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Key Skills Aon Project

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Topics: Man, Gender, Male, Gender role
11 April 2013 19:41

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Report Article 1; source, Children’s workforce and development council. I am going to write a report on the issues of men working in a childcare environment. I will outline the different points made by two different documents regarding the issue and a description of how the issue has affected service provision and methods of working. I shall also highlight the benefits of having men in the childcare sector and how advertising men in this sector could produce a more positive outlook on the issue. Document one is an article from a childcare magazine it is titled ‘A job for the boys’. It’s an article about a man who works in the childcare environment and is highlighting the benefits of having men in the childcare sector as well as saying the negative points that some people may suggest. It goes on to say that the childcare sector is mainly dominated by female workers as only a small percentage of 2% are male. The article states that it considered that people are suspicious when they encounter men seeking work with children. There is a prevailing myth that many men are paedophiles who want to harm children. Many say that childcare originates from a ‘women’s job’. The man in the article then goes onto say about meeting someone when he had just qualified saying that he was a nursery nurse the man then replied ‘is that a garden centre?’ this shows that people automatically assume men have no involvement in the childcare sector, as the man then asked ‘are men even allowed to work In the childcare sector?’. Men also worry about how they are perceived by parents, when a man comes face to face with the parents he may feel intimidated as they may not want him looking after their child.
The man writing the article then goes on to say about stereotypes and listing the negatives of working in a childcare sector, e.g. the low pay. He then goes on to say that this doesn’t bother him, but can understand why most men avoid the profession. He then goes on to describe his setting and says that he has 4 members of staff in his setting; he believes that having a gender balanced team is key to encouraging men to start out and stay in childcare. This article is a man’s personal take on the issue and is trying to encourage more men to join the childcare sector if it is what they want to do, but he also draws out the issues and negatives about it also. The article is informative as it gives facts and figures to back up his arguments. I think that this article could be beneficial to men in the childcare sector as they will realise they are not alone in the issue.

Report Source 2; Surrey county council, benefits of a mixed work force. The second source that I have used is titled ‘Benefits of a mixed work force’. This straight away suggests that all the points made are going to be positive and in favour of men working in a childcare setting. It starts of by saying that there are hundreds of men working in play work, early education and childcare in Surrey alone. It also says that the children, parents and colleagues of these men are all benefiting. But then says that it is still dominated by women and that not everyone is experiencing the benefits of a mixed workforce.

It then states some of the benefits that men can bring to the childcare workforce, some of which are; children can benefit from the different experiences and styles of caring that men can bring, male role models are vital in ensuring young children have quality contact time with men, dads often appreciate having a male practitioner to talk to at their child’s setting, having a diverse workforce enhances children’s experiences, colleagues benefit because a more gender balanced team leads to different ways of looking at issues. The writer of this document also believes that having men in the childcare sector is crucial to creating a representative workforce. They then go on to say that the presence can provide
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crucial to creating a representative workforce. They then go on to say that the presence can provide positive male role models for children, bring the children valuable life skills and different approaches to staff teams within settings.

They then say about a survey they had carried out by the ‘children’s workforce development council 2008’ there findings showed that parents are also keen to have a mixed gender environment for their children, with 55% of parents wanting a male childcare worker for their nursery aged children. A man employed In any childcare setting should be treated equally and should carry out the same tasks as any other employee in that role. It also so says of the importance of informing parents in the setting about the equal opportunities policy in which you follow and that you have both male and female staff when they first visit. The document then goes on to give information on how to recruit staff, it suggests using the same, correct short listing criteria from applications from men and women, include reference and CRB checks for all new employees. It also says that by having a good induction process will help all new staff members to feel valued and part of the team. By giving the new staff member a mentor or a buddy it suggests that this will help to settle them in, this could be comforting for a male worker as he will feel excepted and at ease. At the end of the document it highlights a link that enables you to watch a video of what other practitioners and parents think of men working in childcare. It then gives a couple of comments made by managers in a childcare setting; one says ‘Many parents comment on how great it is to see a positive role model in the nursery. I think the children, parents and staff have all benefitted from the different skills men bring to the nursery’. I think that by adding comments like this to the document adds a positive end and will put readers at ease that there is nothing negative about males working in a childcare environment.
I think this document is a very positive take on the issue of men working in a childcare environment as it doesn’t really mention any negatives. By adding the fact that a survey was carried out and giving the findings it will show readers that there are more people/parents for the idea of children in the childcare sector. The document is set out clearly and is easy to read and pick information from.

Comparison and my conclusion on the two documents From reading and comparing the two documents I have found that there are allot more people that have positive opinions on the issues than I first point. The two documents are each different in their own way, document one is written by a man that has experience in the childcare sector where as document two is written by a larger group of people and is written about on county’s opinions. Document one is good because it gives the reader an insight on the males life and anyone reading the document that is against childcare may begin to understand that what they say and their opinions have effect on these male life’s and that some men really do just want to work in childcare. Document two which is written by the Surrey council portrays only positive information and gives help and advice to any manager that is looking at taking on a male practitioner in their setting.
Although both documents are different, they are both trying to get across the same message to the reader. Personally I would find document two more useful as I myself work in a childcare setting and am strongly for males working In the childcare sector. I found it easier to read as each paragraph was labelled so it was easier to pick out the information. Document one would be a useful piece of information to have in the nursery setting as it gives an opinion of an actual practitioner, parents may find this settling. Document one and two both give figures about their findings, document one stating that only 2% of staff working with under-fives in the UK are males, and document two gives evidence from there survey in which they carried out, saying that 55% of parents they surveyed would actually like to have a male practitioner around there child.

In conclusion I believe that males shouldn’t be discriminated against working in the childcare environment as it sets good examples to children about equal opportunities. Also I think that nursery settings could benefit from having males as it offers the workforce a more gender balanced team enabling children’s experiences to be enhanced. I myself would be intrigued to work with a male practitioner as they could show me different styles of working to improve myself. We have had a male apprentice in the nursery and the children and parents all loved having him.

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