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January 11, 2006

Focus on Men In Early Childhood Education

Focus on Men In Early Childhood Education

A report released on Mon 25 September by Early Childhood Education Researcher Sarah Farquhar has revealed that less than 1% of Early Childhood Educators in New Zealand are men.

In her report she calls for open debate on men in early childhood education to remove what she reports as inherent sexism and fears of paedophile accusations, in the field.

A day later, the Early Childhood Council Chief Executive Sue Thorne called for a Government-led initiative to encourage more men into the profession.

She commented in a Christchurch Press article (Sept 26) that many men felt unwelcome in childcare and that the paedophile ‘hysteria’ of the 1990’s had resulted in existing male educators leaving the profession and potential male trainees avoiding the profession.

Other researchers in the field however, have identified other barriers and suggest that the perceived public and media hysteria regarding sex abuse and paedopilia are actually masking the effect of issues such as low pay, low social status of the work and perception of EC education as a ‘women’s career’ as barriers to men entering the profession.

Father & Child News