Recently when I was going through my web analystics, I found some keywords looking for salary payment in Malaysia. Just to be honest, to all the teachers who are thinking & planning of coming to Malaysia to work as a Montessori teacher, the salary scale for people even as a directress would not go above RM1,500 month. Most supervisors in a normal main-stream pre-school who work maybe until 3pm may only earn around that much.
Then again one has to know that if you were looking for a high-paying salary, teaching is not really the best profession to come into in any place unless if was done for the love of the job & children vs the monetary pay-outs.
Costs of living are going up, but the salaries of workers are not there. In Malaysia, there is no standard Union that negotiates for the salaries of the people, and is mostly done by the company itself in preparing a pay package in wanting to head-hunt or employ a staff personnel. Furthermore teachers are at a disadvantage due to union laws, as Malaysian regulations state that in order for teachers to have their unions established, they need to have an 8 work day. As most main-stream and also currently trained Montessori teachers either get off at 1pm or later, the establishment of teacher unions will have to take a long wait into the far future.
Montessori teacher training programmes in Malaysia do not come cheap, and are expensive for the average local Malaysian. It costs average about RM12,000 for the entire cost at most private colleges. This includes tutelage fees, membership to the MCI board (UK) and examination fees. Students who have failed their examinations are only allowed to retake their examinations once for the entire duration of the International Montessori Diploma (MCI) programme. After which, they will have to re-enrol for the entire program if they failed both times.
In summary, unless you had a supplement income aside from being a teacher (even as one in a Montessori position), it is difficult to make ends meet on that one job, even in a permanent position. A lot of these teachers need to have another part-time job, or like my friend, Annie, who comes from inter-state, although she did work as a Montessori teacher, her parents had to help her pay her rent because of her low pay. She knows that she can't survive on the pay that she is given.
To digress, if a candidate wanted higher pay per hour for work as either a casual childcare staff or teacher, a good place would be Australia.
However in order to be eligible to work as a teacher in preschools & kindergartens (it is different from Child Care Centres & Long Day Care Centres!), the candidate would need a 4-year teaching degree equivalent to the Australian Teaching Board requirements, & you have to be registered in each state's teaching registry if you are planning to work there. Casuals get higher pay rates as they do not get the whole package that permanent staff are entitled to i.e. unpaid leave, sick leave, medical benefits & all.
I'm not too sure about Montessori staff requirements, but as stated previously in one of my earlier entries, the candidate by legislation needs to possess a 4 year degree in order to work as a registered teacher in New South Wales preschools & kindergartens (since I am based here currently). Candidates not only need to possess the 4 yr degree, but need to have the Montessori diploma on top of it to be qualified to work as a Montessori teacher in the Montessori schools (there are Montessori primary & secondary schools in NSW).
Of course, that is in the books. In practice, the schools may work otherwise due to lack of Montessori trained teachers available that they have to settle for main-stream trained teachers to work in the schools.
However in retrospect, I was just thinking that if you do possess a Montessori qualification even with only a normal 3 yr or other degrees, the pre-school & kindergarten may consider you for work, but placing you in either a "unqualified" or "trainee" position (meaning less pay!). Anyways, this is all at the discretion of the employer who will decide if they want to employ or not. It is financially onerous on the hiring & education system in Australia by the way it is set out, but that is something that they have to work out.
Just remember, in order to work in a Preschool & Kindergarten (i.e Queensland's Creche & Kindergarten), the position of a registered teacher needs a 4-year-degree, & in a Child Care Centre & Long Day Care Centres, (i.e ABC Learning Centres, CFK Childcare Centres), the Early Childhood teacher needs a 3-year degree (otherwise known as Early Childhood Teacher).
Other positions available in a childcare centre (either long day care or similar) which is not a teaching position includes the Classroom Assistant (generally thought of as an untrained position) who requires a Cert III in Children Services, and Advanced Child Care Worker which requires a Diploma in Children Services (a trained position). If you are wondering, these are all Australian TAFE qualifications. If you have no idea what it is, it doesn't matter as only mostly locals and foreigners who have been in Australia for a while would have considered taking it.
The hourly rates for Early Childhood Teachers casuals (ECT- 3 yr degree Bachelor of Teaching/Early Childhood) who work in Childcare Centres & Day Care Centres, have rates starting from AUD26.6/hour to as high as about 37/hour. For registered teachers (4 year Bachelor of Education) work in public/private schools, preschools & kindergartens, rates should be about AUD 40+. This depends on the pay rates that agents are willing to pay their casuals, so do your research & pick a good one to develop a relationship with!
Permanent staff are paid lower but they get more stable shifts, as it is costly for centres to take on casual staff. If you are good at your work, the centre will repeatedly for you to return to work. I have been to centres where there are casuals who have been working there for months! Some from the same agent that I am from, and others from the other childcare agents in Sydney.
For the international and foreigner, you have to know that if it weren't for the adult:children ratio that is mandated in the Australian childcare legislation, casuals like us would not be able to find employment. So it does provide some advantages of providing employment to companies and relief staff like us. I doubt you'd be able to find work as a relief teacher in Malaysia as such a system has yet to exist, and probably not even in the far future yet.
Till now, I have not been assigned to a Montessori school for relief work. So I am unable to tell you how it is like although it is my desire to check out the Montessori schools around here soon. I do hope that my agent will send me to a Montessori school, as though I am trained to work in a play-based educational setting, my desire is still to work in a Montessori school.
As much as I would like to encourage you to take up permanent work, from what I have heard, pay for staff in childcare is horrendously low whether in the States, Australia, or Malaysia. Hmm... But it really depends on what you want.