WHEN I read this terrible story about a child care worker who was caught assaulting a two-year-old in Sydney, I immediately thought about those that work at my childrens’ day care centre.
You see, I have discussed this very situation before with them.
Don’t get me wrong; I trust all of the staff at my kids’ centre one hundred percent. It’s a conclusion I came to when I first enrolled my kids in childcare. When you are quite literally entrusting your child’s life into other people’s hands, you evaluate the hell out of those people: their demeanour, their attitude, their confidence, their experience and the way they interact with the kids.
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And when I enrolled my children, I also spoke to the staff about their procedures and policies regarding children and carers being alone together.
This particular centre is very open-plan. What I like most about it is the layout: there are oversized glass windows between each room, an open kitchen area in the middle and large, spacious outdoor spaces surrounding the building.
This means that when you’re standing at the front entry, you can view almost the entire centre from one spot.
From a safety point of view, there are very, very few nooks and crannies where kids can hide… or where anything nefarious could take place.
It sucks that we even have to consider these things.
Just like it sucks on behalf of all of the hard-working, passionate male child care educators in Australia that a story like this will prompt us to ponder their trustworthiness.
But when a man commits a crime like this, it unfortunately tars the rest of their gender with the same brush.
Rightly or wrongly, it creates a situation where all men who work at child care centres are mild targets of suspicion, which is grossly unfair but also understandable. One bad apple spoils the bunch, or however that saying goes…
I have to hope that surely, those bad apples are few and far between?
And I want to take a moment to thank the good guys. The kind-hearted males who simply love children, and who have chosen to pursue a career in child care education as a result. You do a fantastic job, often while under a small, unspoken cloud of suspicion, and it will probably never disappear completely. Thank you.
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