I was at work on Monday morning, preparing my cup of coffee during morning tea time (as I usually do), and our Director said that The National Regulations state we cannot drink hot drinks in the presence of children. Admittedly, I was:
- Shocked at the sudden change in our workplace, then
- Understanding of the hazards associated with carrying hot water around young children, and then
- I GOT MAD!
Why did I get mad?
Well, how about the fact that we have become so incredibly scared of our own shadow that we cannot be real around children? How about the fact that we are more worried about the safety implications of potential hazards in our environment that we omit them under the pretense of Occupational Health and Safety?Please let me be clear, this is NOT a rant about having a cup of coffee around children. To be honest, I couldn’t give a toss about drinking it during morning tea, on my break, or whatever. It is what this type of Regulation represents. In my opinion, it is just another stranglehold on Early Childhood Educators making sensible and reasonable choices in the workplace.
As a colleague said to me recently, So, if we are working under that theory, then experiences like play dough making and cooking should not be done [with children] because of the safety hazards associated with them. Well said, and how bloody ridiculous.
Am I being unreasonable? Let me ask you this
- Do you drink hot drinks at home around your children?
- Do you involve your children in cooking experiences?
- Do you use straighteners or curling tongs at home and leave them to cool on the bathroom bench? [Whilst doing a ‘First Aid for Babies’ course with my mother’s group, the instructor told us that a large number of burns to young children occur from these hair styling tools!]
- Do you have a step-by-step process on how to wash your hands plastered to your bathroom wall? because child care centres and preschools do!
We are so concerned about projecting a professional image of Early Childhood Education to parents and the greater community that we dont TRUST ourselves to make the simplest of decisions without consulting our Regulatory body. How professional do we look to parents when we need to remind ourselves of how to wash our hands properly?
If this is now, where are we heading?