Early Years Agenda: Do we need men in childcare?
Children are born learners. They have an innate drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills every day without the worry of failure or internal debate of effort vs. outcome. At their youngest they learn some of the hardest things in life, like walking and talking. In fact, 85% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of five years old. So it makes sense to invest heavily in children’s learning in their early years.
“Adult carers and teachers have a duty to deliver repeated, positive experiences to build strong (brain) connections that will remain for life. And that is why we need a professional, committed and knowledgeable workforce to support children whilst they build 85% of their brains. Childcare should be valued much more highly than it is currently by wider society and the education industry at large. It’s not just a profession for those lacking academic grades or aspiration. We need talent; those who will inspire and engage the Ministers and rocket scientists of the future.
“In the UK, care and education experiences are predominantly provided by females for children up to the age of 11 - 12. Just 2% of the early years workforce is male, while only 14% of staff are in the primary sector. A quarter of primary schools have no men working in them at all. Nearly a third of men working in nursery and primary schools are in senior leadership positions and having limited day-to-day interaction with children. Is this healthy? Surely children have a right to a balanced environment and the very best development opportunities.
“It is time to redress the balance. Men have a right to work with children. Children have a right to be cared for by both men and women, which will in turn allow more children’s needs to be met. We need to promote early years as a viable career route and ensure we enrich the experiences of our youngest children.”
Join us at any one of the three events planned to network with other professionals from the childcare sector, and learn more about Apprenticeships and how you can play a part in industry innovation and progressive development.
10th March 9.30 am - 11.30 am
Bristol - The Future Inn, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3EN
11th March 9.30 am - 11.30 am
Hampshire - Paint Pots House, Portswood, Southampton SO17 2FZ
12th March 9.30 am - 11.30 am
Birmingham - Jury's Inn, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HQ