In Germany, on 1st October 2010, the European Social Fund (ESF) programme “More Men in Early Childhood Education and Care” was launched. The three-year programme consists of 16 pilot projects in 13 federal states across Germany and has received a grant of 13 million Euros. The programme which will run until the end of 2013, will strive to find ways of recruiting more male educators for ECCE centres.

The programme will pilot a wide range of different projects and measures such as information buses, internships for school children, ‘discovery days’ to encounter new career options, volunteer placements and mentor programmes. The programme will also seek to actively engage fathers and to foster the gender debate among young male job-seekers and in the day-to-day activities of ECEC centres. Roundtables and networks of male educators will also help to recruit more men into this profession across the country and to maintain their enthusiasm in the long term.

The More Men in Early Childhood Education and Care programme is funded by the European Social Fund and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and is part of the ‘Men in Early Childhood Education and Care’ programme of gender equality policy initiatives.

The Coordination Centre is supporting the ESF pilot programme with counselling and strategic advice. As a point of contact with policy makers in the national government we want to help ensure that experiences from the pilot programme lead to a sustainable overall gender equality policy.

ECEC centres across Germany should benefit from pilot project experiences. Successful strategies will be disseminated to other regions as best practices and shared with other ECEC providers.

If you would like to know more about the ESF pilot programme, please contact: Jens Krabel.