Men ARE in Childcare: Time to Celebrate and Build the Community

June O’Sullivan MBE, CEO, LEYF

11th March 2024

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We recently launched our film to celebrate the fact that men are in childcare. You might be forgiven for thinking they are an extinct species considering there’s just a paltry 3% of them representing 50% of the population in the Early Years workforce. That’s despite our growing knowledge about how best to attract men into the workplace.  

For over 10 years, I have supported the idea that having men in childcare is a good thing for children, settings and society.  It kicks many of the negative stereotypes into touch and demonstrates that men are also interested in how children learn and develop, they want to work in care, and they appreciate the significance of the role of Early Years teachers.  

We have conducted a range of surveys with settings and nearly 100% of female nursery staff were generally supportive of having male colleagues. They liked the balance and think that it’s also good for children to see the gender stereotypes disrupted as well as their own unconscious gender bias. 

However, men in childcare continues to be considered a tad controversial despite the fact that we live in 2024. No one raises an eye when a colleague says they are a teacher, but they do when they say they teach in the Early Years.

We therefore have more to do to assure people that it is a career worth pursuing and the film goes some way to do that. Listening to a range of men reflect on why they work in nurseries and what they bring to the children, parents and the team is illuminating.

Watch the film and comment. Let’s have a stronger, reasoned and empathetic conversation. It may be time for a MiC Community of Practice. Click here to dive into the film. 

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