• Men in Early Years, why it matters

    By Shaddai Tembo

    We know how important the earliest years of life are, 85% of the brain develops before the age of 5, every £1 invested at the start saves £7 back through reduced healthcare costs, lower criminal justice and a stronger economy.

    It’s a time when children learn not just what, but how to learn too. We do this through the characteristics of effective learning, which places a focus on the process over outcome. Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years will be creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives.

    The early years are also crucial in supporting the child to make sense of the world around them. From birth, the child begins to develop their own set of values and beliefs about society, shaped by their experiences.

    The implications of stereotyping are huge, its essential we get it right from the start.

    It’s our role, as educators in the early years, to make sure the child is allowed to make these choices themselves, without boundaries, without being told how to act.

    The Bristol Men in Early Years Network works to transform the way we think about gender in the early years and promotes the value of a diverse workforce as role models for children. We want to encourage reflective practice about what it means to be a role model for children, too.

    No other workforce faces such an imbalance, with just 2% male representation. Engaging more men means welcoming the diversity of all aspects of society. It’s no mean feat, but with recent government backing, we believe it is possible.

    We look forward to delivering our talk at the upcoming ‘Making Respectful Men’ conference on the 24th March, we hope to see you there.

    Follow the network on Twitter here!

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