Women are the majority of the early care and education workforce. Recent Massachusetts workforce development policy recommendations for the early childhood field suggest that program staff reflect the diverse composition of communities served, yet men comprise less than 6% of that workforce. (Such data is not currently tracked in the Commonwealth, but nationally they constitute about 5.4%.) New attitudes and higher standards are needed. We must recognize and challenge institutional bias towards men and transform current recruitment and hiring patterns. In doing so, our state’s youngest children will be given greater access to competent, nurturing, and qualified adults, both male and female, who are representative of the diversity reflected in their own communities.

“We are committed to securing buy-in from agencies (on these issues),” said Amy Kershaw, Acting Commissioner for the Dept. of Early Education and Care. “Adequate funding (for these initiatives) is always a challenge, so we need to get more creative and encourage collaborations and cooperation across agencies and organizations.”

At the meeting representing the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care were Phil Baimas, Acting Associate Commissioner Workforce Development and Director of Special Projects; Amy Kershaw, Acting Commissioner; David McGrath, Deputy Commissioner for Field Operations; Anita Moeller, Deputy Commissioner for Programs; Constantia Papanikolaou, General Counsel; Matt Veno, Communications Director; and Corey Zimmerman, Assessment Specialist.