by Jayden Aylward - Sarnia - Canada

I am a second-year student in the early childhood education program at Lambton College and want to address the lack of men in the field.

I believe more men want to get in this field but feel the stigma is pushing them away. They should be welcomed and wanted in caregiving positions.

According to the College of Early Childhood Educators, 1.4 per cent of registered ECEs are male.

According to many researchers, the main reasons are because of the wage and stereotypes that may follow a male in a caregiving position. Men feel they will not make enough money to support a household as the wage for an ECE position is not very high.

Also, the fear of accusations of being a predator may follow a male in this profession, which is very unfair and wrong. We should be working to change both of these problems.

Certainly the current professionals are doing a fantastic job, but we could be providing children with so much more by adding more males into the mix. Male educators have been proven to bring a different perspective to the profession, as well as providing a male role model for some children who may not have one at home. Children may be missing out on some aspect of quality child care that a male educator could offer.

I want to encourage people to make sure men know that ECE is a very possible and important route for them to take.