Blog / Importance of the male influence in the Early Childhood setting

January 25 2022,

Importance of the male influence in the Early Childhood setting

The topic of male educators in the early childhood setting is one that can polarise us without even knowing why, however are our children missing out on important early learning because we have such a large percentage of females educating our children in their early years?

Gender balance

According to research published in 2018, male educators make up only 2 percent of the workforce in the Australian early education setting.

There has always been a (mostly unspoken) misconception that the early years for children are not suitable for males hence statistics show that 98 out of 100 educators are female. This consequently gives children the impression that only female educators are kind, affectionate and loving. 

However, children benefit from female and male influences as they all play a vital part in a child’s development just like the role of a mum and dad in the family and of course when they enter the infants/primary system they will see male teachers (albeit still a small percentage!).

Teachers of both genders come with varying viewpoints and experiences allow children to make their own connections as they begin to form an understanding of the world they live in. As much as young boys look up to superheroes and sporting idols, a strong male role model in the early childhood education setting can impact greatly on a child’s emotional development especially for boys.

Building relationships is fundamental for children at this age, and for girls, it’s about learning how to trust all genders. This will benefit in their  later years as they will be more equipped as they learn to appreciate the strengths  of men in a classroom environment. According to the male’s natural strengths, this brings endless opportunities to the classroom as they teach children to see things through different lenses. As young children grow, they need to know that people of all genders have a vital role to play in their life and education. Consequently, if young children do not form relationships with male teachers before they enter the primary school system, traditional gender stereotypes are reinforced.  

Men entering the early childhood industry do not find it easy as they encounter obstacles and different opinions based on how they look, work and act. Walking into the staff room with all experienced female teachers can be very daunting and those that persist are definitely the ones that really appreciate the fundamental importance of the learning experience in the early years of life. If your child has the privilege of learning from a  male teacher in their early education experience we encourage you to embrace the moment.

Much love from the team at Turtletot Childcare

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