We believe children need both male and female role models in life. Thus, at Toad Hall we do our utmost to recruit more men in childcare, to help guide children through their early years and beyond. If you’re a male childcare professional, or you’re interested in childcare as a career, read on to find out more about the benefits and perks of this unique and exciting profession.
And if you’re a parent, you can also find out about the many benefits of men in Early Years, and how men in nurseries will have a positive effect on your children and their peers.
Why choose a career in childcare?
Working in childcare is a fantastically rewarding career, with fun-filled days that are always different and never predictable. “One day I’ll be an astronaut, the next a mad scientist,” enthuses Dan, a Nursery Practitioner at our Horley setting.
It’s also a highly responsible role that has a huge effect on little ones’ lives. Men in childcare really do have the chance to shape the way the next generation sees the world. And you can’t get much more important than that!
“Watching a child learn, grow and develop is one of the most amazing feelings that you can ever have,” says Dan, whose key children at our Horley nursery think he is “awesome”.
So, if you’re up for a job that involves both laughter and tears, fun and responsibility, and you like the idea of being someone for children to look up to and learn from, then working in childcare might just be for you.
Why aren’t there more men in Early Years settings?
Men in nurseries are a relatively rare sight, although they’re becoming more common. It’s partly down to tradition, in much the same way that nursing used to be seen as a female role but is now attracting a size-able male workforce. Subtle gender stereotyping is often at play, even if it’s not a conscious influence.
That’s why we believe that the benefits of men in childcare can include building positive role models for the next generation. Boys who grow up comfortable with the idea of both male and female carers won’t have a problem considering childcare as a career for themselves.
Input from male nursery workers is especially valuable for children who lack a father figure at home and may not otherwise have a close male role model. A mix of male and female carers gives children a positive balance, discourages gender stereotypes and reflects different approaches to play. And many fathers welcome the presence of men in nurseries, feeling more comfortable interacting with male workers.
What’s it like to be a male nursery practitioner?
It can be the best job in the world! It’s a unique mix of silly and serious, a job that’s not just about teaching children, but learning from them as well. Children will look up to you, seek guidance from you, and you’ll form a bond that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Check out Dan, our Horley based Nursery Practitioner, talking about how there’s nothing else he would rather do:
Men in Early Years network
In July 2015, six male staff from Toad Hall Nursery Group were joined by colleagues from other settings at Barrows Hills School in Surrey to engage in forest school training and network as part of our commitment to increasing the numbers of men in childcare.
Over the course of the morning the group engaged in outdoors activities such as fire lighting, eating a cooked breakfast, making bows and arrows and also used the time to share experiences of their outdoor provisions and discuss challenges faced from other male nursery workers and childcare practitioners about being outdoors.
Zak, Nursery Nurse at Toad Hall Nursery Chessington said that it was “such a good time and was really nice to meet and catch up with my male colleagues in Toad Hall and also other men in childcare! There was much to learn from everyone about problems we may have faced being men in a female dominated career and how to deal with them!”
The group were also joined by Luke, a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education Studies student. Luke found out about the event following the first Toad Hall Men in Early Years event that took place in April and said that the “numerous published articles and papers focus on the barriers to [men working in early years] rather than finding solutions to this. I am going to be in talks with my local authorities about doing something similar, as I feel your work is exemplary.”
As you may have gathered, men in childcare are becoming increasingly important. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in childcare, why not take a look at our current nursery job vacancies?