A few of the big providers of early childhood education stand out in having a higher proportion of male teachers than the national average across all teacher-led services in NZ of 1.8% according to ChildForum. The employers from early childhood services with more than 1.8% of male teachers are doing something right to attract men to work for them and may be congratulated.
There are a small number of individual early childhood centres in NZ with two or more male teachers and there are also some smaller kindergarten associations with more than 1.8% of male teachers. For example, a Dunedin early childhood centre 'Early Childhood on Stafford' has 3 male teachers in its staff of 15 (20% male teachers) and another Dunedin centre 'St Clair Corner' has 3 male teachers in its staff of 8 (37% male teachers). In Kerikeri, centres Sylvan House and Lanark House have always hired one or two male teachers and currently have 3 male teachers in their team of 20 teachers.
The Table below shows the percentage of male teachers at the largest early childhood services.
|Female Teachers||Male Teachers||Percentage of Male Teachers|
|Kiwicare Pre School Ltd||111||5||4.3%|
|Canterbury Kindergarten Assn||209||9||4.1%|
|Wellington Kindergarten Assn||326||10||3.0%|
|PORSE Home-based Agency
(This figure is for co-ordinators only
and does not include those educating
children in their homes)
|ABC Learning Centres||954||15||1.5%|
|Auckland Kindergarten Assn||381||6||1.5%|
|Barnardos Early Learning Centres||165||1||0.6%|
|Central Kindergarten Assn||227||1||0.4%|
A problem with these statistics is that when the numbers are so small the percentages are not statistically significant. "All it takes is for one out of two male teachers to resign at a service with 100 teachers for example, and the service is then down to 1%", says Dr Sarah Alexander
But ChildForum notes that the above statistics nevertheless indicate the existence of clear differences between the large providers of ECE who are succeeding in exceeding 1.8% of male teachers (namely Wellington and Canterbury Kindergarten Associations and a smaller early childhood group of centres trading as Kiwicare Pre School) and those who have not yet started to address the gender imbalance in their employment practices.
The low percentage of men in the Kindercare centres group could be viewed as disappointing given that the owners of this group of centres are a provider of early childhood teacher education involved in recruiting and training teachers (the NZ Tertiary College) and are closely involved in an employers' political lobby group (the Early Childhood Council).
Since the data was collected Kidicorp acquired the ABC Learning Centres and the NZ College of Early Childhood Education (a provider of teacher education) and has commenced a programme of raising the quality of its services and ensuring more of its teachers are qualified and registered.
ChildForum says it will be interesting to see this year, and next, whether and which of the big providers of early childhood education make a commitment to stepping up and increasing further the proportion of male teachers they have.