Why it’s great that parents want men to look after their children

28 July 2011

Jeremy Davies writes: There’s encouraging news from Britain’s biggest nurseries, who have surveyed parents and found that they’re almost unanimously (98%) in favour of men looking after their children.

The survey of 1,200 parents was conducted by the Major Providers’ Group, made up of 14 of the largest nursery chains in the UK. Alongside the parents’ poll, 98% of a sample of 750 female childcare workers said they would value having male workers as part of their nursery team.

Why does this matter? Because until we achieve a gender-balanced workforce, we’re perpetuating a world where looking after children fundamentally remains the preserve of women – and modelling this to future generations of children.

The more evidence there is that mums and dads want men to look after their children, the more likely it is that employers in the sector will go out of their way to employ them. And a key step along that road will be to make their services more inclusive of fathers… the biggest source of male childcare workers at their disposal.

Nobody’s saying the shift towards a gender-balanced childcare sector will be easy, but this survey confirms that for clients and existing (predominantly female) workers, it’s a welcome one. So it’s over to the employers to find ways to make it happen…

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