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What do childcare workers do all day? It’s way more than ‘wipe noses’

As any parent can imagine, childcare work is so much more than just watching someone’s kid. Daycare workers are also responsible for providing meals, organizing physical and educational activities, teaching literacy skills, helping potty train, keeping progress reports and much, much more.


So when Australian politician David Leyonhjelm recently said childcare workers do nothing more than “wiping noses and stopping kids from killing each other,” the condescending remarks drew the ire of his fellow lawmakers, parents and childcare workers like Chloe Chant, who shut down Leyonhjelm with a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

Leyonhjelm made the comments against childcare workers during a Jan. 9 interview with Channel 10, where he discussed his opposition to a proposed $3 billion childcare reform package. That caught the attention of Chant, a childcare worker from Sydney, Australia, who responded with a now-viral letter on Facebook that details what she actually does.

In her post, she wrote, “Three weeks ago I stopped everything and spent an entire day of my personal, unpaid time creating documents to be used in court for a family in the middle of a child custody hearing… The next day I went to work and wiped a lot of noses.”

She continued, “Two weeks ago I identified behaviors that indicated possible child sexual abuse. I talked to the child, I talked to parents, I consulted research and theory, I completed Mandatory Reporting requirements, I cried—a lot... And I managed to stop the children killing each other.”

Chant’s letter quickly went viral since she published it on Facebook on Jan. 11. And so far, most of the reactions to Chant’s post have been quite positive.

One Facebook user wrote, “Thank you for write [sic] this. Your work will help more people understand the value and importance of our work.”

Another added, “ Wish I could make a statement like that! Brilliantly written A+ piece of writing!”

And one commenter praised the letter as “brilliant,” saying, “ Absolutely endorse this letter. As a mother of a child care worker I am well aware of the dedication & commitment that is freely given for a poor return. Thank you to all hard working childcare personnel.”

It’s no wonder Chant’s letter struck a chord with thousands of social media users around the world: Child care workers are among the most underpaid, undervalued and overworked professions out there.

The median hourly wage for a childcare worker in the United States is $10.31, and only 15% of employees in the profession receive job-based health insurance, according to a 2015 Economic Policy Institute study. Because of the low wages, many childcare workers live below the poverty line. Yet, they all still expected to provide exceptional support and care for dozens of children, day in and day out, without any real support.

Leyonhjelm’s justification for his opposition to Australia’s childcare reform package is disheartening.

But, as Chant closes out her letter, “Should you need any advice regarding the REAL responsibilities of a childcare worker—or should you need your nappy changed—I am only too happy to render assistance. Despite your comments, my role is to educate, and nothing would please me more than to educate one of my esteemed parliamentary representatives.”

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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