Do Men Make Good Child Care Providers?

South Africa, Cape Town, Portrait of teacher and girl (2-3) at table.
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While being a male child care provider is not a new concept, finding men who are experienced as full-time child care professionals are still far and few between. However there is no reason a male can't have a successful career as a family child care provider or even a manny.

As traditional gender roles and careers continue to change, society is much more accepting of men as nurses, teachers, flight attendants, and other jobs previously held by females.

The same is true of a male child care provider. While it may catch some parents off-guard initially, families who utilize men as child care providers often express extreme satisfaction about the care of their children.

Like any job, performance and overall comfort level of a care provider charged with caring for kids is based on qualifications, experience, how a person interacts with and responds to children, essential caregiver services, and the ability to keep kids safe, happy and healthy. Gender shouldn't be the consideration; overall qualifications are the key criteria that should be judged when choosing a childcare providers or nanny.

Still, to overcome any hesitancy on the part of parents, male child care providers may choose to be extra-organized and detailed to provide an extra level of trust with parents. Potential families will know plans for daily activities; how the caregiver will respond to certain situations; how mealtimes, playtimes and naptimes are coordinated; disciplinary approaches; and whether the provider has the ability to multitask various childcare situations simultaneously.



In addition, men may want to initiate conversations about sexual predators and agree to a background check to allay any potential concerns a parent may have about gender and contact appropriateness. Parents may have an initial sense of discomfort about a male changing the diaper of a female child, for example, that they may be hesitant in bringing up.

(Parents should always bear in mind that sexual predators can be women as well as men.) Since men today are often charged with the same parenting responsibilities as women, any uneasiness can often be dispelled through honest, upfront conversations.

Male child care providers should take appropriate child care training, and be prepared to discuss their first-aid and CPR qualifications among any early childhood training or specialty qualifications they may have.

Parents using male care providers often talk about how the male presence is a strong positive with their child. Like with any child care provider, the ultimate decision is whether parents and the child are comfortable and happy about a particular arrangement and schedule and feel a rapport with the provider (male or female) they choose.

Updated by Jill Ceder

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