I read a particularly nasty blog recently; the poster concentrating on a recent strike by daycare workers. The individual, obviously, oblivious to bargaining processes and vital role daycare workers play in our society, it was a very hard read and in all honesty, nauseating. She referred to daycare workers as “glorified” babysitters; I find her disregard for the health, safety and security of children appalling. There is nothing more important than the security of the vulnerable in our society – children, the infirm and the elderly.
To be fair to the blogger, the current set of demands are over the top, 6 weeks paid vacation is an unreasonable demand. The other demands may, at first glance, seem over the top but this is a bargaining process. Anyone with even the most remote knowledge of bargaining, collective or otherwise, understands the best to be demanded is presented first and then, the bargaining begins.
While the best choice for a child is to be home with one of his/her parents during the formative years, sometimes, this is simply not financially possible. For other parents, yes – selfishness and materialism play into rather skewered perspectives and ethics but I would hazard a guess and believe that most parents would prefer to have one of them be home during those early years.
These people who have chosen early childhood education as their career deserve the recognition for the jobs that they do. They serve as nurturers, teachers, and caregivers to the most important members of our future, the kids. They are not “glorified” babysitters. Caring for these young charges must be incredibly stressful; I know that I, for one, could not do it. Composure must be maintained at all times, patience always a watchword, dealing with the parents, who as any parent is wont to do, consider their child the most precious, even above all other children. In this day in our age of allergies, being on constant alert for anything that may be brought into the facility that may cause a potentially harmful situation.
This is a career of dedicated and caring individuals. They deserve more respect that has been afforded them to date. The trust of a parent’s most treasured and indeed, society’s most treasured possessions are placed in the hands of these people, for in excess of 8 hours a day. These people are entitled to certain special considerations because of the very nature of their jobs. It takes a very special type of soul to do what these people do, day in and day out.
If they need personal days, then I maintain they should be given those days, if only to maintain their personal stress levels. Realistically, who among us would be able to tolerate a room of 5 to 10 kids running about, doing what children do – making a mess, creating noise and chaos at every turn. I know, looking back at my own stay-at-home mom days, the option of a personal day would have been so very welcomed and these were my own children. I could not even imagine the stress inherent in the responsibility of a daycare worker.
These people need to be recognized for the vital role they play in our society, anything less is unacceptable and a reflection of a society that has lost its sense of what it means to BE a society. It takes a village to raise a child and our village relies on daycare workers to stand in when parents cannot.