Industry survey predicts shortage of child care staff

The reluctance of child care workers and students to use formal
child care for their own children will lead to future challenges
around entry, retention and loss in the child care workforce,
according to research published last week.

Forty-three per cent of students say they would work part-time
if or when they have children, while 25 per cent say they will not
work at all and 21 per cent say they will work from home. Only nine
per cent anticipate working full-time, although among students from
ethnic minority backgrounds this figure is 27 per cent.

Workers identify a range of constraints, including having
children, giving priority to partners’ careers, hours of work,
occupational mobility, and a devaluation of the work.

They cite devaluation from many sources, including poor pay,
lack of recognition, parents’ views and governmental policies, and
a personal belief that mothers should be available for their

“The profile of the workforce – with a high proportion of young
women workers – suggests a large number will have children in the
next five years or so, while the attitudes of child care workers to
child care suggest that many will leave full-time nursery work when
they have their own young children,” the report states.

Entry, Retention and Loss: A Study of Childcare Students and

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