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Childcare Costs to skyrocket!

By CanberraMum - 25 February 2010 58

They have done it again, our Government (local) have made another dumb decision without thinking about the consequences…..Can you believe it – PORTABLE LONG SERVICE LEAVE…… No, not for the Public Service, not for everyone – just some people – actually just for childcare workers……So, all childcare workers in the ACT are now entered into a compulsory portable Long Service Leave scheme……What does that mean:

1) The employer now has to pay a levy of all wages to an authority, 2) that authority then pays the childcare worker for Long service leave after five years..

What a nightmare: It is all negative:

1) The employer will increase childcare costs to fund for the levey – so expect an increase in June!! 2) The workers now have no requirement to stay loyal to an employer – defeating the whole purpose of Long Service Leave, i.e Long Service Leave is earnt for Long Service. 3) The workers can change companies willy nilly, and their new employers may hire them, and then be immediately forced to provide them with Long Service Leave, even if they have only just commenced work!

I cannot believe the ramifications – why doesn’t this affect every single employee in the ACT, Why doesnt this occur all over Australia – well the answer to the second question is easy!! Cause it’s stupid!! and it is going to further increase the cost of childcare.

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Childcare Costs to skyrocket!
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canberrachildcareworker 5:42 pm 27 Feb 10

I have been watching this post with interest the last few days and I must say I am really impressed with the support for childcare workers from most of the comments posted.

I have been working in the industry since I was 19 and am now 25. I hold my diploma and am a team leader in a nursery room. I get paid about 21.70 and I am responsable for the care and saftey of 12 babies.

I work for one of the best employers in the ACT. My wages are above award and more importantly my workplace conditions are great.

Unfortunatly, this is rare to come by in the childcare industry.
The only way I could see a childcare worker earning $25 an hour is if they are the director of large centre or if they are a fully qualified teacher(which is rare to find in this industry, as teachers get better pay and conditions as you’d imagine)

Despite awards and legislation our conditions are pretty sad really.

By law in canberra the ratio of babies to staff is 5:1. Would anyone here like to take care of 5 babies for an hour for $20..Anyone?

Often employers will breach these limits, At previous centres I have been looking after 12 babies with only one other staff member, we had licencing there several times..which did not stop them from booking in more children then we where allowed to have.

So when the union came to our work not long ago and told us about the portable long service leave victory I was happy. I signed a petition(along with many others in the industry) to get this incentive. I hope it will keep some workers in the industry, as it might inspire them to look for a better employer rather then leaving childcare altogether..which is what most people do. And then perhaps childcare employers will raise the standards.. Not likely though!!

I hate to break it to you canberramum, but if you want quality care for your children, you either have to pay for it or look after them yourself

Wraith 5:02 pm 27 Feb 10

$25 per hr is crap for the work they do, end of story, they work hard and put massive effort into what they do (most of them anyway but that’s another thread).

I’ve met public service contractors being paid $100 per hr, with less work ethic and brains, is that justified? Rhetorical question by the way.

You’re not going to hurt us by staying home to look after your kids, none of us here are going to feel the payments to you if you do that.

IcePoet, you hit it perfectly there, my mother works in childcare and carries the same ethic, she works because she loves it not for the money that’s for sure.

Spectra 4:54 pm 27 Feb 10

Keeping in mind of course that these people are looking after little children – in my book thats a fair bit more important than giving my fringe a trim, making me a toasted sandwich, cleaning my loo or pouring me a beer.

Indeed. To say nothing of the stress of dealing with parents versus dealing with haircut customers, people who want a sandwich or, frankly, pretty much any other class of customer you can possibly imagine. Don’t get me wrong, many parents are quite lovely people, but more than a few think that because you’re looking after their child it gives them a right to treat you like utter crap, threaten you, demand completely unrealistic standards of care (particularly in view of what they’re paying) and so on. Hell, just look at the attitude of the original poster: “It’s all negative”! Which is to say, “these people don’t matter one iota to me if I’m going to be slightly out of pocket (but god help them if I think for one second that they’re giving anything less than the ultimate care and attention to my wonderful, infallible children)”.

I, personally, would not work in that industry for twice the rates that are being talked about here.

