Juniors minding junior: the experiences of junior childcare workers
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
International, Cultural and Community Studies
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that a child (any person under 18) has the right to be protected from work which is exploitative or threatens their normal development. International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 182 further defines particularly hazardous or demeaning child labour. This research project investigates the experiences of junior (aged 14–16) childcare workers in Western Australia (WA) working under conditions which violate these conventions. The childcare sector has undergone changes, resulting in the employment of an increased number of juniors. These young people work for low wages, are given a high level of responsibility, and are often unassertive, inarticulate and unaware of their industrial rights. The research draws on workers' own accounts of their work experiences to document and analyse the current situation, and makes recommendations for action.