Recruiting Men into Early Years: a new Fatherhood Institute project

10 July 2013

The Fatherhood Institute is leading a two-year project (2013-15), funded by the Department for Education, to help early education and childcare services develop and implement a strategy to recruit and retain more male staff and volunteers.

A 2012 survey by the London Early Years Foundation found that men are deterred from pursuing childcare careers because of societal attitudes, including the fear that they will be branded a paedophile (read their report in full here). Latest figures from the Department for Education show that only 2% of the daycare and childminders’ workforce was male in 2010 – even though surveys suggest that the vast majority of parents welcome male childcare staff.

In our project we will work with key managers and staff in four local authorities to develop a strategy, drawing on emerging good practice worldwide, and a Year 1 survey of practice in England. The strategy will include encouraging boys, young men and fathers to access local volunteering, training and career opportunities in early education and childcare. We will identify eight local authorities (the initial four, plus four others) to adopt similar strategies in Year 2. Our target is to enhance recruitment of men as volunteers in early years settings in at least four authorities by 10%, by the end of the project.

If you would like to know more about our project and/or feel you could contribute to its success, please contact David Bartlett on d.bartlett(at) or tel 07958 042 476.

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