Men and Early Years

With Father’s Day coming up on 21st June 2015 I got to thinking about men and their relationships with children.

Caring for young children is still mainly the preserve of women at home and in childcare settings. But why is this? Are women naturally better at child care than our male counterparts? Well, from personal experience, I know that not to be true.

Simply on a financial basis my husband ended up doing the child care. And he was fantastic at it. So, I know men can be great at looking after young children. I’m also seeing a few more dads turning up to toddler group and often I see men dropping off and picking up the kids at school.

 

More Men Please
With fewer than 2% of the childcare workforce being made up of men would it be a good thing to change this?

Apparently 98% of female nursery workers say they want male colleagues; 55% of parents are in favour of male early years workers and 84% of parents say they would place their children in a childcare setting employing male workers.*

With these statistics the answer is surely ‘Yes’.

I know as a parent I was always pleased to see a male carer in the room. I felt they gave a positive role model for the boys in the class and promoted the idea that caring comes from everybody, not just women.

 

What is Putting Men off Joining the Sector?
There are various reasons why men may not be attracted to work in the Early Years sector. According to a report put together by fatherhoodinstitue.org these include:

1. Concerns about the attitude of others towards them.
2. Concerns about working in a predominantly female environment.
3. Lack of information and advice for men about the benefits and challenge of working in childcare.
4. Courses not marketed to men.
5. A failure by employers not to proactively recruit men.
6. Making sure men would be made welcome in the workplace.
7. Low pay is a put off for some male workers.

 

How You Can Make a Difference
If you’re interested in encouraging men into the sector read this PDF where there are some great suggestions on how you can start to make a difference.

*http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/2015/young-men-into-childcare/

 
 

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