More men encouraged to join early-years profession

Men are to be encouraged to start careers in nurseries and early years settings, in a new project to provide more diverse role models for children before they start school.

With men making up just three per cent of early years staff in England, the project, launched by Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi, aims to break down the barriers that prevent men entering careers in children’s early education, including the myth that men are less suited to caring roles.

A £30,000 grant is supporting the scheme to get more men into early years careers to provide more male role models for children in the early years

Run by the Fatherhood Institute, the project will challenge the stereotypes that exist around men’s roles in early education, using relatable case-studies from men who have left other careers – including an ex-lorry driver and a young art student.

To support careers advisers and early years employers across the country, the project will spearhead an innovative recruitment drive that highlights the positive roles men can play in the crucial first years of a child’s education. The project’s ambition is to reflect the diversity of modern Britain within early years settings, where both parents play an increasingly active role in their child’s development.

Zahawi said: “Every child needs a role-model to guide them – whether that’s a parent, a close family member or friend, or someone at nursery or preschool that makes a difference in their life. The early years staff who support children in the first few years of their education equip them with important skills before they reach the classroom, getting them on track to succeed as they get older.

“Just as parenting is a shared responsibility, so is kickstarting a child’s love of learning. I want more men to play a positive role in educating and caring for our next generation. That’s why we’re supporting the Fatherhood Institute to encourage men from all walks of life into early years careers, to give children the best start in life and be a part of this important and rewarding sector.”

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