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The consequences of caring : skills, regulation and reward among early years workers

Findlay, P. and Findlay, Jeanette and Stewart, Robert (2009) The consequences of caring : skills, regulation and reward among early years workers. Work, Employment and Society, 23 (3). pp. 422-441. ISSN 0950-0170

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Abstract

The persistence of gendered pay inequality raises questions as to what sustains it. Recent contributions highlight the role of low skills visibility and valuation in pay inequality in predominantly female occupations. This artical examines the skills and rewards of early years workers, the organizational processes through which their skills are measured and rewarded and the institutional and organizational influences on grading and pay systems.The article does so at an important juncture when the importance and regulation of the 'early years' sector has increased significantly and following pay equality initiatives. It concludes that while the application of more systematic forms of skill and job measurement has improved the relative rewards of nursery nurses, gendered constructions of their caring skills contaminate evaluation of their educational role such that undervaluation of their work persists. This finding raises implications for other work that incorporates caring skills.