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If You're A Man In Childcare


HappyMaz
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I just noticed on Twitter that Woman's Hour is looking for men who work in childcare (or indeed to parents whose children attend childcare provision where there are male practitioners).

 

No more information than that, but if you have a point of view it might be worth contacting the production team. The link to the 'Contact Us' page is here. Or if you're on twitter and don't follow them, their username is BBCWomansHour.

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Well I listened in today to the discussion. You can listen again via iPlayer here. If you don't also want to hear Esther Rantzen talking about loneliness, or keeping chickens you can start listening at 28:05.

 

I wonder what we (overwhelmingly female) workforce think?

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Well HappyMaz i have just listened to the link, alot of the discussion centered around the things we have been saying for along time.

Better recognition for the whole Early Years workforce, male or female.

A pay structure that is valued as a" vital profession" which encourages both male or female participants.

[we can only dream]. :o

I do like the idea of an ad campaign to students choosing career choices at school / or a change of occupation for others.

Unless someone aspires for change will change ever occur.

Our pre-school already has a male member of staff, and i personally think he brings different dimensions to the team / setting overall.

Now please don't tell him how great i think he is he might want a raise. ha ha.

Has anyone else any thoughts. xD

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I was particularly taken with what was being said about careers advice in schools. I've long since thought the advice given regarding child care was sometimes not of the highest quality - four years on I am still indignant that a local FE college told my own dear daughter that her grades were 'too good' for her to go into childcare. xD

 

Since I'm looking for new challenges, I'm wondering if I should volunteer my services to go into schools and talk about childcare as a career. Maybe I could help dispel the myth that it is easy work, and you don't need many brain cells to do it. :o

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We have had a variety of responses to men in our setting. When I first started there was a male practitioner and he was amazing but had to leave as the money wasn't enough to support his family xD

 

we then had a slightly older man who was looking for a career change and took the opportunity when he was made redundant, he was amazing but I had a gang of mothers waiting at my door to question me about why I had not informed them that a male student was working in the setting (even thought we don't inform them of female students and have never been asked to) and basically saying he must be a pervert to be older (late forties early fifties) and want to work with small children. I was livid :o

 

He too left because of money situation but only after asking me to produce a letter to 'tell his story' as it were so that the parents would accept him

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basically saying he must be a pervert to be older (late forties early fifties) and want to work with small children. I was livid xD

I wonder how long ago this was, Johanna? The survey this report was premised on said that 98% of parents felt male nursery workers were a good idea. I wondered how many respondents had these views but were afraid to express them? :(

 

Not that I'm a cynic, of course! :o

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Excellent blog, carrots7078, thanks for posting it. I was particularly struck by one of the comments that followed it. Ayn Colsh said that in their area, pre-school teachers earned on average $10 - 20,000 less than their elementary teachers, with the same education/qualifications.

 

Seems the salary issue is not confined to us on this side of the pond. xD

 

Oh and don't even get me started on the whole 'two people to change a nappy' child protection measure, either! :o

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I also loved the blog by Teacher Tom about his sexist moments!

 

Last week one of my facebook/twitter friends was in hospital and a nurse made a highly inappropriate racist remark to him. Even with all my training (and, on occasions pontificating about the need to avoid stereotyping) I pictured a female nurse in my head. Of course, he was talking about a male nurse and I felt suitably humbled by my own sexism.

 

Seems even with the best intentions we can still lapse from time to time. It is no wonder that when people think of a pre-school worker, they most often picture a female!

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It's true HappyMaz, I often think of a woman when someone describes a nurse, and I expect the majority of people do. If you think of TV programmes, nurses are nearly always portrayed as female. We are surrounded by images of female nurses in books and the media. I wonder if nurses have similar threads on their forums?

 

I liked reading the comments posted on this link contained within the blog link I posted: http://community.babycenter.com/post/a2871...rigger_possible It is unbelievable that a mother would be so worried about having a man help her daughter.

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Last week one of my facebook/twitter friends was in hospital and a nurse made a highly inappropriate racist remark to him. Even with all my training (and, on occasions pontificating about the need to avoid stereotyping) I pictured a female nurse in my head. Of course, he was talking about a male nurse and I felt suitably humbled by my own sexism.

 

 

 

I remember being in hospital with a blood poisoning form abscess in an embarrassing place and being suitable mortified that not only did I look horrible but this amazingly good looking, young male navy nurse had to look xD I am actually not sure who was more embarrassed hehehehehe.

 

the situation with my student was about two years ago :o I guess really I had always accepted male practitioners because when I started in my current setting all those years ago there was already a really nice chap working there and he was like the Pied Piper all the children loved him, and he brought a much needed dynamic. So I guess looking back to my student I was just a little shocked that people still thought in such narrow minded terms.

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It is unbelievable that a mother would be so worried about having a man help her daughter.

I don't think I'd say it is unbelievable, carrots7078. There is so much anxiety around these days about child protection generally, and about the arrangements we made in pre-schools/nurseries especially given the dreadful cases that we have read about in the fairly recent past.

 

Parents are naturally anxious about their child's wellbeing and safety when they entrust them to our care - after all at the beginning of our relationship we are strangers to them and their family. Until men are much more visible in childcare settings (and I mean based in rooms working with children and not just at senior management level - another issue raised by the PLA in the Woman's Hour discussion) then the longer these 'old fashioned' views about men's suitability to provide care for our youngest children might take to subside. I look forward to the day when having male practitioners in the team is unremarkable.

 

Attitudes are very hard to change, even with all the training and knowledge in the world.

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