A fundamental principle of child development underpinning early childhood practice is that children need stable, nurturing relationships with both men and women to develop strong gender identities. With more than 60% of young children in non-parental care during part of their day, it is of serious concern that less than 5% of the early childhood workforce is comprised of males. The low wages typically paid to early childhood teachers is often cited as the reason for this under-representation. However, this explanation only partly explains the phenomena as there are numerous low paying occupations in which both men and women are employed. Seeking the perspective of those who recruit, orient, and supervise early childhood teaching staff, the Center for Early Childhood Leadership recently conducted a study of 336 directors of early care and education in 17 states. This fact sheet summarizes the key findings of this study regarding directors' perceptions about male involvement in early childhood programs. (Author abstract).
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