Where Daycare Professionals and Ideas Come Together

Men in Daycare

Men in Daycare

How many of you work with a man in the child care field or have a male child care provider at your child's centre? How do you feel about men in the child care field?

I took my Early Childhood Education Diploma both through Seneca College and Loyalist College. Out of all the courses I took to get my diploma, I had only one male in any of my classes. This student was fantastic. He had a real love for children, a willingness to learn, his projects were fantastic and creative. He would have been great addition to any daycare centre.

He did however have one problem...there was not one child care centre in our area that would allow him to do his field placement in their establishment. Without field placements he could not graduate. He was very discouraged, as you could imagine. He had taken the course after his nephews were born. This student had discovered he had a talent with young children and he really enjoyed spending time with them. I ended up leaving the school before I found out if he was ever allowed to graduate and I always hoped our paths would cross again somewhere in our field.

Today, as a supervisor, I would hire him in an instant based on his talent and passion for the job, however I also have to think of the parent's in my centre. How would they react to a male diapering and toilet training their children? Sadly, there is a stigma attached to men in child care. I have had the pleasure of working with only two men in the child care field over the span of six years, and both were in school-age programs where there is no diapering or toileting involved.

Perhaps this is why these men were more widely accepted. Although I must admit, there was more then one odd glance or derogatory comment made by parents about his choice of profession.

From these two experiences, I have come to realize the benefits of male staff in a child care centre:

  • They work twice as hard to prove they are capable of handling the job.
  • They have a natural ability with the older boys who are usually embarrassed to be attending daycare in the first place.
  • They provide different styles of teaching, behaviour modification and life experiences which only improves the program.
  • A well rounded childcare team is more representative of real life situations.
  • They provide a strong male role model for the children in the centre.
  • Men in the child care field help break the stereotype that child care as women's work.

Men make great parents, why not great child care workers too?

I agree - to me it is ridiculous in this day & age that anyone, regardless of their sex, would be treated this way in the workplace.

As parents we need to be mindful of how our actions are being viewed by our children - if they see or hear a parent being derogatory about one of their care givers, male or female, what are we teaching them?

I worked with a male in childcare and I have to say that he is one of the most fantastic people I have ever worked with.
Not only as a co worker but as a great childcare provider!
He was the school age teacher and did a fab job at it.
Some of the new parents were very concerned about him at first but as they got to know him, they found him to be great!
Never judge a book by its cover right?
More men should have equal opportunity in childcare with out people looking down upon them wondering if they are gay or pediphiles.

As a parent, I have to say I'm finding myself in this situation right now...and it is a struggle. There is a male daycare provider in my daughter's daycare. He is not her teacher, however the last couple of days my daughter has been brought into his classroom with him in the afternoon, because she is one of the later children to go home.It's my understanding, it is just the two of them. She is three. I don't have a problem with a male daycare provider, however I'm extremely uncomfortable having her with him alone. I don't know him. I don't allow her to be alone with any man, but her father so why would I be comfortable with her being with a stranger? I applaud his career choice and I'm sure he's good at what he does, but I'm a parent and it is my job to protect. I know that I'm not uncomfortable with her being alone with a female teacher and this is a double standard,but I also know that statistics show far more men in daycare provider situations molest than women. What is a parent to do? It's a little much to ask a parent to take a "wait and see" approach with something like this. I'd appreciate any advice, because I do feel bad that I'm concerned simply because he's a man.

I've worked in the daycare for 10 years and I've never been alone with a child in the bathroom without a female teacher around. I taught that to myself because I wanted to cover myself and not put myself in a bad situation like that. Over the years I've had parents trust with their children and I even would explain to them about how I handle potty training.

There are SO many kids who I think would benefit from a male worker. Lots of kids don't have a good male role model, and I've often wished we could find a good one - because our center would totally, 100% hire a male.
I think it's totally understandablet though, that parents would be iffy about them being alone with their young daughter - especially helping in the bathroom and that kind of thing. Nothing AT ALL against them, that's just one of those things. Especially until they get to really know you.

I don't see a problem. For me it's like asking if there should be male teachers! The one that I met that were teaching in elementary school (kindergarden to 3) were the best I have ever met. It is great for the kids to have a male model.

In any circonstance, I think it's very important that anyone make sure their back is cover. There's Woman that molested kids in the pass too, but people seems to forget it. In school, we are told to never go in the washroom with any kids. The kids as to do the best they can when it comes to wiping them self. And they few times that I did have to go, there was ALWAYS someone else with me.

