Why we are campaigning for more men in early years education

9 May 2019

Right now, just 3% of Britain’s early years staff are men. That figure that has barely changed for the last 20 years, despite huge increases in men’s involvement as hands-on fathers, and better progress towards gender equality in other traditionally female work sectors, like primary school teaching (15% male) and nursing (11%).

The vast majority of early years settings are like ‘man deserts’: only a quarter (23%) have any male staff at all.

It’s not just the UK where this problem exists – we’re part of a global trend – but other countries are doing better; most notably Norway, whose workforce is 10% male.

We think it’s time for that to change, and that’s why we’re inviting early years providers, men already working in the sector and those who might want to do so, to join our new MITEY campaign.

The much-needed £30,000 of funding we are receiving from the Department for Education in 2019-20 allows us to produce some resources to help men and boys consider careers in the sector; to help employers find ways of recruiting and retaining more male staff; and to help careers advisers nudge boys and men into considering such work. We’ll also hold a national MITEY conference in early September.

The first resources are online already:

  • More information about the campaign, including recent press coverage
  • 10 Myths about men in the early years: a discussion paper that explores some of the beliefs underlying early years education’s extreme gender imbalance
  • The MITEY charter: a set of pledges that early years organisations can sign up to and display.

We hope you find it all useful. If you do, please sign up to receive email updates, which we will send out to alert you to any new resources we produce as the months pass.

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