High-profile child abuse cases, such as the Jimmy Savile scandal, are affecting public attitudes to male childcarers according to the chief executive of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), June O’Sullivan.
Speaking and the launch of the London Network for Men in Childcare that was timed to coincide with International Men’s Day O’Sullivan acknowledged that men are being deterred from working in childcare because they worry that they may be perceived as being a paedophile, an early years expert has warned.
She made the comments in light of a survey by her organisation that found more than half of nursery workers believe that men are discouraged from pursuing a career in the early years sector.
“The biggest reasons why staff thought men don’t go into childcare was because of society’s attitude and the concern of being perceived as a paedophile,” said O’Sullivan.
“Staff and parents like to have men in childcare, but it’s actually a broader societal attitude against men which we’re seeing getting larger at the moment, to the state of almost a modern mentality.”
LEYF hopes to encourage more men into the sector by establishing its London Network for Men in Childcare to help male practitioners share experiences and promote their roles.