View Full Version : ABC- Childcare workers
having spent the last hour reading posts regarding ABC centres i am both glad that parents and others are seeing the reality to this corporate chain of centres, however i am also saddend by the general veiw of those that work in these centres.
First let me say after 11 years in the industry i was forced to take a job at an ABC centre after a position i was hired for fell thru. After being there a short time i am desperatly trying to find another position as i feel like all of you that the ABC centre were i work ( as i cannot comment on others as there is surely SOME that do have quality care) provide appaling care for the children in their centres.
I guesss what im trying to say is that of all the staff i know that work there, 95% want OUT. But reality is not all staff can find a new job in a week. So there forced by there own circumstances to stay till something comes along. Many have no idea how bad it is due to being young and not knowing how good other centres are.Many are struggling daily with the rules, poilcies and workload to maintain good care.
In regards to some of the posts re: ABC workers ...YES, i belive there are some that should not care for kids but MOST are simply overworked, exhausted in fact, with over ratio rooms, lack of resoucres and simply poor morale. They try every day to fix things but get knocked down or threatend with lack of work.
I ask you to please......when you notice a child carer is "cold or rude" as you have mentioned take head in knowing that they have spent their day trying to fight management for better care for you kids, perhaps worked ALONE with 6 babies under 1 all day, havent eaten, gone to the toilet in the first 6 hours of being there or havent been paid for the last 6 weeks work(this is not uncommon) , some are forced to come to work sick so management dosnt have to pay for casuals and having all this on their mind.
At the end of the day we (on the inside) are beggin parents to ask the questions or for proof of things we cannot say due to confideniality. But each day most parents come and go without saying anything and our hands are tied.
All i can say is these concerns wont change without actions, next time you go to your centre, count the ratio of kids to staff, ask to SEE whats for lunch and how much you child will get, look in the cupboard at toys and see how little there is...ask WHY!!! ASk how much time you child spent with staff and how much time they spent doing paperwork..!
Well thats my post i just hope people start to ask questions...and act on them. "At the end of the day the quality of our child care is only as good as we allow it to be..................."
Nanny Smith i 100% agree with you i worked in the industry before i had my DD but never for an ABC centre and that reason was never the staff that worked there but the management Now my DD is 2 i would like to put her in care 1 day a week but ABC has bought out all the centres in my area that are close and have closed down 2 i think in a 5 min drive there are around 8 ABC centres and 2 other indepentent ones as for going back to work i would not go back to child care any way as for me i found it to stressful and emotionally draining and i think my child deserves better than that i also want to spend my money on my daughter not buying things for the centres as they only buy what they have to !!!
What a great post!
I have never worked in an ABC centre so can not comment on them, However I have (in my early days) worked for other private centres which have similar problems you have described Nanny!
I have for the past 5 years worked at a community(work based) centre funded by hospital staff and have seen what quality care really is!
The regulations (which have recently changed yet again) are in my opinon ridiculous.
For instance in the nursery, centres only need one member to be cert. 3 which means they have done a 6mth course and thats it, the rest of the staff can be untrained or trainees................pathetic!
My centre runs and has since opening 12 years ago above the regulations including staff: child ratios.......this means that the centre is actually running at a loss because children are put first NOT profit!
I will be going on maternity leave soon with my second bub and we are looking at moving 2hours away................therefore i have been looking at other child care centres in that area and i am appalled at what im finding I really cant imagine leaving my son in these kind of places especially knowing what quality care really means!
Bottom line if staff are overworked, underpaid, constantly at odds with management about regs, etc etc then children are not getting the care they need.
IMO nothing will change unless parents (like myself) stand up and demand better from our government, demand higher staff: child ratios, better working conditions for the professionals that strive every day to care for our kids, better pay for all their hard work, better resources etc etc the list could go on and on and on!
Ok enough from me.....
If all the workers that hated abc left(its not like there is a job shortage) then there wouldnt be a problem!
There are always more young trainees/untrained people out there who will be fooled into thinking that this type of stuff is normal and they will stay because they dont have the experience (to know there are great centres out there) OR confidence in their own abilities.
I know coz i was one of them....
I started working at a private centre my first year out of uni and put up with it for four long years.
Partly due to my ignorance of great centres, partly because i loved the kids and families and tried to change things and partly because my self esteem as a teacher was totally destroyed by management!
Parents need to take some responsibility for bringing about change too as its their children getting the short end of the stick!
