Few men around the world work in day-care settings, nursery schools or kindergartens. Yet wherever they are found, men who are perceived to have crossed the gender boundary in their choice of profession are widely acclaimed as gifted educators and excellent caregivers. Policy makers who care about providing quality education for young children need to understand what attracts men to work with young children and how to retain them in the workforce so they can make the most of this underutilized human resource in early childhood education. This book fills a research gap, presenting the biographies of six talented men from Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel and the United States who have all been working with the youngest children for many years. A cultural lens is used to understand their motivation and reveal the difficulties they faced in choosing the profession, getting trained, working with young children and their parents, and opting to remain in the field. This book is a must for early childhood leaders who are interested in moving towards gender equality in the workforce.
To those responsible for teacher training programs it will help them empathize with the men they have recruited, and to learn how to make them feel more comfortable in their programmes. Supervisors of men in the early childhood workforce will broaden their perspectives on the work lives of these minority employees, and will learn how to support their becoming part of a team consisting largely of women educators. The most significant contribution of this book is the window it gives to readers about men's unique contribution to the care and education of young children around the world.