by Jonathan Portlock - Surrey Comet

A campaign to attract more men into childcare in Surrey has seen unprecedented interest, it has been revealed.

Since the campaign was launched by Surrey County Council (SCC) in April, almost 100 men have made inquiries to the local authority about getting involved.

Thirty-seven men recently took part in an information session given by staff at the Early Years and Childcare Service, the first time any men have attended such an even in Surrey.

A website set up to give men information on working in childcare has also attracted more than 3,000 visitors.

Councillor Mary Angell, the council’s cabinet member for children and families, said: “As far as we know this campaign is the only one of its kind in the UK. We are keen to ensure Surrey’s children have positive male role models from an early age and working with children is both a challenging and rewarding career choice.”

At present, only 3.5 per cent of Surrey’s workforce of paid and voluntary childcare staff are men.

Cheryl Marie, recruitment and retention outreach officer in the early years and childcare service, said: “We are delighted with the results so far. As well as hundreds of calls, email and visits to our website, the roadshows we held in shopping centres proved popular, with another 47 men asking for more information.”

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