Diversity and Inclusion Interview ï¿½ Karl Eaveson: Men Into Childcare York
How long have you been a man in childcare?
I have progressed through the ranks in to a Deputy Manager role which I love. I have been affiliated with Men into Childcare York since December 2017 and love getting out into different schools and colleges and delivering sessions around issues such as: equality, what you can do with a qualification in childcare and stereotypes.
Were there any challenges you faced?
I have faced several challenges throughout my time in childcare so far. I have been shouted at by a dad as when he collected his young boy from nursery he was wearing a dress, I have had families from different cultural backgrounds request that I am not involved in the toilet training of their children and I also left one nursery because the owner told me if I have any of my own ideas to bring to the table then donï¿½t bother. I believe all these challenges have shaped me not only as a practitioner and manager but also a person, opening my eyes to some of the wider issues that continue to support the stigma around men working with children.
Why do you think that only 2% of childcare practitioners are men?
There are a number of factors however mainly: pay in regard to any male who still wants to be considered a ï¿½breadwinnerï¿½, stigma as I discussed above with males not wanting to work with children in case of accusations against them and mainly the numbers. Until we can bump up the 2% figure then males will continue to see childcare as a womenï¿½s profession.
Do you think there needs to be a culture change?
I believe different cultures have a very different
view to men in childcare, but I unfortunately think that this change is out of our hands. All we can continue to do is to support the future male practitioners to get them in to settings and making a difference and hopefully parents from a different cultural background will see how important male interactions with children are.
Is there anything we could do further to change the mindset of society?
To lobby government for funding for men in childcare campaigns in different areas to be used towards carrying out research in to males working with children. I believe the more publicity that we can gain and noise we can
make can truly inspire the next generation of practitioners and change minds through quality practice.
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