Condy Park Kindergarten director Kathryn Forgan-Flynn.
Condy Park Kindergarten director Kathryn Forgan-Flynn. Alistair Brightman

'We're not babysitters': Childcare boss calls for support

A FRASER Coast childcare director has called for politicians to better understand childcare jobs before making policies that would affect the industry.

Condy Park Kindergarten director Kathryn Forgan-Flynn made the comments as the debate over childcare support in Australia reaches fever pitch.

She said childcare involved more than "babysitting".

"Politicians need an in-depth knowledge of what they (childcare workers) do because the concept of babysitting is not only derogatory, it's outdated," Ms Forgan-Flynn said.

She said childcare workers were in need of a wage increase.

"Childcare workers are terribly underpaid, work incredibly long hours and, physically, it's a demanding job," she said.

"We provide above the award conditions at Condy Park Kindy, but it's few and far between with other positions in the industry.

"It requires experience and we need to have that investment to ensure educators have that quality education."

Ms Forgan-Flynn said she supported any initiative that gave families the ability to access early childhood education and families should not have to pay more.

"There's a lot of pressure in this particular community, being a lower socio-economic area," she said.

"It's not fair we ask families to foot that bill as they're under enough pressure already."

Under Labor's plan, low-income families earning $69,000 or less per year would be given free childcare.

The party also plans to supplement the wages of childcare workers by 20 per cent over eight years.

Speaking to ABC radio yesterday, Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said Labor's childcare plan was a "fast-track" to "a communist economy" and a "pure and utter bribe to unions".

Later that day Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not engage in a "spend-a-thon" competition on childcare.



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