How many of you would never consider a male child care provider, and why?
I ask because my son helps me a great deal with the kids I watch, and has for the last seven years. When I had my in home child care, I had him start working with me to get him out of his room and force him into some uncomfortable situations. His OCD had him trapped in a corner, so to speak, and he was terrified to do anything. I could see he was spiraling downhill steadily and the depression and anxiety was going to do him in. He has never worked with children unsupervised, and I always do the diapering, potty learning, and so forth. Never in my wildest dreams did I even think it might bother some parents.
When advertising for more business, I was turned down by several parents because they didn’t want a man watching their children. When interviewing, some acted very surprised and cautious when I mentioned that my son helped supervise the kids while I fixed meals and held preschool with the older children. Just recently, I was offered a new nanny position, but only if I did not allow my son to help. They flat-out stated that they did not trust men around their kids.
I understand they do not really know us. I understand them being nervous to hand over the care of their children to strangers. What I don’t understand is why he is convicted of being a weirdo even before they know him ONLY because he’s a man. How can they know I am not the strange one? Just because I’m a woman is no guarantee of good care. I read stories of care providers that just curl my hair, and every one of them have been female!
I think men can make wonderful additions to early childhood settings. There is nothing at all wrong with it! Over the last seven years, my son has made a lot of progress and gained a ton of self-esteem by having the responsibility. And best of all, the kids adore him! In some cases, the kids would run past me to greet him first in the mornings. What young boy does not love having someone to go out and play ball with? He does soccer, basketball and football with them. He sets up the most fantastic obstacle courses for the kids and they love that! He surprises me with the ideas he comes up with for the kids to do. I have come to rely upon him to be our PE Instructor!
If you feel comfortable responding, I am just curious to how many of you would have strong reservations about a male working in the facility your child attends.