If someone feels unconfortable with the person that is taking care of their child, I think it's there job to try to know this person more, so that way they won't worry as much for their child.

for any man that thinks of working in a creche,or with small children 3 and 4 years,let me tell who its not to hard and it can be done.

i work in a creche full time,i made myself go to collage,the only male in that course of 13 and so far the only male at other small courses that i have done over the last 3 years.being a parent of 2 children and an wonderful teacher in collage i made it through as a chilcare worker.

i deal with 37 parents a day,i let them see the trust in me,they leave me with their childrens lives every day.its down to me then to keep them balenced,i use to pratices the parents name in case i forgot!

you need to grt to know them let them into your life a bit,you give the trust.

i didnt come across any parents who took a dislike to me,and i work with 18 women every day,and kids who lisen to me..

A huge congrats to Darnell and Carrots for breaking the stereotype and excelling at a job normally dominated by women. Our profession has a lot to learn and could definitely use more guys like you!
Kudos!

I am in my final semester of early childhood education at Seneca College. And I too have only one male in my class. How do I feel about men in the child care field? I think it’s unfortunate that since from the time you were in school till now, the number of men in childcare is still low. We need to encourage more men to get involved because there are men that enjoy working with children but they have the fear that they will be labeled as a “pedophile” or “gay” and whatnot. Men and woman should both have the equality when it comes to child care for example sharing the same roles and responsibilities in the field. It is doesn’t matter about gender, it’s about what you can offer and bring to the job. More men should speak out and stand up for their rights and there is no such thing as a “manly” job or a “girly” job. As long as men and women enjoy what they are doing that’s all that matters.

Well said!!!!

I feel very positive about male workers in the field. I am a child care supervisor. I have graduated with an ECE diploma from Humber College as well as a Day Care Management Certificate from George Brown College. I have seen two men in my classes, and they were amazing! When I did my third placement there was a male teacher in the centre, the children listened to him and just adored him! He was so popular with the families, everyone respected and enjoyed having him at the centre. I believe it is time for people to look around themselves and realize that we are living in 2009 and the world has changed, if a woman can be a police officer why can't a man be in the ECE field? I don't get it.

I am a male and have worked in the field since 1986. I am now Supervisor of a child care centre in rural Ontario. I previously supervised 3 others in Toronto and have worked as a teacher with every age group. I never had a problem completing my field placements due to my gender. I actually think it is my gender that got me jobs easier. Look at it this way, 2 ECE applicants of equal quality apply to a centre. Who do you think is going to be hired the male or female ECE?

I am a man with a passion for children and I was, until about a week ago very excited at the prospect of pursuing a career in ECE. It was my intention to start out as an ECE assistant and enroll in the ECE Educator apprentiship program at Georgian College. However my hopes and dreams were soon crushed when I was informed by a distant family member that daycares in Toronto do not hire men. I do not live in Toronto, however I do fear that that same sentiment may exist in my community.
I love children and I am comfortable with all age groups. I have done volunteer work with children for about the last 20 years within the churches that I have attended, i.e. nursery, school age and junior high. I have also done volunteer work at a summer camp. As far as my personal life is concerned I have been married for 16 years. I have 3 daughters. I have lived at my present address for 12 years. I have at least 12 ladies that I have worked for and worked with that will write a letter of reference for me. I can also provide a clean criminal background check.
I would appreciate any and all input.

I disagree. I have never had a problem getting a job in day care due to my gender. To avoid seeking a career because of hearsay is nonsense. Quality teachers whether male or female can always find work.

I am a male who has been a Early Childhood Eduacator for 12 years and counting. When i first started teaching i had to deal with a tremendous amount of stereotypes and uncomfortable looks from parents. But as time passed all that seemed to drift away. After five years i moved to a different state where i found that i would have to prove myself to a new group of parents. Where i proved to most, a few wouldn't budge. What hurt the most was the lack of support from Administrators. After working in college for a degree, proving stereotypes wrong, and added a family along the way I struggle to prove myself everyday, but in the end when all is said and done, i know i have worked hard to break down the walls as well as made positve ground for all male educators in this field.

I am so happy to hear of the successes our male members are having and at the same time, I know there are still many centres that have trouble with the thought of male staff. We hired a male cook and he was FANTASTIC, great ideas, great with kids, passionate about food (and able to stick to a budget!!!). He was a daycare dream, but some of the looks he got and the remarks I got for hiring him were very concerning. I hope we continue to grow as a profession and people realize men make great dads, teachers, coaches. Why not daycare too?

Hi everyone,

I'm doing research for a television show in development about male nannies and caregivers for a Toronto-based production company called marblemedia. I would love to have a chance to talk with some of the male caregivers who have participated in this forum or if anyone knows of someone they think would be good for this show please let me know!

