Walk and pass the room of a childcare centre, and what will you see? Odds are, you’ll see mostly female childcare workers.
The reality is, 95% of Australia’s childcare workers are women – you seldom see men in the field or taking this path as their career.
Of course, you shouldn’t let that discourage you!
Sure, it may not be the type of profession you normally associate with men (and what is “normal”, anyway?!). However, it’s one that’s definitely worth considering, especially if you’re looking to make a change in direction.
Male childcare educators – they’re growing in popularity, despite the stereotypes. And we want you to join this ever-growing industry!
Why are there no male preschool teachers?
Let’s face it, early childhood work is traditionally considered less “masculine” – an attitude that can extend to all things involving kids, for that matter. If you’re a dad yourself, you may have experienced this personally.
Not to mention, there’s also the stereotype that female childcare assistants and workers are more qualified than male workers.
Of course, male workers still need to undergo the exact same training, so it’s a bit of a moot point – not that it stops these stereotypes from persisting.
The silent and passive stereotyping can scare many male educators away from a career in the industry, and many might feel left out, resulting in fewer men entering the industry because of these gender stereotypes.
Men can’t afford to earn little
Here’s another old-fashioned stereotype that many hold onto: the fact that men need to be the main providers and breadwinners for their families.
Combine this with the perception that child care is a low-paying career, and many men forgo this pathway or opportunities to earn a higher income.
The thing is, as a growing industry, there are plenty of job opportunities and avenues for growth, which in turn means promotion opportunities and pay rises, as well as the potential to even open your very own Daddy Day Care (without the chaos of the Eddie Murphy movie!)
Male educators are viewed “differently” than females
Because of gender stereotypes, many parents trust female educators more than their male counterparts.
It’s outrageous. It’s unfair. And unfortunately, it’s something that some men might be afraid to experience.
Don’t let this discourage you! Many people don’t realise the value that male educators contribute in making a positive difference in the lives of children.
But with all of these reasons, can a man work at a daycare?
Of course! Men are always welcome to work in a daycare or childcare facility – don’t let these old-fashioned ideas and stereotypes stop you from pursuing the career you’ve dreamed of!
Many childcare centres themselves recognise the need for greater diversity in their staff and are making an extra effort to welcome male educators, with many attaching additional reminders to their job posts that male educators are welcome to apply.
It all comes down to whether or not you’re willing to make the leap!
What male educators bring into child care centres
Both male and female early childhood educators bring something unique to the learning at childcare centres – all the more reason we should be striving for a more equal gender balance!
You may not realise a few of these benefits, but male educators play an important role in enhancing children’s overall relationships and well-being. And here’s how…
Male educators model positive adult interactions
Early childhood educators aren’t just babysitters – they perform a number of different roles, one of which is facilitating healthy social development.
By simply being there to settle disputes and simply provide a positive male role model, male educators can help children – boys in particular – develop their social skills and understand how healthy, respectful, and equal relationships work.
They can also help children (of both genders) understand, strengthen, and accept their own gender identities.
Leave a positive impact on the lives of children
Childcare workers, be they men or women, play a crucial role in building healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children.
Both female and male childcare workers leave a positive impact on the lives of children by:
- Setting an example (see above)
- Facilitating physical and cognitive development
- Teaching foundational skills
- Building their confidence and social skills
Regardless of gender, this is something that any childcare worker will be able to help with.
If that sounds like the type of thing for you, we encourage you to start thinking about pursuing this avenue, even if you’re a man!
The male educator’s role is necessary for early childhood settings
If you ask us, diversity is the key to a healthy childcare sector. A broad range of perspectives and experiences can help with:
- Administering and running centre operations
- Childcare philosophies
- Catering for diverse children
We believe that ingrained labels, built from generations of stereotypes, can truly be broken.
And above all, children will not even notice the anomaly of having a male educator in their childcare centre!
What qualifications do I need to be a childcare worker in Australia?
Whether you’re a male or a female applicant, it’s important that early childhood educators are competent and proficient. After all, you’re doing much more than just babysitting!
All of this requires extensive training and qualification in order to ensure that no matter what gender you are, you’re able to provide the children in your care with the attention they require and deserve.
Step #1: complete a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
If you’re thinking of starting a career in childcare, you will need to obtain in the industry’s minimum qualification: the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
This course covers a range of different areas including:
- Theories of childhood development
- Approved learning frameworks
- Cognitive and physical development
- How to encourage foundational literacy and numeracy
- Resolving tantrums
- Diet and nutrition
Step #2: further your education with the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
If you plan to take your career further with a managerial or coordinator role, you may need to enrol in a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
This course is designed to help you take your career to the next level.
In addition to more advanced childcare techniques and theories, this course also focuses on equipping you with the tools you need to design and implement a suitable curriculum that encourages children’s learning and development.
You will also learn how to apply sustainable practices and develop and implement policies needed to comply with regulations in the education and childcare services industry.
Step #3: comply with basic childcare worker requirements
After completing the Certificate III or the Diploma, you’re almost ready to get started!
Before you can start applying for jobs, there are just a couple of other legal requirements you will need to comply with:
- Working with Children Check (WWCC)
- Police background check
- Registration with your state’s Department of Human Services
You may need to check with the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) for more information about the rules and regulations you need to adhere to and qualify for before employment.
Step #4: Get a first aid certification
Young children are always on-the-go, playful and energetic – and sometimes, this leads to accidents and injuries.
In order to prepare for these, childcare educators will need to complete a certified first aid training program to prepare them for emergencies in order to safeguard children’s wellbeing and health at all times.
Step #5: Complete an accredited anaphylaxis management course
Part of your first aid training is completing your anaphylaxis management course, delivered by a qualified healthcare worker.
An anaphylaxis management course helps you recognise signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, as well manage and treat allergic reactions, protecting affected children and as well as putting in place strategies to minimise any exposure to allergens while working childcare centres.
Explore our childcare courses in Melbourne: get in touch with Academia today
Study childcare courses with Academia and take the crucial first step on your new journey!
Academia is an accredited and recognised educational institution by the Australian Government providing classroom learning, practical training, and work placements.
We focus on educating and training you for a rewarding career in the childcare industry, with a focus on the practical skills you’ll need to look after the children in your care.
Earn your way towards a rewarding career in childcare when you enrol in our childcare courses in Melbourne today:
- Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)