A survey has been launched that aims 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 their roles once they have joined the sector.

The GenderEYE project at Lancaster University is conducting the research in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, with funding from the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The latest data suggests that only 2% of the UK’s early years workforce are men – a figure that has remained static for 20 years. The research aims to identify the obstacles that stand in the way of greater gender diversity and to use this knowledge to produce practical resources that can help the UK diversify the early years sector. The research comes at a vital time given the recruitment crisis the early years sector is currently facing.

The survey for practitioners has been developed to gain an understanding of the early years workforce in terms of age, qualifications, roles, training, challenges and support.

A separate survey for managers includes specific questions on development and recruitment strategies for attracting men to early years education.

The surveys are completely anonymous and open to all staff regardless of gender. The surveys will be available until 30 September and the results will be published at the end of 2020.

Links to both surveys can be found here.

Last reviewed 20 September 2019