Over the last several years, there has been a growing number of male teachers working in early childhood development programs in Singapore. But being new in this profession, with few role models or mentors to guide them, they lack the psychological and social support needed to make them genuinely comfortable in this profession. This project has created a greater awareness of the benefits of and challenges for men working in ECCD programs and of the support they need to make their work most effective.
The benefits of their involvement are obvious. Male teachers can be a role model for the children in their early developmental stages by giving them confidence in relating to both genders; can provide a fatherly figure for boys to gain a strong male identity, especially for children in broken families where the mother is the sole caregiver; can offer differing perspectives with regards to teaching methodology and tools; and can enable greater involvement of fathers in the ECCD centres since they can relate better with male teachers.