We are proud to announce that we had our first Men into Childcare support group meeting last night (21.02.2018) and, what can I say, other than we are really pleased with the turnout and support we have had!
As our initial meeting, it was really important to determine the expectations of the meeting and what we wanted to cover with the practitioners in the City. The 2 key things we covered were:
- What challenges do you face being a male practitioner in the workforce?
- How can we support you in your setting?
We had some great discussions about practitioners’ own life experiences and some challenges they have previously come across in the workforce. It was clear to see though that as time has moved on, practitioners face less and less challenges about the stigma of men in the early years workforce. This is not only to do with the fact that a male practitioner in an early years setting is becoming a more ‘normal’ thing to see, but also because of the hard work and commitment of people who are part of network and support groups such as Men into Childcare! It was also evident, however, that there is still a lot more work to do to promote our workforce and get more men into working with children and young people.
We are now busy planning our next Men into Childcare network meeting, which will be held on Monday 9th April (venue and agenda TBC). We would love to see as many practitioners there as possible from across the children’s workforce, including teachers, head teachers, early years practitioners, teaching assistants, and anyone else who would like to be part of the network group!
We are busy organising some open events and school assemblies, including having a table at the City of York Apprenticeship Recruitment Open event. With our new publicity materials, we hope to better advertise the support group in place and be able to promote the workforce to young people leaving school or college thinking of a career in childcare.
If you are interested in joining our support group, or would like an informal chat about what we are offering, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!
Author: D. Sissons (22.02.2018)