The MITEY network includes male early years practitioners; supportive female colleagues; owners and managers of nurseries and other early years organisations; and others with an interest in gender equality and early child development.

Here at MITEY HQ we produce resources to support early years organisations to use ‘positive action’ to attract men into the field; for example, our MITEY Guide to Recruiting Men is available as a free download for network members via this link.

We also invite early years organisations to sign up to our MITEY Charter, which sets out a series of statements clarifying signatories’ commitment to working towards a mixed-gender workforce. The Charter can be displayed publicly on a noticeboard and/or used as a discussion tool to help bring colleagues ‘on board’ to the agenda. We publish an up to date list of signatories at the bottom of every page on our website.

Our vision

Our work is guided by our vision of a mixed-gender early years workforce where well-rewarded, highly trained practitioners provide, in gender-flexible ways, the best quality, gender-sensitive education and care to the children in their setting.

Our history

MITEY began in 2017 as a page on the Fatherhood Institute website, which we set up as a response to the apparent lack of a coordinated national response to the very obvious lack of gender diversity in the workforce. As you will see on that page, our attention had been focused on this by a piece of work we did, funded by the Trust for London. Here’s the report we produced as a result of that project.

David Wright and the Southampton Men in Early Years group had, in 2016, organised a national conference on men in early years. That was followed in 2017 by the MITEY North conference in Bradford and in 2018 another conference, this time led by the Bristol Men in Early Years network.

We launched the MITEY website in April 2019, and during 2019-20 we have published a series of resources, supported by funding from the Department for Education, here. Some, like the MITEY Charter, Ten MITEY Myths and The MITEY Guide to Recruiting Men are aimed mainly at employers; others are aimed at men who might be interested in early years careers, and for careers advisers, to help them promote early years as a career for men and boys. We held the 4th national MITEY conference on 4 September 2019, in central London (read more in MITEY in the press and here).

Our future

Now we are working hard to strengthen and expand MITEY as a national network and campaign, providing accessible information, resources and support for men interested in, or already working in, early years careers – and for organisations (such as employers, training providers, careers advice services).

We can’t do this alone. If you want to work with us to change the status quo, we want to hear from you.

We are interested in developing partnerships with early years employers, training bodies, careers advice services, local authorities, trade unions and others.

We are also interested in working with academics, to develop research projects that can help create positive change in this area.

Please get in touch.

And to stay up to date with our work, sign up here to receive updates.