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York Conference to Get Men Working with Children

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2:10pm 2nd May 2014

Representatives from nurseries and childcare providers across York are joining forces today to look at how to get more men working and volunteering in the childcare sector.

The half day conference - facilitated by City of York Council -is part of an initiative to improve educational outcomes for children by helping early years services engage with men/fathers in their children’s learning.

Run by the Fatherhood Institute, with funding from the DfE, the initiative is one of only four in the country. The two-stranded approach aims to raise the number of men entering training, employment or volunteering in childcare in York by ten per cent, and encourage fathers to read to their children every day (FRED).

It’s hoped the conference will promote the importance of involving men in childcare, identifying the challenges, understanding the local issues, seeking providers’ support, planning next steps and developing and implementing a city wide strategy to recruit and retain more male staff and volunteers within the city.

Jon Stonehouse, the council’s Director Children’s Services, Education and Skills, is speaking at the conference. He said: “Research shows there are huge benefits from having men in nurseries, such as providing male role models, eradicating gender stereotypes and helping fathers engage with their children. Yet childcare and primary education is one of the most gender segregated occupations in the UK. I hope the conference will help us work with providers to encourage more men to get involved in this challenging and rewarding sector.”

The conference will be held at the council’s headquarters at West Offices from 9am-12noon.

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