Early Childhood Practitioners Deserve a Pension!

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Everybody deserves to have a pension fund for when they get old and can no longer work. It would be a shame if after dedicating your youthful years in service to your government, you had no pension to receive when you're old and grey. What would make matters worse is if you had no children and your family members were not in a position to assist you financially. Surely, dog would 'nyam yuh suppa'.

As it stands, Early Childhood Practitioners are in this very situation where they have no heritage to look forward to. Early Childhood Practitioners are persons who do not hold a college or university degree, but who received level 2 training at HEART in Early Childhood Care and work as Teachers in basic schools. They are in every basic school. They are your children's teachers! They are the same persons who take your 3-6 year-olds to the bathroom, wipe their noses, feed them their lunches, clean up their messes, teach them their ABC's and 123's and prepare them to enter primary schools. Yes, they write lesson plans and teach a class all by themselves just like the trained teacher. In fact, as it is now, basic schools employ only one trained teacher, which means that at a school that has 5 teachers, four of them are Early Childhood Practitioners! In other words, they are the backbone of the Early Childhood sector. 

Despite the hard work they do, Early Childhood Practitioners receive less than $35,000 from the government per month, and according to the school's budget, they receive an additional sum that puts it at less than $50,000 per month. With such a poor remuneration, one can hardly expect these hard working citizens to take care of their rent, utility bills and their children's education, much less save towards retirement. They also have to go through the hassle of getting a police report, a food handlers permit and a medical every single year in order to continue working, even though those documents were submitted the previous years and no complaint had been lodged against them. They have to pay for these from their meagre salaries.

No-one deserves to live in a state of anxiety regarding how they will feed themselves after working so hard in their early years leading up to retirement. Early Childhood Practitioners are no different. They deserve a pension. They work just as hard as trained teachers and deserve to be given a pension when their work is done. Help me create a future for those who help to create a future for our basic school children! 



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