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Should there be more males in early child care?

Submitted by PAUL C on June 13 2012 09:06 AM

Did you know that only 2% of all early childhood educators in Australia are male? I was surprised to learn just how few men work in the profession.

Early childhood has always been the domain of women, as many feel they are more caring and nurturing than males.  Men are said to feel out of place in such a female dominated industry.  Our society also questions the role of males in early child care because of the fear of paedophilia.

I am the first to admit that I had some similar questions when evaluating the right pre-school for my son.  After careful consideration, I selected a centre that was owned and run by a male director.  The major reason I choose this centre was the importance he placed on play and the social development of the children.  I also admired the way he interacted with the children.  (And I loved the fact they had a climbing tree!).

While my sons have a strong male influence in their lives (their father), we don’t have any other male family members living close by.  I felt it was really important that they had access to another strong and caring male.

With many families living in similar circumstances and with the rise of single parent families, maybe we need some more positive male role models working closely with our children. 

Let’s face it; the world is made up of equal number of males and females. Why should early child care be so fundamentally different?

Would you feel comfortable with male early childhood educators in your child’s centre or pre-school?  Why or why not? Please - share your thoughts on the subject with us.

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