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Is Working In Early Years A Job For The Boys?


SueFinanceManager
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Dear all

 

In the latest edition of the CWDC newsletter Jane Haywood the Chief Executive asks the question 'Is working in early years a job for the boys? '

 

The discussion that followed her blog on the Guardian’s local government site makes interesting reading - find it here although it seems to come back to pay again.

 

Sue

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No surprise really, pay certainly should be given a shake-up in my opinion for all genders.

We are told we do the most important work, setting the foundations for life-long learning, yet the pay does not represent this vital role, that said we do have a male member of staff, alongside all our staff that bring a wonderful dimension to the children's care and education.

Sorry get off my soap box now. :o

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No need to get off your soap box bridger.....salary is definitely a factor to anyone joining the childcare profession and if as the male in a family you need to be the larger wage earner then child care is possibly not able to provide a reasonable income.

 

Interesting Panorama programme last night all about getting ex military personnel into schools to help with the discipline problems in many schools. This is based on the highly successful US department of education Troops to Teachers scheme which has shown some outstanding results in some of the poorest and most violent neighbourhoods.

 

Here is a link to a BBC news piece

 

I have to say I was impressed by what I saw, but then any teacher that engages with their pupils and shows compassion and fairness impresses me whatever background they come from. I do think many schools and especially primary schools need more male role models for young boys to learn from and maybe this is a way of doing this.

 

Certainly food for thought!

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Speaking as a man just finishing his PGCE with an Early Years specialism, I certainly hope so! Saying that, I do feel slightly uncomfortable with the notion that it is necessarily a good thing to always have a gender balance in anything. I would prefer to have the best person for the job recruited, irrespective of gender. If there is to be any gender based, positive discrimination though, I will not be too self righteous to take advantage!

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Speaking as a man just finishing his PGCE with an Early Years specialism, I certainly hope so! Saying that, I do feel slightly uncomfortable with the notion that it is necessarily a good thing to always have a gender balance in anything. I would prefer to have the best person for the job recruited, irrespective of gender. If there is to be any gender based, positive discrimination though, I will not be too self righteous to take advantage!

 

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your interesting post.

 

I agree that the best person for the job should be employed but I do feel there really is a gender unbalance when it comes to early years education and we need more chaps like you to give our boys good positive male role models.

 

Steve Biddulph wrote a great book 'Raising Boys' and he makes bold statements like;

Fathers are boys' security and role models. Much ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is, he believes, DDD – Dad Deficiency Disorder – because "to become a good man, you have to know good men".

 

I think in settings were there are boys from single parent families and the time they spend with their dads may be limited the more good male role models in their lives the better. It is good for girls to see men in nurturing roles too.

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for your interesting post.

 

I agree that the best person for the job should be employed but I do feel there really is a gender unbalance when it comes to early years education and we need more chaps like you to give our boys good positive male role models.

 

Steve Biddulph wrote a great book 'Raising Boys' and he makes bold statements like;

 

 

I think in settings were there are boys from single parent families and the time they spend with their dads may be limited the more good male role models in their lives the better. It is good for girls to see men in nurturing roles too.

 

I best hang on to my masculinity then, I was told today I was an 'honorary women' as I worked in such a feminine profession! I did take it as a compliment even if it was said in jest.

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I put this comment on there.

 

My husband works alongside me as a childminder. He was in a job he hated after being made redundant from a job he loved. He knows that he's not going to be able to go back to that line of work as he wouldn't be able to earn like he did then. He is a wonderful childminder. He really gets on well with the children. When we became a couple he had no experience of childcare. The youngest was 6 at the time. Now with some help from me at the start he is a natural. I am totally confident in him. The first child we had was very much a man's man so settled with us very well. In our borough when we started as Childminders there were 5 other male childminders. Unfortuatly not all feel that they can stay as childminders. We recently heard that a couple are winding down their childminding and they only started last April together. I think it would be good though if after the males got into the roles that they got ongoing support so they feel secure enough to keep going.

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'honorary women'
well I am glad you took it as a compliment xD

 

was very much a man's man so settled with us very well.
much of the research suggests that boys suffer far more separation anxiety than girls, quite probably because they are less mature than the female of the species. It probably helped immensely being with a chap who knew just what to say and do.....of course that isn't to say a woman can't but you are right as people we gravitate one way or the other....when you look at your own circle of friends you will find it is probably male or female heavy.

 

Thanks for your contributions to the debate so far.....one that will run and run for many a year to come I think :o

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I asked my oldest son last year why men (he's 20) didnt choose to work with young children, he said its seen as a womans job. Now I might not have been the best mother, forgetting to feed them, febreezing school shirts out of the washing basket and even forgetting their names, but I did hope I'd managed to get the message across regarding equality.

He doesnt mind the idea of teaching secondary age though.

Its the whole of society that has to chnage its outllook on gender and jobs. But it needs to focus on what men are allowed to do, women it seems can do any job they want, plumbing, gas fitting, firefighting, RAF pilots... But men are trapped in having to do mens jobs or else be seen as 'weird'.

I'd be more than happy to accept applications frm men at playgroup, but we cant offer them a living wage and thats the other thing that needs to be addressed. That will only happen with tax increases for everyone though and then I feel the PVI sector would be slowly erroded in favour of state run settings so they can target the money.

 

I'd love the idea of ex army in the classroom though. I watched Jamies Dream school last week. I was appalled at the behaviour. If that was a snap shot of the things our teachers have to deal with they deserve medals.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone,

 

I do feel slightly insulted by the notionthat to get men into childcare then we need to raise the salary. This leads me to think that's it's perfectly fine for women in child care to live on a poor wage and do the job, but heavens no not a man. They need to raise the salaries for everybody. Until the government actually give childcarers the respect they deserve and place us on a par with teachers- after all we do lay the foundation stones for the children who enter their school then this will not happen. There needs to be a radical rethink across the country that childcare is not a second rate job, it is a highly skilled job that deserves the decent pay that child carers get.

 

Off soapbox now :ph34r:

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Hi lizzieh38

 

First and foremost welcome to the forum and congratulations on making your first post :D

 

Soapboxes are welcome around here if the person stood on it voices their view in a polite and articulate way as you have done so keep it handy for future topics xD

 

I don't think anyone will disagree with you, there should be a fair salary for the job that is done in early years whether you are a man or a lady doing it. I am pleased to see a few more men entering the profession and would welcome more.....I think the children in our care deserve a diverse workforce from different gender and cultural backgrounds and of course would be great if all of those got paid really well!

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I would love to see more men joining the work force, we are fortunate to have one man working with us and he is a big influence on the children, he does a lot of woodwork and building with the children which they love. I think it is massively important to have a diverse workforce and hope to see more men joining us soon.

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  • 4 months later...

early years practitioners are lumped with a large sum of responsibility in their role, and that responsibility should be matched in salary,

more great childcare indicates that the average salary for an early years practitioner in just "13,300" that is not the pay for a professional who is qualified, driven, flexible, capable, reliable and trusted.

how can the industry hope to drive up the intake of serious applicants, including those of either gender, without offering more pay than that of a someone working on a checkout.

 

'climbs off of soap box'

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