I’ve followed June O’Sullivan’s blog (she’s the CEO of the London Early Years Foundation, a group of 39 nurseries in and around London) on and off for a while. Just recently though this article caught my eye:
So, following on from the previous article on the BBC News website regarding some difficulties faced by men in Early Years, June O’Sullivan from the London Early Years Foundation presents this interesting alternative view from the children. Thoughts please?
I was reading an article a few weeks ago regarding a man’s experience in Childcare and how he only felt that the apparent “suspicion” from parents about a man in Early Learning and Childcare only subsided when he got married and “vanished” when he had children.
I’m lucky that I don’t get that any more, possibly at the start of my career, but now I’m just accepted. In fact when I go off on annual leave I’ve had parents who are worrying about how their child will settle because I’m not there. It’s in no way a slur against my amazing and highly professional colleagues but to do with the bond I have with the children.
If you are a man in Early Learning and Childcare what’s your experience now, do you feel accepted by families and colleagues alike or is there still an atmosphere of doubt?
A colleague at work drew my attention to a line in one of the children’s story books that actually made me angry then and there on the spot. Not just angry but disappointed and let down.
The book in question was a Peppa Pig story. I’ve been a fan of Peppa and her family and friends as I feel it’s quite a joyous and well made programme. I understand that the landscape of children’s TV has changed so much that the inevitable merchandise has to be sold alongside it and one of the least offensive is books. However there was one that magically appeared in my room this week and was read by my colleague who immediately showed it to me after she had read one line a few times trying to make sense of it. Here’s the page in question:
I guess you’ve seen the line that made me angry? “Women are useless at this” REALLY!?!?!
Before I’m accused of taking it out of context let me clarify it’s the choice of words that have angered me. As Early Years Practitioners we hold it high in our beliefs that our children are capable of doing anything they want to if they try hard. To read a sentence like this in a well loved and popular character’s story is just wrong and is setting the equality movement for women back.
I’m about to contact the owner’s of Peppa Pig to ask why they allowed this.