The government has announced a £300,000 grant to encourage more men to take up careers in Early Years setting.
The news was announced this week by Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who highlighted the fact that only 3% of EYFS staff in England are men.
Mr Zahawi added: “Every child needs a role-model to guide them – whether that’s a parent, a close family member or friend, or someone at nursery or preschool that makes a difference in their life. The early years staff who support children in the first few years of their education equip them with important skills before they reach the classroom, getting them on track to succeed as they get older.
“Just as parenting is a shared responsibility, so is kickstarting a child’s love of learning. I want more men to play a positive role in educating and caring for our next generation. That’s why we’re supporting the Fatherhood Institute to encourage men from all walks of life into early years careers, to give children the best start in life and be a part of this important and rewarding sector.”
June O’Sullivan MBE, CEO of London Early Years Foundation, welcomed the news and the opportunity to address the stereotyping of teaching roles, saying: “Studies show that children see little difference between the care provided by male teachers and that provided by their female counterparts and therefore it’s critical that we widen the talent pool if we are to staff the Early Years sector with high-quality male nursery teachers and assistants.
“Whilst the nature of modern work is changing, the perception that nursery teaching is not for men persists and the experiences of men in Early Years demonstrate how pervasive negative stereotypes remain. It’s imperative that we create a culture change and shift attitudes for the better and for the sake of our children.”