VUW EC-Menz is a study/support group for the promotion of men in early childhood. Men are vastly under-represented in early childhood education and VUW EC-Menz will provide a platform for males and females to celebrate men in early childhood and share their experiences in ECE teaching.

Our overall goal is to promote early childhood education to men and provide support for those already studying. We will meet once a month with the first meeting to commence at 2.15pm, Friday 16 March in room AM 103. All students welcome.

Contact: Max on 027 522 7041 or Josh on 022 678 1611.

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Tēnā koutou e te kaupapa whānau,

The huge success of the four EC-Menz regional hui across Aotearoa has created a wonderful new platform for high-quality, relevant, and affordable professional development for our early childhood sector. Welcoming men and women in all roles across the early education field, these short-day events are sure to become even more popular as time goes on.

The Wellington regional hui was held at the Childspace Workshop, where nearly thirty men and women (and one particularly cool three-year-old) engaged in a fantastic day of quality professional learning. While a workshop may seem a strange choice of venue for early childhood teachers, much of the feedback mentioned this as a very positive element! We were surrounded by ECE environment projects in various stages of development, including tapa-inspired coloured Perspex sandpit windows, giant musical instruments created from upcycled materials, and an experimental ropes course known as ‘Dopamine Forest’.

by Russell Ballantyne

We had 44 men attend our EC-MENz summit – which was held at Karaka Learning Centre in May of this year. This is an annual event and the only time where males outnumber the females in any early childhood event.

Every time I come away from this event, I am even more convinced that our sector is losing something very valuable by not having more male teachers. I have seen so many talented, fun loving individuals sharing their teaching stories of endeavour and adventure. I have heard so many stories of the differing pathways taken and the life skills accumulated which cloak these men in the way they express and deliver the learning experiences they bring into our centres.

Wellington EC-MENz stalwarts Hugo van Stratum and Robin Christie were a big hit at the recent Taita College careers day in Lower Hutt. While Robin strummed the ukulele, Hugo (pictured) engaged young people from very diverse backgrounds with his fantastic Cat in the Hat costume and oversize board game. Great job, Hugo!

By Russell Ballantyne

The problem is that we are still viewing the care and education of young children as the work of women. Only 2% of the teachers within mainstream early childhood are not women (24500 female teachers, 500 male)

The problem is that in early childhood, the populations we work with are both male and female. In a time of barrier breaking both globally and socially, early childhood has lagged behind. Women are encouraged into many roles that before were perceived the domain of males – eg doctors and lawyers, engineers, scientists, and rightly so. However the opposite isn’t occurring.