Crossroads In My Life

In Columns, Features, Moments with Michelle by Michelle Henson

I’m at a crossroads in my life. I love working with children, they are so full of possibility and wonder. So it makes sense that I would naturally want to pursue a career in the childcare field.

A degree would give me a chance to sharpen my skills, and provide me with new tools that would make me better able to deal with some of the massive responsibilities that come along with caring for young children on a daily basis.

Sadly though, getting a degree would mean very little in terms of dollars and cents. I have researched the field by talking to those who currently work with children. Unfortunately, many of the teachers say, spending the time and money to get a degree in the childcare field is virtually pointless if money is your only motivator.

The education, these experts say, does not mean that one will be rewarded with a heftier paycheck. In fact, they say, there is very little financial difference between the amount of money, which I get paid now without a degree, and the money that I would carry home if I were to earn one.

This makes no sense to me. After all, childcare is in high demand. More and more children h

ave to be part of a daycare program, for at least a part of, if not for the whole day, because of financial constraints, which often dictate that both parents work outside of the home.

It used to be quite normal for a mother to be able to stay home and raise the children, and the family could survive on only one income. But those days are gone. This has led to an increased need for competent, dedicated childcare workers who are trained to act as surrogate parents for children who need love and attention.

Though I probably will not go for my degree right away, I know that I will still continue to strive to enhance the lives of many children whose lives I will continue to touch.

Success and reward come not only from dollars and cents, but also from the other intangible rewards, which you get. I absolutely love children. They have a certain charisma that can make you believe in the world; no matter how old or how cynical you’re tempted to become. They look for the good in someone and it does not matter if you are different from them.

For those reasons, I will not give up on the profession that I love so much. It is just too bad that those people who work with children do not get the respect and financial compensation that they so richly deserve.

I hope that someday we will.
“Do what you love, and love what you do”

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