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Early childhood educators outraged by Sloan comments

Early childhood educators are angered by comments made by The Australian contributing economics editor Judith Sloan about educators in a recent blog and again on the ABC’s Q&A program.

The blog contained a post by Sloan, saying : “You know the one where toddlers must be instructed by some dim-witted graduate from a second rate university.”

Just recently, Sloan is said to have made comments again about early educators on ABC’s program, saying that educators are “lacking common sense”.

National president of United Voice childcare union Michael Crosby expressed his disapproval on the issue, saying that there is indignation across the sector because educators are being treated with disrespect by a prominent commentator. Aside from contributing as an editor for The Australian, Sloan is also a member of the board for Westfield Group and also holds a public position at the University of Melbourne.

“Early childhood educators feel professor Sloan’s comments denigrate their profession, which is one of the hardest working and lowest-paid in our community,” he said.

Representing other childcare educators, Crosby appealed to Westfield chairman Frank Lowy to denounce the comments made by Sloan and to dissociate his organisation from the comments.

Early childhood educator Megan Mason who has a degree in early childhood from Macquarie University also voiced her views. She said that educators like her work every day to give early education and care for children in the formative years of brain development and give essential service to working mums and dads for just a little more than the minimum wage.

“To have our commitment and professionalism called into question is a real slap in the face,” Mason commented.

She continued that the federal government’s announcement about funding for professional wages earlier in the year has been a breakthrough in professional acknowledgment for educators like her.

Mason went on to say that the negative comments made by Sloan affects the image of educators as professionals, and stated that Sloan should apologise for her comments.

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