Spotlight on – Jason Holmes
Men in Childcare
Jason has over 15 years experience in the Childcare industry. He is now Nursery Manager at Kids Planet in Southport.
Our team interviewed Jason as part of our Men in Childcare series. Here’s what he had to say…
I come from a large family and always had younger children around me. I think this helped me to find my calling early on. I was inspired to want to become involved in early years education and see what difference can be made to a child’s development.
I knew that this was something I wanted to do when I was around 15. I then took my first placement in a nursery pre-school, I loved every second of it and I never looked back! Every day is different, each interaction is different. As a male in a childcare environment, the children gravitated towards me and I was able to engage with them in many ways planning lots of fun activities and ideas.
The lack of males in the early years is a real shame. The impact a male has on children within the early years can be huge. Some children don’t have the male figure in their lives and we do need to see more males in the early years. The government calling for more men in the early years is something we have needed for a long time.
The stigma attached to being a male in the early years can be difficult to overcome. Men are definitely the minority in this industry and initially for parents, seeing a male in the environment can be daunting, however, we are there as the male role model that is missing from many children’s lives and most parents come to understand how important this can be.
In all my years in childcare, I have only ever had 2 negative experiences to my chosen career. I personally feel this is a reflection of them, and not me. In both cases, by taking some time and talking with the parents I was able to change their views.
I am a very creative, fun and outgoing person, all of which are qualities that you need when working in the early years. As a male practitioner, I never felt that I brought anything particularly different to my female counterparts, other than being the male role model that many of the children desperately needed. I am able to comfort and care for the children in the same way as my colleagues.
Here at Kids Planet, the job is different every day and I love the challenge. The children bring so much joy to your day. You could be feeling down and not having the best day but being in their company can be so uplifting.
I am passionate about my career and I will always advocate for more males in the early years. I don’t see myself as a leader breaking these stereotypes. I am confident in my role and know that this is right for me, and the children I care for. It’s all about educating parents and the wider public about why it is important to have males in the field and hopefully encouraging more males to choose this amazingly rewarding career in the future.
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/