I was a bit suspect about but is actually quite lovely. On the Gold Coast! Ba ha ha. I swear if I see a blogger in Coles I will freak out! How cool!

  4. Website? Need a time to make one.

  5. Website was done by Casey at - they have free downloads, and also do awesome custom jobs.

    Lol @ Coles - never fear, just like Superman, I protect my identity with nerdy glasses... and ever-changing hair colour!!

  6. i agree with most of the things you say. how does DoCS give these places a licence? how do they become accredited through the NCAC? never ceases to amaze me. but to be honest, there are a number of centres out there that are perfect and it is these few bad ones {and usually it isnt the entire centre either it is a carer} that makes everything else harder for us. honestly, i work my arse of making sure everything is in order and that those children are getting supervised adequately but still engaged with. not all the staff in my room are like this. but its okay. they engage arent up to that standard yet. but if i saw any of the above happening in my room {yes there is usually TWO staff in each room at any one time - usually to maintain ratios} i would have reported straight away. i am a mandatory reporter. why didnt the other staff feel it was their obligation to tell?

    lucky you that your child goes to a montessori school. but how is that different to being placed within a 'normal' child care environment? the ratios are the same. the regulations are the same. accreditation is the same. the only thing that is different is their philosophy and curriculum.

    sorry to be such a bad view on things. but this is my field. this is what i work with every day. and i have reported several centres as they dont adequately cater for children. what happened? they get checked if nothing then it is dropped. unfortunately the same as DoCS children who should be taken out of their abusive homes there is not enough man-power within DoCS for this to happen. sorry but it is the truth.

    as for your qualifications topic. i have my diploma therefore am qualified to run a room and run an entire centre of less than 30 children. when you get over thirty you need ONE {yes one} early childhood trained teacher i.e. what i am studying now. and then as the number of children increases so does the number of early childhood teachers. but - you can get exemptions. within a room there is usually a room leader either diploma or bachelor trained with either an untrained person who is studying their certificate three in child care or who has their certificate three. the certificate three is the very first semester of the diploma. i agree hole-heartedly with you that everyone should be qualified. but what about the community based childcare centres that run not-for-profit - where is the funding going to come from to be able to pay these wages? as a diploma trained i earn 23.61 an hour. not a great deal but when you add in that most centres have four rooms [each room has one of me, either on my pay rate or above] and then another staff member or two on around the 17-20 mark. you pay a great deal in wages across the span of the year and if your centre has just been established well then you have very little hope of being able to cover these costs before you centre runs at full-capacity.

    the childcare system in australia to be honest with you is too chaotic. DoCS is NSW. accreditation run through NCAC is federal. there is now only just being put in place an australia wide curriculum document. but like i said DoCS which is where you get your licensing, ratios etc guidelines from differs between state to state. phew.

    if you want more information on anything or i didnt explain clearly enough please email me or reply on here. hope you didnt think i was coming across as being a rude person either cause its just something im very passionate about. xo

  7. Thanks Miss Carly, this was just the type of discussion I was hoping to spark. I really appreciate the points you've made, and I think it's good to have a comment from someone currently in the industry. Clearly, you are someone who would report any worries, but I am also aware that there are people out there who fear persecution or retribution if they speak out.

    I wasn't saying my child care provider was different or better because of the Montessori curriculum , they are great with or without it, ir was just an extra point about them I liked. I'm sure there are plentry of great centres out there with a myriad of curriculums, and I take your point about a few bad apples ruining the reputation of many, but honestly, one bad apple is too many. I think people need to get riled up, and stay riled up to brng about an attitude shift and any real change.

    Thanks again for your comments and clarification, and no, you didn't sound rude, you sound passionate. I'm glad there are people like you looking after our kids.

  8. That's why I just stay home and lock my kids in the closet. It's safer that way.


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