Current figures suggest that only 3% of the early years workforce in England & Wales, and 4% in Scotland, is male. The GenderEYE project at Lancaster University in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute is aiming to finding out why. We need to understand why so few men are willing to train to work in the early years and what kinds of support they need to remain in this work when they do come forward. This is vital given the current recruitment crisis. The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has provided a very substantial award for the research affirming its potential significance.
We have created a survey (for managers and practitioners/staff) to help us 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 20 December 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.
If you are a manager, or if you work in an early years setting (practitioner or otherwise, male/female/gender non-specific) please take part in our study. The links below will take you to the Participant Information and to the survey.
Unfortunately, we are not asking childminders to fill the survey in at this time – it was a question we thought long and hard about and decided that in the interests of simplicity we were going to focus on what was taking place in the more formalised settings, rather than trying to unpack what was happening within home-based settings as well, which we felt would be a whole other study. However, we are trying to get a sense of this through more qualitative data as a supplementary focus.
If you work in an early years setting as a practitioner or otherwise, male/female/gender non-specific please take part in our survey above.
If you are a manager of an early years setting please take part in this survey.
At the end of the GenderEYE project, we will be disseminating our findings. For more details and to express your interest, please visit our Conference and Training page.