Should Men Be Banned From Working In Childcare?

While I was having my lunch today I did what I do most days and I read the news online to see those stories they aren’t talking about on the radio (I mostly listen to talk-back radio when I’m driving around for work). I was on the new website for National Nine News when I noticed a rather shocking headline in the top news section.

South Australia Abuse Shock: Men could be banned as child carers after sexual assault case

And here’s the link I saw;

South Australia Abuse Shock Men Banned from being child carers
South Australia Abuse Shock: Men could be banned as child carers after sexual assault case

Of course I had to click on that link because I had to read the story. As I was waiting for it to load, albeit fairly quickly, my mind was taken back to that day, two months ago as of tomorrow where the #yesallwomen hashtag started trending on Twitter after the killing spree in Isla Vista, California, by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger.

To remind you, the #yesallwomen trend was a social media campaign in which Twitter users shared comments and short anecdotes of misogyny and violence against women. Comments ensued on websites that reported the story of this trending with men using the #notallmen hashtag in response and the often used parody hashtag #notallwomen soon followed.

And then there’s the hashtag that’s since become used on Twitter which reminded me of this story I read today; #yesallmen. You see, just because, yet again another man has been charged or convicted of child abuse whilst working in the childcare industry it has to be assumed that yes, all men ARE capable of abusing children. And even though it’s often reported that women are also responsible for child abuse in the childcare industry, not all women.

The Wiggles were formed in 1991 when three young men who met at university were studying early childhood studies to become preschool teachers. They were joined by a former band mate of one of the members who was a member of a band that was a household name on the Australian music scene as well as another man who was working on the university’s early childhood music program.

The Wiggles Photo
Keep those hands where I can see them… My wife and our youngest meeting The (New) Wiggles

Recently I read an interesting fact about The Wiggles. The pointy Wiggly fingers movement that they do was created so that when they met young fans and had their photos taken with them they would do the movement so there was no doubting where their hands were and that would hopefully shield them from accusations of touching a child inappropriately. Whilst I think that was very clever of them, it is also a sad indictment of the way that male performers who entertain children may be seen.

Recently a fellow Dad Blogger took his kids to see Justine Clarke. He got a photo taken with her and his kids. Nice. After I read that story about The Wiggles worrying about possible claims of touching kids inappropriately I did a Google Image Search on Justine and saw quite a few photos where she has her arms around the kids who are getting their photo taken with her. I guess that no one would expect a female entertainer would touch a child inappropriately.

Interestingly enough, a few years back when they fully recast the line-up of the Australian children’s musical group Hi-5 for the first time, the troupe set out on a tour of shopping centres to meet and greet the “old” fans and drum up support for the new line-up with new fans. This was back when our first born son was not yet even one, and was still not at the stage that came a few months later when he became obsessed with The Wiggles.

Still, my wife took him to meet them and to get some photos taken. Note that in the photos one of the female stars is holding the child and both of the male performers are book-ending the group which no doubt may have been a conscious decision of the producers or their minders much in the same way The Wiggles kept the men in the group from touching the children.

Hi Five Number 1Hi 5 number 2

And whilst the Wiggles have brought joy to the faces of many a child and entertained them for hours on end better than most parents could hope for, and parents have been more than willing to offer up their children to get photos with the guys – and one might suggest a parent or two over the year has even suggested the child “give The Wiggles a hug” – I wonder what the reaction of those same parents would have been had they have turned up at preschool to pick up their child only to find out that a male teacher was now on staff. You know, Murray, Greg or Anthony, those three that could have been preschool teachers had The Wiggles not had the success they’ve had.

I heard an interview a few years back with a former surf reporter on Sydney radio who was a teacher earlier on in his career. He had been pushed out of the profession by his fellow female teachers and was excluded from their activities. If my memory serves me well, he left the profession when he feared that made-up rumours were starting to emerge within the faculty and, fearing the worst, he decided to get out.

It’s a shame that this happens because I feel that we need more men in the teaching profession, not less. That’s more men not just in the head teacher or principal roles, but also in the front line teaching the children. And I believe this needs to be in all levels of teaching; from preschool up to high-school, and then even beyond (although male university lecturers are far from being a rare species, so it’s not like they’re losing out there).

I’m not sure a ban on men in the childcare industry is something that should be put in place, but other measures can be taken into consideration to prevent abuse so that those who are good and decent male child carers can pursue a profession that they have their heart set on.

Featured image sourced from Nine News; click here for link.

What do you think? Should men be banned from being child carers?

24 thoughts on “Should Men Be Banned From Working In Childcare?

  1. I think that considering that many children grow up fatherless for whatever reason, it is important for them to have positive male role models. We all need balance, so having male as well as female educational influences is completely necessary. Banning men from childcare is just reactionary and discriminatory. How can we expect any type of equality if we broadly state that men are incapable of taking care of children? Completely nonsensical.

    1. It is disgraceful that this topic is even able to be discussed it is sexism 101 and further proof of the fanciful feminized wonderland that our once great land has fallen into.
      As stated with so many divorced dads being excluded from equal access to see their children we now have a proposal to ban men from working in child care. That the Premier of South Australia could even consider saying on the ABC ” everything was on the table, including a suggestion for female-only carers” imagine if it was a proposed ban on black workers looking after white children wouldn’t there rightly be screams of outrage of the rampage racism, but this passes without hardly a whimper in the min stream media. The bias against men in modern Australia is outrageous.
      The little boys of our nation deserve so much better than to be born in a society that plans to treat them as 2nd class citizens.

