It’s Not All Mary Poppins

My (Pay)Cheque, Please

Caregivers are loving, caring people. We are kind and nurturing. We adore our wee charges. All parents out there smile and sigh in relief. “My baby is safe.” Good to know!

We caregivers are professionals doing a job. We are self-employed businesswomen with brains as well as hearts. Have I shocked you yet? Are you recoiling at the callousness? Some people do. Witness the following real exchange:

A woman I met in my optometrist’s waiting room, upon finding out what I do for a living, and being interested in doing the same, started asking me questions.

Among other topics, the subject of money came up, and I gave her my input: that what you can charge varies depending on which area of the city you live in, and, given where she lives, she could charge a decent rate.

She shied away from that like she’d stepped in something rotting. “Oh, I’m wouldn’t be in it for the money!!” she gasped. The optometrist, who’d happened along about then, agreed. Oh, no, caregivers don’t do it for the money!!!

Well, no we don’t. Not exactly. But would you, Ms.$100,000+/year Optometrist, enjoy your job quite so much if it only paid $20,000? Surely a professional can expect to be paid a wage appropriate to her work?

I love the children, and I do my job well, but I am not some kind of saint with a calling, an other-wordly paragon who only soils herself with money because she has bills to pay. I’m a trained teacher, I’ve worked in daycare centers, I’ve taught parenting classes. I am a professional. I value my work, therefore I think it’s worth what I charge, and I charge near the top of the scale for my chosen career in this city. Does that make me mercenary? Are these poor children suffering under the care of a crass woman who is only in it “for the money”?

Pah! I like getting paid well for my work – who doesn’t?
© 2006, Mary P

July 13, 2006 Posted by | controversy, daycare | 18 Comments