Clown Killer 4:05 pm 27 Feb 10

For childcare workers (from the award) The starting salary for someone straight into the industry brand-new is $14.66. This is the same as Hairdressers, Cooks, Cleaners, Hospitality workers (I checked all the awards)

Keeping in mind of course that these people are looking after little children – in my book thats a fair bit more important than giving my fringe a trim, making me a toasted sandwich, cleaning my loo or pouring me a beer.

Icepoet 2:47 pm 27 Feb 10

I currently earn $21 per hour or more stacking supermarket shelves. CanberraMum, you think that someone who is paid to take care of YOUR kids and is fully qualified – indicating they have spent significant time,energy and money in educating themselves so that they can be as well trained as possible to help YOUR kids grown up as healthy, well adjusted children – is not being underpaid at a mere $19.25 an hour, when anyone with no qualifications and over the age of 21 can walk into a supermarket stacking job and earn $2 more per hour?

I have a friend who is a childcare worker and she works bloody hard for her money. She spends the day caring for, teaching and in general being a bloody good role model for the children she is responsible for and I have seen numerous instances of her returning home from work distressed because something bad has happened to one of ‘her’ kids (such as an illness or distressing family issue). She is a loving and kind person who works in field because she genuinely cares about children and wants to see them grow up healthy and happy. Anyone who thinks that the time, energy and love that she puts into taking care of these children is truly worth a measly $19.25 per hour, quite simply has rocks in their head.

CanberraMum 12:54 pm 27 Feb 10

OK, so I’ve learnt to do even more maths as part of this. Chidlcare workers must either be paid under a modern award or an enterprise agreement…and the enterprise agreement cannot provide less pay than the Award:

For childcare workers (from the award) The starting salary for someone straight into the industry brand-new is $14.66. This is the same as Hairdressers, Cooks, Cleaners, Hospitality workers (I checked all the awards) – it appears to rise pretty quickly, and under the basic level of pay they basically cannot do anything…. For levels of work – and time in the job, it goes up to $17.95….once they have a Diploma the base rate of pay cannot be below $19.25 – and goes right up to $25. As I also understand it, of the at least two staff in each room (or something like that – one must hold a diploma, and be supported by one who is qualified with a certificate…)

This is exactly the same as those other industry’s – so my point is made…..why just single out childcare workers for portable long service leave, they are not lower paid than any other area of general employee….

Tooks, you should tell your friends to check the award – they may be getting screwed…and if they are enterprise bargaining, perhaps they are getting other better entitlements that balance out their lower wages…free childcare for example.

vg 12:32 pm 27 Feb 10

“The original entitlement of 13 weeks after 15 years was intended to give immigrants time to return home to Europe (6 weeks each way by sea) to visit their family.”

Bollocks. LSL starts after 10 years anyway

and

http://www.qleave.qld.gov.au/

To the OT. Dry your eyes or look after your own kids. The choice is yours

Tooks 9:40 am 27 Feb 10

CanberraMum said :

Hey All, I am so glad I started something here. Excellent.

OK, my problem is that child care workers are not all that underpaid – I think it is a major misconception…I actually asked at my centre (yes they were the ones who informed me that fees would increase as a result of the legislation) and overall most of them said they were actually happy, they are governed by an Award….and work the same as heaps of other employees everywhere!! I asked – to get you some facts and it seems most of them earn $18 an hour without qualifications, and if they have qualifications it is around $22-$28 an hour…

What child care centre are you talking about? I know several people working in childcare who are on nowhere near those wages.

Clown Killer 8:34 am 27 Feb 10

As far as I’m concerned they could double child care woke salaries and they’d still be under-paid.

CanberraMum 5:58 am 27 Feb 10

Hey All, I am so glad I started something here. Excellent.

OK, my problem is that child care workers are not all that underpaid – I think it is a major misconception…I actually asked at my centre (yes they were the ones who informed me that fees would increase as a result of the legislation) and overall most of them said they were actually happy, they are governed by an Award….and work the same as heaps of other employees everywhere!! I asked – to get you some facts and it seems most of them earn $18 an hour without qualifications, and if they have qualifications it is around $22-$28 an hour… Is that really that bad – I don’t know? It seems a hell of a lot higher than my starting salary out of Uni…,most of the workers at my centre are young – and none of them have left since I’ve been there.

So why doesn’t everyone get hit by this portable long service leave, why not the poor underpaid beautician, the cook, the aged care worker, the cleaner, the hairdresser, the baker, not candlestick makers (they are all on about the same hourly wage).

