Alex is currently a Nursery Assistant Tops Wimborne, have a read of his childcare journey!
How did you get into childcare, did you always want to work in the industry?
I started off going the university route and went into schools doing student teaching. At this point I realised I really enjoyed working with 4-5 years olds. I then joined Tops agency and realised I really enjoy working with all ages, each age group represented their own unique rewards and challenges. I’ve always wanted to work with children apart from when I was age 4 when I wanted to be a pirate.
Have you ever experienced negativity in regards to being male in the early year’s sector?
I have been very lucky to have not experienced negativity, but part of that may be because of male practitioners who have taken the step before me.
What do you love the most about your job?
Being able to watch children learn and develop in so many ways, while at the same time I’m learning and developing with them too. Also children can say the most sweetest and their role play can take you to a new world.
What is your biggest achievement in your role?
Adapting to the younger age range and now feeling settled in the investigators room. This surprised some of my friends when I told them, but I’ve loved how my childcare journey has evolved.
Do you think attitudes are changing towards employing men in nurseries? Explain your answer.
Yes because I think the fact that I have been able to come in and not noticed any negative attitude in itself says to me attitudes are changing. The fact childcare is a profession associated with females yet three of our staff are male is a strong sign things are changing.
What do you think the benefits are of men working in the early years?
I think it’s important for children to have both strong female and male role models in their life. But also seeing a mixture in early years sends out a message to children of equality. It shows you can choose what profession you want to be regardless of gender.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to work in the early year’s sector?
Just embrace getting to know every child as an individual! Every child is completely unique and what works for what child can be completely different for another. It’s a gradual journey. Ask for help even if you can’t pinpoint why you are feeling down. It’s not an easy journey, but I am lucky to have such a supportive manager who really listens and helps me find a solution to any issue.
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