Men in Early Years

The first 1001 days of a child’s life are the most important for future life chances, so early years education and childcare is one of the most important jobs in the world. The early years workforce should include men, women and people whose identities challenge the gender binary; people from a wide and representative range of ethnic, religious or cultural backgrounds; people with different sexual identities; able-bodied people and people with disabilities.


Figures show that in England and Wales only 3% of educators working in early years education are male, in Scotland it is 4%. In more than three-quarters of early years settings, there is not a single male employee. At Beech Tree Childcare, men make up a third of our education professionals, who between them have 30 years of experience in childcare and education.

Children benefit from having all genders in a setting and this can contribute to a more holistic nurturing environment. Many children may not have a male figure in their home lives and male early years educators can provide the experience of a positive male role model. Having male educators at Beech Tree Childcare provides children with a more accurate reflection of the gender mix of their community and the world around them. Studies have also indicated that males working in an early year’s setting can have a positive effect on the diversity of learning activities available for children.


As the majority of nurseries in the UK are predominantly staffed by female educators, fathers may feel uncomfortable in this environment and be reluctant to get involved in their child’s early years education. Fathers may often miss out on information or feeling included in their child’s time in early years. A male figure within the nursery will support fathers in their involvement and understanding of child development. It can also impact on how fathers feel about their role as care givers. Having a male figure within Beech Tree Childcare can also support women with bad experiences who can meet males in a safe environment. Children can benefit from the different experiences and caring styles men bring to the profession.


Social attitudes prevent men from pursuing careers in Early Years and a prevailing attitude that caring for the young is woman’s work and it is unmanly. Roles within the home are becoming more fluid, often with both parents taking caring roles for their young children, but this is not evidenced in the number of men in Early Years. If we want our children to grow up in a world where there is equality of opportunity for all, then we need to challenge stereotypes.

There are many factors which may put men off working in Early Years. Men may be discouraged by the prospect of working in a predominately female environment and some nurseries may also be reluctant to employ men.

But as a society how do we feel about men as carers? Is it a conscious or subconscious bias that men who want to work with children must be doing It for more sinister reasons? Many male educators across the country have talked about the way that some parents and carers have reached their own conclusions about why they want to work with children. At Beech Tree Childcare we have experienced these prejudices ourselves when asked in the past that our male educators do not change nappies! All of our team provide personal care for the children we look after. We will continue to support our male colleagues to remain in the early years profession where they are under more scrutiny by some members of society.


At Beech Tree Childcare we will continue to promote men as part of the early year’s workforce through championing gender equality and that men can choose early years education as a career and the professional career path it can take in working with children. Whether this is staying in a nursery setting and becoming a manager and leader or gaining more qualifications and going into roles such as early years teaching, primary school teaching, training, lecturing or even as an Ofsted inspector!!


All the team at Beech Tree Childcare see it as a privilege to be part of children’s learning and development and ensuring that the children in our care make the best possible progress. 

We are located at:

Beech Tree Childcare

Roundstone Lane (within the grounds of Worthing Rugby Club)


West Sussex

BN16 4AX


Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri 07:00-18:30


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01903 951002


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