Men in Early Childhood Education and Care Austria

Elementar – Men in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

Working with children is not woman’s work. More and more men take their part not only as fathers, but also as professionals in the field of child care and early childhood education.

Men in ECEC are

* popular with children
* welcomed by male as well as female collegues
* accepted by parents
* in demand of employers in the field of child care and education.

In Austria, the field of early childhood institutions and respective vocational training is undergoing rapid change. The importance of early childhood and care is increasing, and well trained professionals – men as well as women – are very much in demand. Participation and involvement of men is crucial for the further development and professionalization of ECEC.
Unfortunately, the proportion of male professionals is very small in the complete area of institutional child care and education. With less than one percent male ECEC workers Austria is well below the European average. Hardly any empirical research is being conducted, and literature analyzing the situation is scarce.
A research group at the University of Innsbruck has now taken on a research project on men in ECEC in Austria. The objectives are to find out more about what characterizes these men and what they experience while working in kindergarten, as well as to look at what role gender aspects play as they undergo vocational training.

The project is part of efforts to raise the quality of early childhood education and care in Austria. We also intend connecting professionals in research, vocational training and practice interested in increasing the proportion of men in the educational and social workforce.

in German: