More men wanted for childcare jobsStaff and agencies
Friday December 27, 2002
The education secretary, Charles Clarke, yesterday called on more men to consider working in childcare as he launched a £4m recruitment campaign.
Men are the most under-represented group working in nurseries, childcare and after school clubs. The childcare workforce is 98% female, except in after school clubs, where one in 10 of the workforce is male.
The response to last year's childcare recruitment campaign, entitled Do Something You Love for a Living, showed that although two thirds of men responding said there should be more men employed to work with children, only one in five said they would definitely consider childcare as a career.
Mr Clarke said recruiting and training sufficient numbers of people to staff the expansion of early years and childcare services is a "key priority" for government.
"Male childcarers play a vital and valuable role and we believe that the childcare industry needs to draw on a wider pool of talent if it is to ensure that children continue to get the best quality childcare and early education. I hope more men think about childcare as a career because they have so much to offer.
"Our research shows that the men who work in childcare thought that they had a positive role to play in a child's life and that the work was satisfying and enjoyable," he added.
Since 1998 there has been a 21% increase in the number of people working in childcare.
Stephen Jackson, 22, from Nottingham, attended an activity leadership course and now works in playwork. Describing his duties, he says: "I might be playing counting games with toddlers, making arts and crafts with older children or kicking a football with them outside when the weather's fine. I could be opening up a breakfast club from 7 until 9, helping out with after school activities between 3 and 6.30pm or working all day in the school holidays. It's great."
EducationGuardian.co.uk © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002