They are the teachers, the carers and the mentors to our next doctors, politicians, astronauts, journalists, social justice campaigners and much more, and yet, they are paid one third less than educators of older students.
That’s why on Early Childhood Educators’ Day, the 7th of September (just one day before Equal Pay Day 2016), they want you to throw your support behind them and send a message to Malcolm Turnbull.
How? With an online protest called a Thunderclap which posts the same message, at the same time, on the same day, to every supporter’s social media feed and wall.
It’s easy to do, just sign up here and we’ll do the rest!
The Thunderclap is the next step in the Big Steps campaign after the election and follows on from various other actions throughout the year; including members chaining themselves to a government building to replicate the protest of women's activist Zela D'Aprano from 1969, protests through Sydney streets, the 'Turnbull Early Leaning Centre' where members converted the outside of Turnbull's electorate office into a day care, and the delivery of 15,000 signatures to the PM in support of a wage rise for ECEC worker.
Following this protest two WA-based early childhood educators, Mel and Emma, will fly to Canberra for a national day of planning for the campaign.
They will discuss a range of ideas from WA members who came together last night for a Leader's meeting.
Emma says it's important all Early Childhood Educators get on board to ensure the industry's workers are given the recognition they deserve.
“I know it’s kind of cliché, but we are better together," she said.
She says there is a stigma in the public that needs to be broken.
“It’s not only about the money, although that would really help to pay the bills, it’s about the feeling that we get looked down on,” she said.
“That we’re not valued. People don’t understand no matter how much research that what we do is so very important.
“It’s disheartening and it’s the main reason we have so many people leaving the industry.”
You can join the campaign for professional wages here.