Child care workers believe they are not being paid enough for the job they do, so they’re doing something about it.

Childcare union, ‘United Voice’, is behind the Big Steps campaign, which aims to get professional wages for people working in day care centres.

Jo Curlis reports.


They’re paid less than someone working behind a bar.

But it’s a job that encompasses many skills – child care educators fill the role of teacher, doctor, arts director and counsellor.

The Raising Children network says parents can pay from 70 to 120 dollars per day but that’s not reflected in the pay packets of child care educators.

Rebecca Swainson, Child Care Centre Director: “At $18 an hour they’re not getting paid enough to stay in this industry.”

United Voice said up to 180 staff leave the industry every week for higher paying jobs.

The big steps campaign is lobbying the federal government for $1.4 billion in the next budget to top up the wages of childcare educators throughout the country.

If their budget submission is accepted, they’ll be paid on a par with normal teachers.

Zara Lucker, Child Care Educator: “Not really good no, it makes me, sometimes at night it makes me really sad.”

And today Federal Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett says he’s committed more funding to childhood centrres, but it’s unclear if any of that will reach those on the front line.

Jo Curlis, QUT News.