Men in childcare

Men in childcare

The GenderEYE project, run by Lancaster University in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is aiming to find out why relatively few men train to work in the early years, what would attract them to the career and how to keep them in the workforce.

Dr Jo Warin of the department of educational research at Lancaster University, said, ‘Currently only 2% of the early years workforce is male. Our study aims to find out why.

The surveys were available from August until 30 September and results will be published at the end of 2020. Visit https://gendereye.org/

Source – Nursery World

For decades there has been an awareness of the lack of men working in childcare. Whilst we acknowledge this, are settings proactively encouraging and welcoming men into this sector?

  • Is there an unconscious bias surrounding men in childcare roles?
  • Is there a lack of information and advice for men about the benefits and challenges of childcare careers?
  • Do men themselves have their own concerns about attitudes from colleagues, peers and parents about working in early years settings?

As a society we need to re-evaluate gender stereotypes. Are we a society that praises, promotes and encourages “girls” into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers, but lacks the diversity to provide men with resources, training and information about childcare careers?

As an industry (no one single setting, organisation or individual is going to solve the lack of male childcare workers) a collaborative and ongoing effort from a variety of interested parties is needed to set the wheels in motion and get some momentum.

With many local networking events and professional social media platforms such as Linkedin, setting up a steering committee in your area or even remotely, this is a fantastic way to start collating a gap analysis and reflection cycle and “to make things happen”. Have a clear aim and directive, agree what you hope to achieve and by when, and continue to regularly review your goals and achievements. It is important to ensure your steering committee has agencies and individuals from a variety of backgrounds and represents a broad spectrum of the sector.

It’s important that children see both men and women as role models, and within a caring and educational role of a childcare setting. Having male practitioners creates opportunities for positive male interactions and a sense of shared responsibility of nurturing children.

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