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Where are the Men in Childcare?

This is the first in a series of guest blogs by Coalition members Male Childcare and Teaching Jobs, an organisation that tackles gender stereotypes and male underrepresentation within the teaching workforce.

Men in childcare play a crucial role in enhancing the childcare sector many ways. In a profession where women are the majority, male teachers and early years practitioners diversify the teaching workforce and make a great impact on children’s lives.

A recent study from the Marian University shows that childcare and education is estimated to grow 4% or more within the next ten years as a profession worldwide. As such, there are plenty of opportunities for men to get into teaching. However, research shows that despite the great deal of opportunities for men in childcare, there is still a shortage in supply.

A shortage of Men in Childcare in the UK

Although the importance of men in childcare has been recognised, little has changed over the past few years. Statistics vary according to the source and figures vary slightly, but it is widely recognised that less than 2% of the Early Years teaching workforce are represented by men.

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Education in England, an estimated 363,400 Early Years practitioners worked in group-based or school-based settings or as childminders/childminding assistants in the spring of 2019.

In Scotland, research from NDNA shows that around 19,889 people work in Early Years.

In Wales, there were about 17,000 Early Years practitioners.

Findings from Teacher Workforce Statistics from the Department of Education indicate that about 7,845 people work in Early Years in Northern Ireland.

In total, there are an estimated 408,134 Early Years practitioners and teachers in the United Kingdom, of which less than 8,162 are male. This means that only 1 in 50 early years practitioners are male teachers.

It is evident there is still a long way to go in changing the gender balance of the Early Years teaching workforce.

What are the Benefits of Hiring more Men in Childcare?

Hiring more men in childcare is beneficial in several ways:

  • Gender Equality – Men in childcare can promote a more gender-balanced learning environment for children, which is proven to promote British Values within nurseries and schools.
  • Men in childcare can positively impact the life of children growing without a father figure – it is developmentally vital that children experience positive role-modelling from adults of any gender.
  • Men and women can sometimes have different caring styles and behaviours, which both benefit children. Men in childcare can introduce children to different styles of caring, playing and instructing.
  • Children get the chance to experience, observe and replicate positive relationships between men and women.
  • Children are exposed to a positive male role mode, something they may not necessarily experience at home.
  • Men in childcare can provide a different perspective in dealing with various situations with the children.
  • There might be a possibility of gender issues within a workplace; hiring men in childcare can challenge the stereotypes in relations to toys and activities.

How can I start a career in childcare?

Many nurseries and schools are demonstrating a true commitment to developing a culture of gender diversity. Nursery managers and headteachers are increasingly looking to diversify the gender of their teaching workforce.

Male Childcare and Teaching Jobs’ objective is to support those nurseries, schools and other educational settings in hiring more men and reap the numerous benefits that come from it.

If you are looking to start a career in childcare and education, connecting with employers who are actively seeking to recruit more men for their settings is a great starting point. Get in touch with Male Childcare and Teaching Jobs today, who can help you find the right career opportunity for you.