01 May 2015, Katy Morton
The Fatherhood Institute has joined forces with City Gateway, a charity that supports disadvantaged communities in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, to recruit and train young men through a new Young Men into Childcare programme.
It is hoped the programme, which is open those aged 16-24, will help tackle the low number of men working in the ‘female dominated’ early years sector.
The charities are also calling for schools and colleges to put forward those who may be interested.
Under the programme, which is being funded by Trust for London, young men will train to become childcare professionals.
Childcare courses will start in September and be delivered at City Gateway’s training centre in Tower Hamlets.
Trainees will have the opportunity to gain work experience at Gateway Tots Nursery, a social enterprise set-up by City Gateway to deliver quality affordable care for disadvantaged children.
The Young Men into Childcare steering group, whose representatives include the Fatherhood Institute (FI) and the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), will also provide support and advice to the programme, including finding men who already work within the sector to mentor trainees.
Adrienne Burgess, chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, said, ‘Governments have been talking about wanting to improve male representation in the early years workforce for many years now, but we’re still a long way from cracking this. Through the Young men into Childcare programme we want to make a difference – and, along with other pockets of good practice, help move things forward.
‘Our message to young men is this: you’re just as capable of making a success of a career in early years and childcare. Be a pioneer. We’re here to support you.’
Toad Hall Nursery group
Toad Hall Nursery Group, which operates 16 nurseries, has launched a series of Men in Early Years events to explore the questions and challenges faced by men in the sector.
The first event took place in April and was attended by representatives from the Co-operative Childcare, Hawk Training, Surrey County Council early years team, a Surrey-based childminder, an outreach worker, along with four of Toad Hall's male practitioners.
Over the coming months, those who attended the meeting will work together to create a supportive network for professionals interested in Men in Early Years, as well as tackling the wider issues of recruiting and retaining more men in the industry.
The next event will take place on 3 July at Barrow Hills, where participants will engage in forest school activitires and social media campaigning.