A national nursery chain has launched a campaign for more male employees.
Co-operative Childcare plans to recruit at least one male employee for each of its 50 nurseries, working with job centres and recruitment agencies. The Real Men Work in Childcare campaign will also see the company talking to schools about nursery work as a viable career for men. Currently only around two per cent of nursery workers are male.
The company has also produced an animation showing men in stereotypically manly occupations such as builders and tree surgeons who are interested in nursery work.
Co-operative Childcare general group manager Mike Abbot said male nursery workers provided a positive male role model for young children.
“Gender stereotypes in childcare are holding some men back from what could be the perfect career path for them where they can positively influence our next generation. Children need to be around both male and female adults to develop their core skills, become well-rounded young people and continue to flourish.”
“We are determined to make a marked difference to the male-to-female ratio in our nurseries by leading the way in challenging these preconceptions that are damaging the industry and championing that ‘real men’ really do work in childcare.”
The chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, Purnima Tanuku, added:
“It is really important to encourage more male workers into childcare. Children need different role models and the childcare sector needs to be in step with the rest of the care sector by having both female and male carers. Parents need to be part of the discussion on how important it is for children to have both male and female role models and be assured the right balance of measures for child protection and safety are being implemented.”