Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Early Childhood Educators Must Scratch for a Living; They Have to Survive on $17 to $20 an Hour

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Early Childhood Educators Must Scratch for a Living; They Have to Survive on $17 to $20 an Hour

Article excerpt

Byline: Amy Marshall Amy.Marshall@capnews.com.au

ROCKHAMPTON early childhood educators are having to look for second jobs to pay the bills, as unions step up their campaign for a pay rise for workers across the state.

North Rockhampton's Elphin House Childcare Centre director Sheri Murphy says early childhood educators earn as little as $17Co$18 an hour, to a maximum of $20.

Mrs Murphy said their counterparts at the state's kindergartens, who do the same job and have the same qualifications, earned upto $35 an hour.

C[pounds sterling]The Federal Government has done a lot to provide more training and has given us the respect of now calling us childhood educators,C[yen] Mrs Murphy said.

C[pounds sterling]But it needs to be matched with wages.C[yen]

Childcare union United Voice said Australia was losing 180 skilled early childhood workers a week because of low wages.

It has asked the Federal Government to invest $1.4 billion on paying professional wages.

United Voice Queensland's assistant branch secretary Sheila Hunter said there were 380,000 parents in Queensland who had children in long-day care at childcare centres.

C[pounds sterling]With people in regional areas like Rockhampton earning so much money in mining, it really is a stark contrast,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]And with the mining, the cost of everything goes up except their wages, and people can't afford to pay their rent. …

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