From education to employment

New Early Years Apprenticeship project to increase the number of men working in childcare


Kids Planet, which offers more than 8000 childcare places across the North West of England, South and the Midlands, is embarking upon a new project to increase the number of men working in childcare.

Making up just 3% of the total nationally, men are extremely poorly represented in the Early Years education workforce. The Men in Childcare (MIC) project, in conjunction with GMCA and MITEY, aims to prepare for, recruit and support a cohort of 12 men in Greater Manchester through the group’s in-house Early Years (Level 2) Apprenticeship.

The 12 male apprentices will work in pairs in six settings, with opportunities for male-only networking and mutual support via group training under the supervision of Jason Holmes, a Tutor/Assessor at Kids Planet Training Academy.

Speaking about the project, Jason Holmes said: ‘As a male working within the early years I am delighted to be part of the MIC bid to take a lead role in supporting the recruitment and training of more male practitioners. I am excited to be welcoming on board our new apprentices and will be on hand to support them throughout their training and journey into their careers within the early years’.

The Training Academy, which was launched in 2018 has purpose-built training premises situated in Knutsford, Cheshire as well as satellite centres across the North West. Currently, 180 Apprentices are working across the 52 nursery settings on early years and management programmes.

Heading up the Training Academy, Gill Mason said: ‘As a main provider of early years Apprentices, Kids Planet, through our accredited Training Academy, aims to raise the profile of early years as a rewarding, valuable and long-term career. The lack of men is both a symptom and cause of gender inequality: looking after educating young children should be a job for everyone, not just women. We are pleased to have received funding from GMCA Removing Barriers to Apprenticeship funding and working in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, we are keen to increase apprenticeship applications from men. The project will help us create a gender-diverse environment and support us to fill ongoing vacancies across the company and especially within the Greater Manchester area’.

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