by just Holm - Cambridge, MA Preschool Programs

[MenTeach: Mr. Holm has been working to recruit young men to work in his preschool through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program. Others are working to replicate the program in ever major city using Workforce funding that is available every summer.]

Each year the City of Cambridge offers High School Students summer work in the public as well as the private sector of Cambridge.

In January 2008 I approached the Office of Workforce Development – a City Department of the Department of Human Services Programs about designing a special program to recruit and hire young men to work in preschool programs offered in the City.

At the same time I worked with the Cambridge Community Partnership Program’s director, Ellen Wolpert, a local program supported by the Department of Early Education and Care, about focusing a series of discussions around the education of boys, fathers and men in childcare for the 35 Early Childhood programs represented by their Directors/owners/staff on the making their programs boy and male friendly.

January 2008 I was selected to be a Schott/CAYL Fellow
(check their web site for information on their work). I was working with three other fellows on writing a policy paper on the “Status of Male Teachers in Early Education” and what recommendations to make to the State Legislators and Government.

Work progress report in collaboration with Office of Workforce Development (OWD)

Initial meetings were set up with the OWD Department Head to discuss the goals and implementation of this project.

1. Raise the awareness of a career-path in Early Education
2. Recruit Male High School Students to apply for work in preschools
3. Select sites and prepare staff for working with male students
4. Hire a male supervisor to coordinate the direct supervisors of the students
5. Develop in-service training for the students during the summer
6. Recruit trainers to do the training
7. Identify training topics by interviewing staff and students
8. Develop informational material to promote this option
9. Schedule informational meetings in the High School
10. Review application from the students
11. Select students and match them with preschool sites
12. Hire direct supervisors, preferably matching male supervisors with male students
13. Secure funding for continue work for some of the summer students
14. Track the outcome of this project and make sure funding will continue next year.


131 male students applied to work in preschool programs
35 male students were placed
All the male students finished their placement
Evaluation from the centers were overwhelmingly positive
Year round placement was offered to 2 students who then will continue to work in recruiting new students for this summer’s program

Numbers and Cost unofficially, please do not use in any official report
Total applicants for the program 865 (I do not have the number broken down into gender)

Total placement of students 813 in addition 55 were placed with state funding
Staff cost and wages for the all the children in the Summer Youth Program total $915,000 (about $810,000 for kid’s wages)

Just Holm
Cambridge, MA