Men In Childcare Network in Ireland

In June 2004 KKCCC hosted the first Men in Childcare Conference which examined the issues of achieving a gender balance within the sector. Out of that conference a Men in Childcare Network was established and they have gone on to host two further conferences each year since.

The Men in Childcare Network support and encourage men who are interested in a career in childcare.
Their vision is that children will feel normal being cared for by both men and women. This vision is based on the belief that

    * children benefit from a gender balanced care setting and that it is optimum in terms of the social development of a healthy child.
    * that the inclusion of trained male childcare workers could undo a tremendous amount of negative stereotyping about men and their abilities to nurture and care for children.

The Men in Childcare Network believe that in an era of equality and the growing awareness in gender equality issues it is perfectly logical for men to aspire to such a vision.
Why have Men in Childcare?

The benefits of having men participating in childcare have been well explored over the last number of years, however, the Childcare sector in Ireland has the lowest representation of male workers in Europe, less than 1%.

    * Children benefit because men bring new ideas and ways of working into childcare
    * Fathers benefit because they have someone to relate to and may feel more at home
    * Staff benefit because a more gender balanced staff team gives different ways of looking at issues while facilitating different approaches
    * Having men working in childcare shows children that manliness can include caring.

Why Choose Childcare as a Career?

    * It’s Rewarding
    * It’s Flexible
    * It’s Challenging
    * It’s Progressive
    * It’s Fun!!!

What Can the Men in Childcare Network Do?

The main aim of the MiC Network is to work towards an increased representation of men in the Childcare sector in Ireland with particular emphasis on the benefits of the child.
They aim to achieve this by:

    * Informing and supporting men who may be interested in a career in the Childcare sector and enable male workers in Childcare to support each other
    * Recognizing the importance of childcare as a profession in our society and the valued role that men can play in this sector
    * Informing the childcare sector and broader society of the benefits and unique qualities men have to offer to the childcare profession
    * Helping childcare centres who wish to recruit and support male childcare workers

How can a Childcare Centre help support Male Childcare Workers?

    * Be pro-active and communicate the positives to parents and staff and make it a fact that men are involved with your program
    * Consider men and women in an equal and positive way
    * Have policies and procedures in place for the protection of all i.e. the children and the childcare workers
    * Men are usually working in isolation from other men and they may need specific support from their supervisors to feel they are doing a good job and are included in the childcare team.

Men In Childcare DVD

The Men in Childcare Network aims to support and encourage men to work in the Early Childhood Care & Education sector in Ireland and to promote in society the great benefit the inclusion of men working in the childcare sector can have on children and families lives.  For this purpose they have launched a DVD “The Face of Men in Irish Childcare”.  The filming took place in counties across the South & East and features 6 men working in various aspects of the childcare sector and depicts them engaged in their everyday work. The DVD also interviews managers, co-workers and parents.  The subsequent DVD will be targeted at those working in childcare, parents, the guidance and training field nationally, that come in contact with men and is in a position to provide educational, career guidance and encouragement. The MiC Network hope this DVD will promote the childcare sector as profession and a very rewarding and enjoyable career for men and women as those who already who with children know.

Professor Francis Douglas, Director of Early Childhood Studies U.C.C. and Tim Moran Waleroo preschool, Men in Childcare Network Ireland launched the DVD” on 15th May at the Lifetime Labs, in Cork to a great response. Tim Moran of the MIC Network will launch the DVD at the Working Forum on Men in Early Childhood Education, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. on May 20th  – 23rd . This is a great honor and opportunity for the Irish network to represent Irish childcare and meet fellow childcare professionals with a common goal of promoting the role men can play in children’s lives. Copies of the DVD will be available from KKCCC resource library or you can buy by contacting the network for a cost of €10.

If you have any questions about the network or if you know a man who would be interested in a career in childcare don’t hesitate to contact the Network. Details are below.
To Contact the MiC Network

Mick Kenny is the MiC representative for Kilkenny

    * Leave a message in their Mailbox: 087 2299208
    * Text them: 087 2299208
    * Email them: meninchildcare@vodafone.ie

Go to the website.