Need for gender balance recognised

Staff working in early years settings should be trained on how to
involve fathers as both volunteers and staff, a report says.

The study, by the Pre-School Learning Alliance, says that fathers
would be more involved in child care if the workforce was more
gender balanced. Activities in early years centres should be
targeted at fathers, who are happy to get involved in activities,
the report says.

Meanwhile, work and pensions secretary David Blunkett this week
urged men to consider a career in child care. “Only 2 per cent of
those working in child care are men, yet there is much they can
give to the profession,” he said as he toured a Sure Start
programme in south London.

Blunkett’s comments coincide with a campaign by the Department for
Education and Skills to attract more people, particularly men, into
child care. The government estimates that 160,000 people need to be
recruited to work in child care by 2008.

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