Men in Childcare and Education USA

The United States has over 1,314,000 child care teachers and of those approximately 4.4% are men (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This trend has remained the same for many years. It's similar with other occupations that have women working as the majority (e.g. nursing, dental hygienists).

In the United States there has been a long history of men teaching children. There have been several time periods or waves of trying to recruit more men teach. Historically, it's been the younger the children the fewer the men. One of the pioneers for men in early education was David Giveans in the early 1970s who helped to establish the Men's Caucus with affiliation with the National Association for the Education of Young children David created the first publication dealing with this topic called Nurturing News.

You'll find regional groups all over the United States for example in New England, California and in some major cities: Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta.

Men Teach USA

In 1979, Men in Child Care and then renamed Men in Child Care and Elementary Education and finally, when the internet arrived the name changed to MenTeach. It began in Minnesota, United States to increase the number of men working with young children. The organization was started because the men and women understood the importance of teaching and wondered, If teaching is so important, then where are all the men.

One of the first projects was to develop a brochure, Real Men, Real Teachers You can find these documents on Bryan G. Nelson joined by Bruce Sheppard and other men and backed by supportive women began to offer workshops at a state professional conference to find more men and women who believed that it is important to have men teachers. Over twenty people attended and from that meeting they began developing more activities.

The book, the first of its kind, Men in Child Care & Elementary Education: A Handbook for Educators and Administrators was developed, it is an anthology of articles about men and the different issues they must face, teachers, administrators, principals and university faculty. Another project a book about fathers, Working with Fathers: Methods & Perspectives. And other activities developed from the friendships that developed.

Over the years MenTeach and its members have presented at state and national conferences, high schools and universities about the importance of men teaching. MenTeach is quoted extensively in national media.

Our research report, The Importance of Men Teachers: And Why There Are So Few is the largest of its kind and offers interesting information about the education field and has been cited all over the world. MenTeach continues to work with a network of men and women throughout the world on recruiting and retaining men working with children.

There are several universities and colleges that offer supportive programs for men to work with young children and those programs are being added to each year.

You'll find regional groups all over the United States for example in New England, California and in some major cities: Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta.

Men in early childhood New England

Almost two years ago now a group of four men working in early childhood met in the hills of New Hamsphire near Vermont. We had met before and had aslo met with Bryan Nelson of MenTeach. We discussed how to expand our presence in New England: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island. It’s a large area for such a small group.

We began work by contacting every male we knew in the early childhood field administrators, teachers, aides and professors. We started a listserve to keep in contact. We started appearing at almost every conference, holding workshops and panel discussions on helping men enter the field and its importance. We talked about boy friendly environments helping to encourage men to work in the field. Some joined the Schott Foundation and CAYL Institute and work in the Massachusetts legislature. We started an annual award names after Steve Shuman, a recently retired Early Childhood person, who had worked in many areas of the field always encouraging men.

We had an evening with Dr.Edgar Klugman, an expert on play with young children and former professor at Wheelock College about his 60 years in early childhood education. The well know Pediatrician, B. Berry Brazelton joined us at our annual meeting at the Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children conference. Our group has grown to about 50 people we are connected with and growing. Contact Craig Simpson, at for more information.

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