Our latest publication is a ten-page guide which aims to help you deal with what can feel like a major obstacle to employing and keeping male staff – reactions from parents.

The fear of being seen as a potential child sexual abuser is never far away from male early years practitioners’ minds; here’s what one man told us it was like before he left the profession:

As a male, I had to have eyes around my head, making sure that I was always visible to other staff, to protect myself. Many practitioners encouraged me to try to let go of my fear, but I wanted to be safe. When a child got hurt or cried, female practitioners were able to comfort them, give a kiss on the forehead, cuddle, place a child in need of comfort on their lap. Can you imagine a man doing that? When a child, with a strong relationship with me, wanted to sit on my lap and give me a hug, I had to avoid it. I used to say to children that I cannot do that due to sore legs or any other “white lie”. Just not to put myself in a risky situation where someone could accuse me of anything. 

So as an employer, what can you do to show parents you take their children’s safety seriously, but at the same time give men the confidence to get on with their jobs, and keep the whole staff team feeling supported?

We need to get better at this. Our guide aims to help.

If you’re a member of the MITEY network, you can download the guide for free from this page, using the password sent to you in the MITEY March 2020 network newsletter, on 3 March 2020.

If you can’t find the password, or have joined the network since then, please email Jeremy Davies via j.davies (at) fatherhoodinstitute.org, and he will be happy to send it to you. And if you haven’t joined the network yet, here’s the link to do so.

You can let us know what you think of the guide, and other MITEY resources, by filling in our survey here.