As early childhood teachers start the new year, they should be doing so with enthusiasm and excitement – welcoming children back into their services, making connections and forming relationships with new families and children.
Unfortunately, this year they’ve started with trepidation and fear, disillusioned with the fact that they have been thrown under the bus by this government.
Early childhood teachers have the right, like all other workers, to be in a safe workplace. However, we are working with children who cannot be vaccinated and won’t be wearing masks, so are in fact we are more vulnerable and in more danger than employees in other workplaces.
Being designated as critical workers also means that we can come to work if we are household contacts of a covid case, if we have a negative result on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
However, when we go home at the end of the day we must isolate. This does not make any sense – we can go to work and infect our co-workers, families and children, but we cannot go into the community in case we infect our friends, neighbours and others.