Spotlight on – Harris Nicholls
Men in Childcare
Harris Nicholls is relatively new to Childcare, after joining the industry on an apprenticeship 3 years ago. Here he tells us about his experience at Mother Goose Corner Nursery & Pre School and the challenges he’s overcome.
“While I was at school, I took a placement in a nursery for work experience and realised how rewarding a career in childcare could be. As soon as I started my apprenticeship I knew this was the right choice for me. Being a Key Worker at a Nursery & Pre School allows me to develop bonds with children and their families too, and the impact I can have on their early education and development is the thing that drives me each day.
I faced some real challenges when I chose this career path. Even though the Men In Childcare campaign is gaining traction and encouraging more men into the sector, there are still ingrained stereotypes. When I first decided on this apprenticeship, I was challenged regularly, people often told me I couldn’t make a career out of it and I was even once challenged by another Practitioner who thought I shouldn’t be able to change nappies.
I am determined to disprove these views and build a successful career in the role that I love.
Unfortunately lots of children are lacking positive male role models. Through my job I can make a difference to these children and build strong bonds with them that will help them in the future.
It might be slow, but views are changing and the point is getting across. Slowly, people are starting to realise that men are just as capable in caring roles as women.”
GenderEYE have created a survey (for managers and practitioners/staff) to help them gain a better understanding of the early years workforce in terms of age, qualifications, training, challenges and support. The survey for practitioners will cover the above areas and ask about roles undertaken. The survey for managers will have specific questions on development and recruitment strategies for attracting men to early years education.
The surveys are completely anonymous. The practitioner survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes. For the managers, there will be two options. Participants may take a speedy 1-minute survey or a longer 5-10 minute survey. The questionnaires will be available until September 30th 2019 and the results will be published at the end of 2020 in early years magazines such as Nursery World and Under 5s, or in academic journals.
Take the survey: https://gendereye.org/survey/