Jan 21, 2009

More men in childcare

Today the Daycare Trust responded to a survey by the Children’s Workforce Development Council on men in daycare settings.  The outline points from their response are as follows:

Responding to a survey published today by the Children’s Workforce Development Council which shows that 55% of parents want a male childcare worker for their nursery aged child, Daycare Trust joint chief executive Emma Knights said:

“Our recent report with the TUC ‘Raising the bar’, showed that the childcare workforce is 98% female.

“Far too many people still view working in childcare as women’s work, but the CWDC survey shows that parents, especially single parents, want to see more men working in childcare settings.

“To encourage more men to consider working in childcare the Government must take action to tackle the poor pay and conditions suffered by childcare workers. A report by the Low Pay Commission in 2007 claimed that in the childcare sector over 10 per cent of jobs were paid at the adult National Minimum Wage, and nearly 20% were paid below it.

“In Norway, the percentage of men working in Childcare stands at 8.8 per cent, at least four times the figure in England and Wales, because pay and status for childcare workers there are closer to parity with other children’s sector workers such as teachers.”

Within The Old Station Nursery Group we have a pitifully low percentage of men working with children, despite our best efforts to recruit them. Without exception, the men whom we have employed have been very popular with children, parents and staff, but it is very difficult to retain them on the salaries we are able to offer.  I completely agree that the whole way in which childcare is funded needs an overhaul, but until we are able to offer higher wages, I can’t see how we will retain many men within our field.  Let’s hope that one of the upsides of the recession might be people looking at alternative careers in areas that might not previously have been considered. We would certainly love to have a more mixed workforce, so if you know any men who might like to find out about a career in childcare, do send them our way.


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