More men are to be encouraged in to a careers in nurseries    and early years settings, in a new project to provide more diverse role models for children before they start school.

With men making up just three per cent of early years staff in England, the project aims to break down the barriers that prevent men entering careers in children’s early education, including the myth that men are less suited to caring roles.

Children’s and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has today (Wednesday 24 April), announced a £30,000 grant to support the scheme and help provide more male role models for children in the early years.

The project, run by the Fatherhood Institute, will challenge the stereotypes that exist around men’s roles in early education, using relatable case-studies from men who have left other careers – including an ex-lorry driver and a young art student. 

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi:

“Every child needs a role-model to guide them – whether that’s a parent, a close family member or friend, or someone at nursery or preschool that makes a difference in their life. The early years staff who support children in the first few years of their education equip them with important skills before they reach the classroom, getting them on track to succeed as they get older. 

“Just as parenting is a shared responsibility, so is kickstarting a child’s love of learning. I want more men to play a positive role in educating and caring for our next generation. That’s why we’re supporting the Fatherhood Institute to encourage men from all walks of life into early years careers, to give children the best start in life and be a part of this important and rewarding sector.”

To support careers advisers and early years employers across the country, the project will spearhead an innovative recruitment drive that highlights the positive roles men can play in the crucial first years of a child’s education.

Using the government’s new investment, the Fatherhood Institute will provide practical resources like mythbusters, ‘how-to’ guides and online content to support male recruitment into the profession, as well as online peer support for men already working in the sector.

The project’s ambition is to reflect the diversity of modern Britain within early years settings, where both parents play an increasingly active role in their child’s development.

Dr Jeremy Davies, Head of Communications at the Fatherhood Institute, who will lead the project, said:


“We are delighted to be leading this work on behalf of the early years sector. Old-fashioned attitudes about caring and education being ‘women’s work’ have no place in modern Britain – the world has moved on, dads are doing more hands-on childcare than ever before, and our nurseries and preschools need to catch up.

“We want careers advisers and employers to reach out and support men into early years work – including dads and other men with experience of looking after children, and those who have the interest and skills to build on. We all understand the importance of helping women into STEM careers; this is the other side of the same coin.”

Aaron Bradbury, Senior Curriculum Leader, School of Education, Health and Community, University College Birmingham, said:

"This is welcome news and a positive start to the work of the Fatherhood Institute on calling for men to enter into the Early Years. The Children and Families Minister has started a trend to engage with the rhetoric of more men within the early years, which is a positive start, however, I do question the little amount being given from the large pot of money being allocated as a whole.

"Recently it has become a familiar discussion of recognising men in the Early Years and the role that they play with the child centred outcomes of learning and development, you only have to speak to many organisations up and down the country that advocate for men within the early years and the positive outcomes and difference that it brings to the children and families within their setting. Yet with 97% of the childcare workforce occupied by female practitioners, there is still a long way to go in changing the gender balance of this career.

"I know from first hand experience that a career in the Early Years can be just as rewarding for males as it can be for female colleagues. However, with the constant discussions around pay and equity of the profession it does make males who want to go into the profession think carefully and potentially choose another career. However, it is a positive step to start to bring this discussion to a point where the Government has decided to help the dialogue and potentially work with a well renowned advocate, The Fatherhood Institute, and continue to get the dialogue and positive outcomes and discussions for our children in the Early Years.

"This extra funding could open many opportunities for other men to enter the profession when they have a platform to see how others are doing the job and and the positive change it can bring for the children. A positive start, but there is still along way to go. Great news."

The grant will also help fund a national conference to further promote early years careers to fathers, other men with experience of looking after children and those with an existing interest in improving children’s early education. 

The Fatherhood Institute’s project forms part of the government’s wider efforts to give children the best start in life by strengthening the early years workforce, including the Department’s £20 million Professional Development Programme targeted at better training for early years staff working in more deprived areas.

This contributes to the Education Secretary’s wider ambition to halve the percentage of children who leave reception without early communication or reading skills, through supporting the early years sector and building on the national mission to support children’s learning at home.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page