Child care workers should be skilled and valued

“The less skilled often take jobs that are hard to fill, like in child care, for example, which allows more parents to work.” The quote is from an editorial published in the New York Times on 9/19/15, commenting that Europe should welcome refugees from the Middle East and arguing that they contribute to the economy in a various ways.

What kind of child care is unskilled? This perpetuates the view that child care amounts to little more than keeping children safe from physical danger and providing for basic needs of food and rest. It equates with tending a herd of sheep. It dismisses what we know to be true, that children thrive, and humans reach their full potential, when they are nurtured with attention that gives them security, social connections to support their mental, emotional and physical development, and education that guides them to develop thinking capacities. Offering this kind of child care requires skill and knowledge.

Child care is not, or certainly should not be, an “unskilled job”.

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