  2. This makes me so sad, because little boys need role-models all the way through childhood. My son is a childcare worker and he loves his job. The kids think he’s great and one day, he will make a fantastic dad.

    1. He’s good because he might be a pedophile, men shouldn’t be able to contact with men because they’re incapable of controlling their urges.

      1. Interesting opinion, a little bit of work on your grammar wouldn’t hurt… Are you studying Gender Studies at University by any chance ?

  3. I’m a 19 year old male currently studying my Cert III in early childhood education and care, and participating in my workplace placement task.
    Personally I have not ran into this kind of discrimination… Yet. But I have felt eyes on me.
    Reading this article has somewhat scared me about my future in this career that I frankly never expected to be apart of, but so far love.
    Thus far all parents I have met have been approving and welcoming. And most staff quite encouraging. There are those (more seasoned workers I may add) who however take me less seriously, Using me for cleaning duties constantly, or staring holes through the back of head.
    While I have read many testimonials of male Childcare workers encouraging men to persist in the workforce, I have my doubts. Childcare wages are not known for being generous, And the discrimination and sexism towards men is beyond belief.
    This isn’t a cry for encouragement or help. But an example of how in reality this makes us men feel.

    1. Well Done Nick, i am sure you are a very generous and caring childcare worker.

      Thank you so much from the little children you help (especially the little boys). After childcare the boys will face a public education system where in NSW the amount of male teachers in primary school is hovers around 20% many of these men quickly gravitate to leadership ie principal or deputy’s taking the few males that are in the system out of the classroom.

      My boy is 11 years old in 6 years at school he has had one male teacher, this man retired half way through the year so technically he had 5 months of 6 years with a male teacher.

      There may be no formal ban in place but modern feminism is determined to remove men from influencing our young boys in public education. The main stream media has no idea of the true sexism that is eroding this nations future. Well Done Nick you are in fact a Hero.

  4. Wow,im a 45 year old male who has worked in the building industry for 18 years and wanted a career change so after having kids of my own and really enjoying fatherhood i have now decided to do my Diploma of early chidhood .These comments i read are very discouraging especially after you put time and effort in whislt working to gain a qualification only to be judged by narrow minded people.
    Our society is full of single mums with the poor child paying the price because of a lack of a male role model which is so important especially in the early years.

  5. There are plenty of male nurses out there who work on peadiatric wards. As with all nurses they are subject to criminal record checks as are all child care workers. Men make great nurses, I’m sure they are equally great child care workers.

  6. Hi even am about to start my career as a childcare worker!! but this news makes me think about my future twice? will it be hard to find jobs as a chidcare male person?

    1. Hi, I commented on this article in 2014 (Nick), and wrote a little about my experiences at the time of studying my cert III as a male.
      Before I finished my final practical placement, I was enthusiastically approached by the director and 2IC of the centre I was participating in, and they requested my resume. Only a few weeks after completing my studies, I was working in the centre, and I still am to this day!
      You might find some centres skeptical about having men working in childcare, but the attitude of almost all parents and professionals is pro-male educator. Parents love having men in their children’s centres, Female educators enjoy and benefit from their presence just as much as the children, and administration in most cases will jump on the opportunity to hire a male worker (So long as you’ve made a great impression, and proven to be knowledgeable and professional).

      I had the same doubts you are having now, A relatively low income profession, that has over 95% female employment, and is party to horror stories of anti-male behavior and attitudes, even false accusation and allegations.
      Before I even became fully qualified though, I found a centre I loved, I was welcomed with enthusiasm by parents and professionals alike, and I still LOVE working in childcare.

      It’s all about attitude and professionalism. If you really love this job, You’ll find where you belong, and have no regrets.

  7. This is so deeply disturbing to me that we have created a society where we only suspect that men are capable of abusing children. There are most definitely cases out there of women abusing children and yet we don’t cast the same shadow doubt against all women. My daughter had am amazing male teacher last year and if I could have he would have been her teacher for the rest of elementary.

    1. The truth is of course that the majority of child abuse is committed by Women not men *(see study results below) 2,373,900 children in study.

      I have stated modern feminism is determined to remove men from influencing our young boys in public education and in child care and currently they are winning with lies and propaganda about men and hiding the truth about women.

      The disgraceful white ribbon campaign has infiltrated the public school system and perpetuates the myth that men are the cause of all domestic violence, it sends message that women and girls are always the victim and that men are always the perpetrators, modern feminism is causing much damage to western societies.

      Google U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services “Child Maltreatment” reports, 2001-2006*

  8. Ever since Mayor Bill DeBlasio started the Universal Pre-K program in New York City, its been a lot easier for men there. And doing Pre-K in the public sector for the City provides a little more more money, a lot more job security, and a little less work (10 month contract). Unfortuantely you need an education degree in early childhood education, and a New York State teaching certificate for ECE. Going right for it. Free public pre-K should be the new goal for the decade.

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