The Recruitment of Men in the Early Years Sector

Men in the early years sector has long been a topic of conversation, with only 2% of men in the UK working as nursery practitioners. Across Tops and Aspire we are delighted to announce that we employ 8% of male staff across our workforce, compared to the national average.

The lack of gender diversity in the Early Years Sector has been heavily studied in recent years, with many researchers focusing on how to develop clear and achievable strategies to accelerate the number of men working in childcare. Gender diversity in the Early Years sector has never been more important, more specifically, if we are to address gender stereotypes and demonstrate the message of opportunity for all, regardless of gender.

In 2019 Tops and Aspire became part of the MITEY campaign. The MITEY Charter is a pledge for nurseries, pre-schools and other early years setting across the UK to show support in valuing men’s potential to contribute positively to the care and education of young children, taking steps to bring them into the workforce.

If you manage a Childcare setting and are looking for help on how to encourage a more inclusive workforce, take a look at some of our recruitment tips

  1. Define your goals – Accept that you are in a traditionally male under-represented sector. Be clear that you want men because you want to better represent the community, not because you want them to bring some specific quality. Sell the overall image and not the job.
  2. Avoid gender specific words and opt for more neutral titles such as ‘Early Year’s Educator’ – Share men’s stories in their own words through case studies or video clips on job title pages.
  3. Try connecting with local schools and colleges to show them you are interested in recruiting men for work experience opportunities and apprenticeships – and that you are interested in forming links that could support the professional development of men you work with.
  4. Reach out into the local community: Scouts groups, gyms, sports clubs, pubs, bars and social groups; maybe you could even put a poster up in the local barbers?
  5. Support any current members of male staff and encourage networking
  6. Sign up to the MITEY charter!
  7. Consider an open day – Allow potential candidates to spend time observing some of the daily routines and allow any questions.
  8. Use positive, mixed gender images online. Childcare is a mixed workforce and this should be recognised on your company website and job adverts

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