As I ran my own business, I could only access my paid parental leave from Centrelink. My husband accessed two weeks of parental leave from his job as well as two weeks from Centrelink.
It was DEFINITELY not enough.
I had an emergency c-section and the recovery was brutal. I couldn't drive and needed to check in with my GP every two days due to preeclampsia. My husband needed to take four additional weeks off - a combination of annual leave and carers leave - so that he could care for me.
I think many employers underestimate how much support mothers need after giving birth. I physically couldn't shower myself for two weeks AND I had a newborn. Parental leave needs to be more accessible for partners so they can support the birth parent.
I work at the early learning centre that my daughter attends. I have post graduate qualifications in the field and have been working in the sector for 10 years. It is INFURIATING that I am paid half of the salary compared to certain trades who have a cert 3 (car spray painting comes to mind).
My centre is amazing and we are rated as “exceeding”. We have a beautiful space with amazing educators, however, we are meant to run with 33 full time educators. Currently we are operating with 15. Everyone is leaving the industry because we are underpaid, underappreciated and overworked. Staff who are still here have to work twice as hard to make up the difference, leaving them burning out faster than ever. And yet, we have a five page waitlist and our rooms are full. It doesn't make sense.
We have sacrificed owning a house. We cannot afford to pay early learning fees and a mortgage right now. Especially given the low salary I earn as an educator.
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