I’d like to make it clear, I don’t have a problem at all with Long Service Leave, I’m hanging for the opportuntity to take mine – but the portable aspect bugs me, it means these girls won’t stay to look after my kids – they have no incentive to….but my fees will go into a fund, that may never actually get paid to the girls….by the way, the centre is not happy, they didn’t even know about it until last week when they got an invited to an information session…and the employees don’t know anything about it either..

p.s. I wish to hell I had a second FBT car, instead of my thirteen year old car, I don’t have a plasma, I used the $5000 to pay the pediatrics bill and buy a car-seat, a cot, and the ability to stay home for as long as possible before putting my last child into care! So the extra $5 a day, $50 a fortnight is going to hurt!! But it would hurt you more if I stopped working, and started on family asisstance…..

Wraith 4:22 pm 26 Feb 10

proofpositive said :

Whilst you are happy enjoying the spoils of your second family income (hence your need for childcare) going to and from your place of work in your (FBT free, tax subsidised) salary packaged car, perhaps next time you’ll think more carefully about the implications of having squandering all your baby bonus on that plasma TV in your living room instead of investing it for a rainy day.

Build a bridge and get over it.

+1, I’m thinking you might have hit the mark here, or very close to it. Bad case of sense of entitlement.

Power Protect 3:28 pm 26 Feb 10

moneypenny2612 said :

C. if your lifestyle is really cramped by the advent of portable LSL in the childcare industry, auction the child on ebay. More money in your pocket (except for foregone tax rebates). Make sure you set a proper reserve price.

What a completely absurb comment to make!

Ebay’s fees are so high they’ll hardly make any money at all.

moneypenny2612 11:29 pm 25 Feb 10

I am struggling to think of something constructive and positive to say about the OT. Bugger it. I’ll make do with ‘thoughtful’.

If you find child-rearing financially draining you could always:

A. quit your paid employment and rear your kids yourself. No childcare fees to worry about. Let us know when you feel like some LSL; or

B. import some Filipino girl to be a nanny – you could even deduct board from the measly wage you pay her, and not include LSL in her contract conditions; or

C. if your lifestyle is really cramped by the advent of portable LSL in the childcare industry, auction the child on ebay. More money in your pocket (except for foregone tax rebates). Make sure you set a proper reserve price.

bd84 9:26 pm 25 Feb 10

Been living under a rock for the past 6 months? The legislation was passed in August last year. I guess they could have been letting the anger build during that time in preparation for a good angry ramble on here..

WanniAss 9:20 pm 25 Feb 10

So there may be some incentive for a child care worker to stay in the industry rather than leaving to take up an APS 3 in the public service? Maybe this might mean my daughter might have the same child care worker for more than a few weeks before yet another one leaves

Anna Key 9:15 pm 25 Feb 10

Would comment, but its all been said.

You’re not part of the couple that sued a doctor for accidentally providing you with two healthy children when you only wanted one, and stuffed up your planned lifestyle, are you? Alternatively, if you find it all so offensive, maybe you and your husband (or whatever) could sacrifice a career for a few years and raise your children yourself

WalkTheTalk 8:50 pm 25 Feb 10

‘Dvaey’ – kudos for researching this and putting a bit of effort into your posts, nice work!

I agree that on the face of this, the OP is outlandish and insulting to those we entrust with our children, whose pay and conditions are ridiculously inverse to the importance of their role.

‘Thumper’ – good point at #3 re: potential employers paying the LSL bill for a new employee.

‘Canberramum’ – if we collectively ‘hold fire’ long enough, can we encourage you to expand on your points in your original post? ‘Dvaey’ rightly asks this at #17 and I’m sure we’d all appreciate a well thought out and researched position on this.

Please respond to those who have raised decent counter points.

deezagood 8:35 pm 25 Feb 10

This is great news for those horrifically underpaid, hard-working childcarers in Canberra – terrific news indeed.

inlymbo 7:30 pm 25 Feb 10

What an outrageous post. ‘CanberraMum’ me thinks ‘Canberrachildcarecentreowner’ more like.

Jim Jones 7:16 pm 25 Feb 10

Spectra said :

It is all negative

I’m staggered by the kind of arrogance that would completely ignore the fact that it’s a positive thing for these grossly underpaid and under-appreciated workers. “It’s all negative”…”for me, and who the hell else would matter?”.

Horrible to think that such self-involved people are out there raising similarly narcissistic children.

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