I am currently working for ABC, i have worked for 2 ABC centres as i moved and transferred closer to the area. I have to comment that each and every ABC centre is completey different!! The centre i started working at was absolutely terrible, exactly what was being said in pervious posts, lack of staff morale, no1 wanting to be there, too many policies, too much paperwork!! ABC is not about the kids anymore, it's all about the paperwork and showing how you are promoting the childrens development, rather than actually doing it!!! Too much time is wasted on the paperwork!! We are underpaid and overworked for the amount of work put on us!! However the centre i am currently working in is so much better, even though staff are still struggling to get through the paperwork...but somehow because of the great people and director, everything seems to balance out and the kids are happy and the staff are the same!! So i think it really depends on which centre, the area, and the staff that are working at the centre...my advice to parents looking for childcare is, ask as many questions as u can think of, and if you feel comfortable there, when u look at the place if the staff automatically interact with you even when you dont have a child there and you feel comfortable talking to the staff and staff seem genuinely interested....then go for it!! You should feel it straight away!! IF not, look elsewhere!!
I so agree Nanny Smith.
As a teacher, a mum and someone who has done relief work in ABC centres I am going out on a limb here and saying that we will never get real quality care for our kids in a centre just out to make money. They will operate at minimum staff and the true indicator of quality care is the training, experience and ratio of staff/child.
I am so happy to have found a non-profit preschool (not daycare) for DS that believes in providing good care by operating with one extra staff person. Unfortunately this option is open to more people so parents really do need to speak up and make as much noise as possible about the poor conditions child care staff operate under.
I mean, our kids are so precious yet we are supposed to trust them with an untrained child care worker who is having to care for 5 babies with little help. Its not on!
Nanny Smith, :yelclap: I want to thank you, hug you and commend you on your bravery. It is so hard to find a staff member who will step aside and speak out against this company. I am so proud of you!!
As a parent, I tried to bring about change for over a year, unsuccessfully. It was a very bad experience with myself and other parents being harassed and pushed about by ABC Management, (not the Director but further up the chain). We took threatening and abusive phonecalls during which ABC Management made it clear they would not hesitate to take legal action if we did not stop complaining and talking to other parents. If this is how they treat a paying customer, then I dread to think how they treat their staff.
It was really hard to come into a centre and find non-communicative staff. I would have loved to have had a conversation with them to find where I was going wrong or to explore why they all did nothing to change things, (after all they are the ones with all the training).
I did all that I could to encourage the Director and Staff to speak out. Myself and other parents said we would support them and would work together with them to make things better but in the end, I guess it comes down to being employed or not. I completely understand this and do not bear these people any negative will. I just wish there were more like you.
I believe parents want better quality and outcomes for their kids and would be only too happy to take a two pronged approach and support staff to drive this along; but are worried they will be unsupported by others, lose their place or find their kids subjected to harassment.
ABC Management made it clear to us that it was at their complete discretion who they allowed to have a place in their centres. That can be a heavy call when you think of how difficult it is to get a place.
i have to agree with you too.. i have worked in childcare too for 11 years and the industry has changed alot over time..
they can be tight i was told when i worked for them that i would get 15 % off my fees and when it came to the crunch, that was taking their money and i didnt get it..
I worked at a highly recommended private centre and was disgusted by the lack of care. I knew it wasnt going to be good from day one as when i had my job interview which lasted 2 seconds and noone even looked at my CV and it was straight into a trial that day and then congrats, you got the job! I hated working there as i felt like i was doing all the work and i basically was. The qualified was always doing paperwork and others would just b*tch about eachother behind their backs. While i wasnt doing cleaning i was playing with the kids (the only part i liked). I couldnt leave the job until i had another one to go to and i wanted a good job so i stayed for a few months.
Our boss was so greedy, we were overflowing with children and were understaffed. She didnt want to pay for casuals so she hardley ever got them to come in, she'ld even send fulltimers home if it was quiet. I once rang up sick and she told me to take imodiem (or something for vomiting and diarreah) and come in soon then hung up on me when i said im too sick. Shortly after i handed in my notice we had a insanely busy day where we had even ran out of chairs for the kids for lunch so some got to have picnics and in my fury i said i felt like getting the board down here. Somehow she found out and went nuts at me and spilled the same lines that she had used when another handed in her notice. I think she feels more powerfull if its her that gets rid of you not you leaving. So much went on there that it's put me off ever putting my child into a daycare. I cant believe what goes on in them places. Even the school runner went to the pub in her lunch break but the boss done nothing because she was friends with her mother.
If anywhere has a high staff turnover i suggest you look elsewhere as thats a easy telltale that its bad! Sad sad sad
E'smumma- I have goose bumps after reading your post...it took me back 8 years to when i first started out in a private centre!
BUT trust me their are great places out there and your right about turn over of staff.
At my centre (which was established about 14 years ago) there is little turn over, basically people only leave if they are having babies LOL and most carers have been there for over 10 years!
Another thing to look out for is high staff ratios : children and talk to other parents if they have lots of - to say then thats a huge sign too!
BUT i totally understand your point about putting your own child in care, i am super picky and know what to look out for in re: to a great centre.
Thats why when we move at the end of the year and i go on maternity leave I wont be putting ds in child care anywhere else as his soooo lucky to attend my centre.....im going to wait till his ready for a community run preschool v's a private centre.
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