Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Babies in the Work Place

This morning on the main national news, topic of conversation was employees bringing their children with them to work, primarily this is due to the cost of child care. Later this evening on UK television, a documentary will look at this new concept on trial in America, here in the UK certain companies already permit this action. I just want to make it clear from the beginning that we are not talking about a childcare facility at the work place, but employees actually sit with the child whilst working. However one aspect of this topic, babies in the work place, that always angers me is the flippant attitude towards those actually caring for children.

Here in the UK, we have some excellent facilities setup to care for children from nought to five and obviously running those establishments are highly professional and dedicated women, in some cases men. One of the main problems parents complain about when the subject of childcare arises is the cost. I am constantly hearing that childcare in the UK is too high. But a question I would like to ask all those in this camp is, "How much is your child worth?"

Many of us when putting household items, or our precious vehicles in storage or in the care of another, will pay whatever it takes to ensure a high quality service is catered for, but when it comes to our children, we are always looking to scrimp.

Individuals who actually look after our children are in fact professionals, people who have spent three years plus, at college studying for a qualification to put themselves in that job. When they eventually do land a job in the childcare sector, it is without doubt one of the worst paid jobs in the country. Child care providers who have been in the business for twenty plus years are earning just over the minimum wage, there is very little scope for career advancement and there is certainly very little appreciation toward these incredibly dedicated individuals. I say dedicated, because these unique individuals have to be 100% dedicated considering the very poor wage structure.

These men and women in the childcare sector, put everything they have into ensuring the welfare of the children whilst in their care, day after day caring for sick children who, despite protocol in position for ill children staying at home, are still brought into the childcare environment as the parent does not want to miss a day at work. Children running temperatures, kids being kids and squabbling, plus all the paperwork that is required by law for the provider to complete on a daily bases.

I personally think that when people complain about the cost of childcare, perhaps they could spare a thought for the people looking after, what should be considered the most precious thing in their lives, their child. Take into consideration the very low pay and the personal dedication that is invested into your child to ensure they are given the very best care and attention at all times.

Don't get me wrong, there are bad eggs within the industry, as there is in every industry, Journalism, Law, Police, Teaching, Medical and many many more professions that have all at one time or another hit the spot light for the wrong reasons. However the disgusting conduct of the few should not be enough to package the entire industry into the same terrible reputation and devalue it.

When we as a society invest large quantities of time and money into luxury items and whatever it takes to insure those items, we also need to put exactly the same energy, if not more into ensuring we get the very best care for our children at whatever cost. As I am sure you have already deduced, I do in fact have a loved one in the profession and I see on a daily basis the time and dedication she invests into her profession and the children she looks after. Spare a thought, is all I ask.

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