ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
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Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal

 

How to Open Teenage Boys’ Eyes to Early Childhood Work as a Career Option

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"Do you have any advice for encouraging teenage boys to give working in kindergarten or preschool a try?  

I am moving to a new job at an all-boys High School providing career advice and organising work placements for students." 

 

Dr Alexander replies

There are young men who would like to work with young children but they think or are told that it is not job that is suitable for men and so they choose a different occupation.

There are also a lot of young men who need exposure to young children and encouragement to interact and spend some time with children if they are to discover that working with children can be fun and very rewarding - the challenge is to help young men discover they can have a connection with children in the first place

Gateway Co-ordinators spend a lot of time establishing relationships with local businesses and maintaining relationships. Most early childhood centres would likely be delighted in having an opportunity presented to them to support their local high school. Centre managers and owners will also see this as an opportunity to identify potential male staff for work or to train on the job when they complete high school.

Getting male students interested could very likely be your hardest task, and those boys who are interested may be hesitant to come forward for fear of the reaction of their peers. Introduce early childhood work as a career option gradually over several months so the students, as young men, begin to feel safer to express their interest.  Here is what has been found to help:

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