Flying the flag for men in early years – EYE learner Jake talks challenging stereotypes in the sector

Jake wanted to work in education from a young age, and with the encouragement from one of the few male teachers at his school, decided to choose the CACHE Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification as a route into teaching.

A student at Epping Forest College, Jake says that the fun and interactive teaching he has received from tutors has been key in encouraging his enthusiasm for early years, and says he can’t thank his tutor enough for the fantastic work put in to make sure he and other learners on the course succeeded.

The varied nature of the CACHE qualification gave Jake the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills that have helped prepare him for the next stage in his development – from paediatric first aid to an understanding of the national curriculum. Jake commented:

“The CACHE qualification has given me a broad and in depth foundation of understanding in Early Years Education. It helped reconfirm my belief that I wanted to work in the sector.”

He also believes that the workplace experience that he engaged in two times a week as part of the course gave him important insight into how nurseries and schools work, with the “hands on” approach to learning really broadening his understanding into the ways in which practitioners can help support children in their development.

He also thinks the time spent in early years settings has been integral to his ability to reflect on his role as an early years practitioner, and as one of the only male students, working directly with the children brought home the importance of having more male practitioners in the sector.

Jake now believes that through challenging some of the stereotypes that the public have about men in childcare, the sector can start to equalise the gender balance in early years teaching, saying:

“When I went to work experience in year ten and on my current course, I never knew how much of an impact I would make to the primary school and early years sectors by being a positive male role model.”

Jake, who is going on to study BA (Hons) Primary Education at university in September, says he hopes to continue challenging stereotypes in the sector, and hopes this will encourage other men to consider careers in early and primary education. Jake said:

“My CACHE qualification fuelled my passion for Early Years Education and helped me secure a place at university. I’m now on route to realising my dream of becoming a Primary School Teacher”.

Most of all, Jake says, the key attributes required for those considering the career are “having a positive mind-set, a bubbly personality, and being resilient”, adding “It’s an amazing feeling that you have made a difference to [the children’s] lives!”

Thank you

As we near the end of this academic term would like to say good luck to all of our learners who, like Jake, are about to progress on to the next stage of their learning journey. We thank you all for working with us this year and for inspiring us with your learners’ fantastic stories of progression and success.