Survey to look at why so few men work in childcare

Researchers at Lancaster University are looking for early years practitioners and managers to take part in a study on the recruitment, support and retention of male members of staff.

The GenderEYE project, run by Lancaster University in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is aiming to finding out why relatively few men train to work in the early years, what would attract them to the career and how to keep them in the workforce.

The survey for practitioners will take around five to ten minutes to complete, and aims to establish a better understanding of the early years workforce in terms of age, qualifications, training, challenges and support.

Managers will be asked to take part in either a two to three minute survey or a longer five to ten minute option, both with specific questions on development and recruitment strategies for attracting men to early years education.

All surveys are anonymous and open to all early years staff, regardless of gender.

 Dr Jo Warin of the department of educational research at Lancaster University, said, ‘Currently only 2 per cent of the early years workforce is male. Our study aims to find out why.

'We want to know about the obstacles that stand in the way of more men taking up employment in early years education. We hope to use this evidence-based knowledge in ways that can help the UK diversify the gender of its workforce.’

  • The surveys will be available from August until 30 September and results will be published at the end of 2020. Visit

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