Men in Childcare: Does it matter to children, what do they say? (Stage 2)

Perkins, Helen; Edwards, Tracey and O'Sullivan, June (2018). Men in Childcare: Does it matter to children, what do they say? (Stage 2). London Early Years Foundation and University of Wolverhampton.


This is a joint research project between London Early Years Foundation and the University of Wolverhampton. We asked How do children perceive male practitioners? How do children characterise their relationship with the male practitioners ? Do children consistently choose staff they like for the activities they do well rather than the associate gender connection. ( For example choosing a woman to play football because she is really good rather than a man)? This research is mainly qualitative and based in a sociocultural perspective. The methods are participatory and are based on praxeological values by involving teachers as research partners. Key findings are: Children need high quality teachers, male and female, who are ‘good at’ activities. Children associate fun activities with the person not the gender (balance) Where males are visible in the setting, seen to be engaging in all activities and, not just as ‘a novelty event’ children did not associate the activity with the gender There can be a tendency in some areas to fall back on gender stereotypes when staff or children faced with activities that are not a favourite or are unpleasant.

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