With the rapid change experienced by the Early Years Workforce over recent times, this book considers what constitutes professionalization in the sector, and what this means in practice. Bringing a critical perspective to the developing knowledge and understanding of early years practitioners at various stages of their professional development, it draws attention to key themes and issues.

Chapters are written by leading authorities and researchers in the field, and provide case studies from practice, and questions and discussion points to facilitate critical thinking.

Topics covered include:

leading and managing in the early years; reflective journeys; constructions of professional identities; men in the early years; multi-disciplinary working in the early years; professionalization in the nursery; child care practitioners and professionalization; early childhood leadership and policy.

With staggered levels of Further Reading, the editors and contributors provide a rich source of material that encourages reflection and promotes progression.

Where are the Men? A Critical Discussion of Male Absence in the Early Years

Where are the men? A critical discussion of male absence in the early years
GuyRoberts-Holmes and SimonBrownhill


Despite the rapid expansion of the early years labour market and cultural and policy shifts in favour of men working in the early years, 99% of the early years workforce remains female (Owen, 2003; Rolfe, 2006). This is despite an official commitment to increase the number of male childcare workers to 6% by 2004 (DfES, 2005). In this chapter, we seek to critically analyse why the early years workforce remains so gender imbalanced. Historically located discourses continue to locate early years work as naturally feminine. The effects of such historically situated discourses, combined with ever present ...

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