This show would be a great way to raise the profile of male childcare providers by profiling one outgoing, experienced individual who would work with different families.

I can be reached at or by calling 416 646 2711 ext. 233

I hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks,
Lindsey

What a fantastic idea!!! I can not wait to see it. Please keep us posted.

You might approach Ron Blatz of Men in Early Care and Education (MECE) Manitoba (http://www.menteach.com/node/1246) to see if has contacts in Toronto. Ron is very involved in promoting the importance of men in ECE both in Canada and internationally. Take a look at www.MenTeach.org and/or http://www.worldforumfoundation.org/wf/projects/men_ece/ to get a feel for this truly international effort to support gender balance in ECE and ways to recruit, support, and retain men in ECE.

Another male in ECE,
Don Piburn

Hi Lindsey...are you just looking to speak to nannies/homecare providers or daycare teachers? I live however about 3 hours outside Toronto!!

Gord

I am a male. I have been a child care teacher for the last eleven years and am considering leaving the field, even though I absolutely love it. I am tired of being accused of abuse, neglect and anything else you can think of. I have been investigated by state and local police and agencies. If a women teacher doesn't like you, she can say anything. I have been fired several times for falce allegations.It has literally made me sick. Funny thing is I am more qualified than the directors who have fired me. I should have been a doctor.

Dude, sorry to hear that; everyone know we need more men working in the field. The accusations you have mentioned have never occured to me and I've been at this since 1986. I do have a difficult time understanding how you could be fired considering their are "false" accusations. Perhaps your interactions with the children are sending a mixed message?

I am a male teacher and I have been teaching preschool for 8 years and have been working with children since 1995. I am currently working on my master's in early childhood education and love what I do.

I love what I do, but have doubts in continuing in this field and i'm considering a career change.

Every day I feel I have to prove myself to parents and I usually do. I am really good at what I do, but lately I feel it comes at a price.

1. Financial, I have 16 years worki ng with children, ateaching certififcate, and i make 31000 a year. it is hard to live at this income, raise a child, and own a home. The only way I get a raise is if I leave my job and go eslewhere. I get sad that I have so much education and exoerience and can't give my family a better lifestyle.

2. Personal. it's a lonely profession for a male. it is hard to make male friends and hard to make friends at work.

3. Their is always the feeling in the back of head that people feel it's odd for me to do what I do and uncomfortable.

I would love to open my own daycare, but feel it would be a hard sell to parents simply because I'm a male, forgeting about my experience and education.

any thoughts?

I've been a daycare teacher since 1985. I have owned my own home, although I have not had a new car since 1982. I make about the same amount and can live comfortably. Research would have shown early on that you are not going to make much money in this field (reminds me of a joke for all the supervisors looking for qulaity ECE's: Where to find them? At the dollar store of course).
2. I don't consider it a lonely field. I have made many wonderful friends through coworkers and families we serve. My "male bonding" is accomplished through my men's hockey team, and coaching various sports.
3. Uncomfortable? If you are doing a quality job, parents will know that "you are right for the job".

Open my own daycare? NEVER...I'd make less than I do now!

My daughter's after school program has a new male assistant and he is FANTASTIC!!!! A great addition to the program and he is clearly well loved by all the kids. I was so happy to meet him and so glad my daughter will get the benefit of both a male and female teacher in her program!!!

Hello Gord,
I read your comments. I need information on "Men in childcare workforce.May I contect you from this chanel.
Thank you.
Afroz Jehan

Afroz, It was Gord's contact information that I forwarded to you previously.

I ran child care years back and had no problem getting children in. I then went to teaching, then ventured off into other fields. I am now venturing back. It amazes me how much sexism is out there now compared to years ago. Before people just trusted with no back ground checks, no real training.
Now after I have went to college, had prior experience, teaching, foster care, continued education of ASS in early childhood education, a registered provider, SCR cleared and back ground checked, and a far better care environment, I have already been turned down a few time for no other than my gender. Not to mention I was single before and now married and my wife is here throughout most of our operating hours.
Sad how the world is going backwards. Should I not trust my car to a female mechanic? Should you not trust your son to be alone with a female care giver? I understand the fears in today's world, but Child molesters/abusers are more apt to date someone with kids than go through federal background checks, licensing, on going checks and all the regulations a child care provider has to go through.
Luckily not everyone is so sexist and once the word gets out of how great care is, business picks up. As with any business, satisfied customers make the best return. I have yet to have a parent or child that was not delighted with my care.
Children are our future. Let's not cloud their minds having them think that trust or careers are based on gender specifics. After all, we are supposed to be about equal rights. envision our future as a world where anyone can be what they want to be without being looked down on for gender, race or any other discrimination.