Might it be the flexible job for you?
In a sector that’s overwhelmingly female, being the only man in the nursery isn’t for the faint-hearted. But what if things could be different? We spoke to Leah Hannon from childcare provider All About Children about some of the benefits and why a career looking after kids professionally could be a smart move.
“After having children, it’s common for the main caregiver to put their career on hold,” says Leah. “If you need your work to fit around your children, your employment options are often limited. So, working in childcare can be the ideal solution: with flexible hours and part-time shifts often available, it’s usually possible to juggle your job around your home childcare commitments. And when you go out to work, you could even bring your little ones with you. Many nurseries offer substantial childcare discounts to staff, so you’d save money while getting to see your children on site.”
“In a nursery, there’s no time to be bored. Working as a hands-on childcare provider, every day is different, and full of surprises. The young people you’re working with are discovering new and amazing things every day, and you’ll get to see the world through their eyes, learning from them just as much as they learn from you. So, whether you’re crafting Christmas cards, singing nursery rhymes or organising an egg and spoon race, there’s never a dull moment when you’re working in childcare.”
“Research shows that brain development in the first five years plays a vital part in shaping a child’s future. So, it’s a real privilege to be a part of this valuable stage of life, helping children form strong relationships and supporting them as they grow during these essential, formative years. If you’ve ever felt that you wanted a job that makes a real difference, working in childcare could be the career for you. There aren’t many roles that are more important than shaping the adults of the future!”
“If your local nursery is anything like the national average, male key workers are probably still a rare novelty. With men only representing 3% of the childcare workforce, it can seem like a career that’s off-limits to male applicants. But gender stereotypes can be as harmful as they are insidious, sending a message that there’s a right and wrong way to be male or female. For children growing up in today’s world, we’re passionate about showing them that they’re free to follow their own path, whatever their gender.
By normalising men in childcare, our goal is to show children, parents and wider society that nurturing roles can be fulfilled just as much by men as they have, traditionally, been by women. The more men that take up childcare as a career, the more unremarkable it will become.”
“With many industries facing an uncertain future, one thing’s for sure: people will always need childcare. If you are looking for a secure career you can depend on, working in childcare could be for you.
But it’s not all just about a steady ‘job for life’: progress and promotion are part of the package, too. Mark Spence is an Early Years Teacher at All About Children and says, ‘Not only is it a company that strives to educate and care for young children, they also dedicate themselves to building up employee’s professional development through tailored training and opportunities within the company.'”