Men In The Early Years (MITEY)

As part of the Department for Education funded Together for Two Project in England, PACEY joined forces with MITEY (Men In The Early Years) to challenge perceptions about childcare roles, deliver careers in childcare sessions and talk directly to Job Centres about the opportunities that are available to men.  Though this work has been funded through a project in England the findings and resources are just as helpful for those working in Wales to understand the challenges facing the sector and helpful strategies.

In 2019*, figures showed that in England only 3% of staff working in early years education are male. MITEY (Men In The Early Years), run by the Fatherhood Institute, is a national network and campaign which works to bring more men into the early years education workforce and support them once they are part of it. 

We spoke to Dr Jeremy Davies, Head of Communications at the Fatherhood Institute about why the lack of men in early years is a problem, the challenges, and some strategies to get men into the early years. Sharing their experiences are Ian, a childminder from Wales and Tony, a childminding assistant from Cambridgeshire, in our Men in the early years Podcast mini-series.

Episode 1: The importance of gender diversity

Jeremy sets the scene and discusses why gender diversity is important. “Children really should be looked after and educated by a workforce that represents the community it serves. I think they should be growing up with lived experience of men and women working together as caregivers and educators.”

Episode 2: Recruitment challenges

How we can overcome some of the challenges faced in recruiting men to early years and childcare? "If we want men to hear about vacancies and opportunities, we need to actually go and find them and tell them”, hear more from Jeremy and his top tips.

Episode 3: Parental views

Jeremy says, “It's not at all unusual for parents to object to a man looking after or being their child’s keyworker…it can be very demoralising and make you feel like fundamentally you're not welcome.” Ian and Tony share their experiences and discuss approaches to overcome barriers.

Are you interested in a career in childcare?

PACEY member exclusive resources

* The DfE expected to publish an update in November 2021; its 2020 survey was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic); ( )