Diversity & Inclusion Interview
Men Into Childcare York
By Gavin Sullivan:
How long have you been a man in childcare?
The first time I was actually employed in childcare was in 2002. (a long time ago!)
I have worked in a range of roles and settings including creche, nurseries, out of school and holiday clubs, teaching assistant.
Prior to working in an out of school club I was a rides operator at a theme park and a security guard in a large childrens playpark!
Having interaction with children in these roles led me to follow a career in childcare.
Were there any challenges you faced?
Overall I have had very little challenges or problems working in childcare and have had a good level of support.
In my opinion the role of men in childcare has steadily become more accepted and more are now employed than when I first set out. I feel it was more unusual in 2002 for a man to be employed in childcare. I was in the evening press with the headline. “men making a splash in a woman’s world” or something along those lines!
Why do you think there is only 2% of men in childcare?
There has been an increase in how many men I have worked with since 2002 but there is much more to do in getting the percentage more level! About 48% in fact!
There is the man’s image and there is the woman’s image in society, it may have significantly changed over the years but it still remains. It is important to remember that there are jobs which you do not find many women doing such as many trades.
Do you think there needs to be a culture change? If so, please explain
As discussed above there is the image of the man and the woman being generally different. I feel that awareness in acceptance of men in childcare can only be a good thing.
Is there anything we can do differently to change the mind-set of society?
If men are given the awareness and the opportunity to work in childcare settings I feel they will appreciate the value that they can make and the reward of being a role model to the younger generation.
Any further comments?
Keep going with the men in childcare project! if there is a positive change in men in childcare in terms of knowledge, belief and life experience of men in work and the children we interact with, (who may not have men in their lives) then all the better.
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