David Wright talks about men working in early years

David Wright, owner of Paint Pots nursery chain talks, briefly about the research he has been doing with parents about there attitudes towards men working in the early years. Filmed at the Bristol Men in Early Years conference.
00:01
My workshop is called Pride and Prejudice
00:04
and it's about parents' perspectives
00:07
of men working in early years.
00:09
It's based on some research
00:10
which is gonna be in my fourth coming book
00:13
with Simon Brownhill,
00:15
and it's based on a survey that we did
00:17
of parents of children in early years settings
00:19
to ask them what they think about the overall principle
00:24
of men working with early years,
00:25
whether they have any concerns about that
00:27
and exploring some of the fears
00:29
and different attitudes parents have.
00:38
Overwhelmingly, parents are supportive
00:41
but interestingly they also a significant minority
00:45
of those people who supported the idea have fears
00:50
and concerns about men working with early years
00:52
and it's interesting to explore that.
00:55
You know, what's prompted those fears and worries
00:58
and anxieties that they have?
01:06
I think it's the role of the media in portraying men
01:09
as potential abusers of children maybe,
01:13
but also, what is it that prompts parents
01:17
and that includes men and women,
01:19
to feel that this isn't an appropriate role for men,
01:22
so what is it in terms of our gender
01:24
that makes us as a society feel
01:27
that men shouldn't be involved
01:28
in working with young children?
01:30
So I think we need to promote positive images
01:32
of men working with children in nurseries and preschools.
01:36
I also think we need very strong leadership
01:38
in our organizations and I think it's about building trust
01:42
and awareness with parents, that we can trust men,
01:44
that it is an appropriate role for them,
01:46
and that it's for the benefit of children
01:48
and for society in general.
01:49
Less than two percent of the early years workforce
01:51
in England are men and so we've got a long way to go.
01:55
We have to let men know that this is an appropriate role
01:59
for them and that they can build a career in it.
02:01
We have to let parents know that it's acceptable
02:03
for men to come in
02:04
and indeed for those women who are currently working
02:07
in the workforce, they have to be accepting
02:09
and supportive of men,
02:10
particularly those who are in leadership currently,
02:13
so we're doing some work with the government.
02:15
We're doing work generally to try
02:18
and raise the awareness of it through the media
02:21
and we're trying to work with careers advisors
02:23
and with training organizations
02:25
to encourage men to apply for these jobs.