When you think of a child care professional, do you ever picture a man? In her New York Time parenting blog the “Motherlode”, Lisa Belkin discusses her surprise when she found that several men had applied for a “childcare” position she had advertised for at her home. You can read the entry here. Since reading Lisa’s blog, we have found a lot of media discussing men (or the lack thereof) in the child care field.
Bryan Nelson, the founding director of MenTeach in Minnesota, recently recorded an online radio segment on the topic. You can listen to Nelson’s “Where are all of the Men?” here. The recent interest in this issue has brought a spotlight onto an international group of early education experts who hope to create a gender balance in the field. The “Working Group on Men in Early Childhood Education” (MECE) has met over the last 4 years to explore barriers men face in joining the field, stereotypes that exist about men in the field, and strategies to increase male participation in the field. To learn more about this group, visit their website here.
What do you think? Why are so few men in the early childhood education field? What can be done to improve gender equality? If you have a story about efforts to recruit men in the field, we would love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and share your strategies.