The value of childcare: Class, gender and caring labour

Yarrow Andrew, Brian Newman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite increasing attention being paid to early childhood services as the foundation for lifelong learning, one issue seems to be consistently ignored - staff wages. The authors argue that this constitutes ongoing exploitation of childcare staff, and that this exploitation is a result of gendered and classed discourses around caring labour. As with other feminised fields, this caring labour involves a high level of emotional management, of the self and others, which remains undervalued as a skill within discourses of professionalisation. The authors suggest that only by recognising the unequal distribution of wages across the education sector and significantly increasing the pay of early childhood staff will early childhood services deliver the educational advantages hoped for by governments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)242-247
    Number of pages6
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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