Justice

Childcare Worker Responds to Politician's Insulting Remark

January 13th 2017

By:
Laura Donovan

One woman recently called out a politician's attempt to diminish the work of childcare providers in a new Facebook post while also validating the importance of these roles in society. 

 

Chloe Chant wrote an open letter to Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm after he questioned the necessity of childcare workers in a television appearance on Tuesday. The Australian politician has proposed a childcare reform package, as he thinks workers in this field do nothing more than “wiping noses and stopping kids from killing each other." He went on to clarify that he wasn't trying to shame childcare workers, but merely relay that childcare is expensive.

Chant, a child care worker, stated in her post that in between "wiping noses" at work, she's also tasked with identifying potential cases of sexual abuse, managing emergencies, and helping children learn, among many other things. 

Chloe Chant Facebook

"Should you need any advice regarding the REAL responsibilities of a childcare worker – or should you need your nappy changed – I am only too happy to render assistance," Chant continued. "Despite your comments, my role is to educate, and nothing would please me more than to educate one of my esteemed parliamentary representatives."

Her post has received over 20,000 reactions and generated a lot of discussion around the lack of appreciation for childcare workers:

Facebook

People who work in this field are underappreciated in several ways.

As Chant notes in her post, she is only compensated $20 per hour for the broad range of work that she does on the job. The U.S. national average pay for childcare workers was $9.77 per hour in 2015, according to July study conducted by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. The report also found that close to half of childcare workers are in households where at least one person is using a public assistance program.

“This is a really dysfunctional system,” Marcy Whitebook, study author and director of the center, told The Wall Street Journal in July. "We want these early educators to get our kids off to a good start but we don’t necessarily give them the sufficient preparation and pay [they need]."