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.

Kia Ora nga Taonga

We hope that you are able to read this message in strong physical and spiritual health.

Please book in Wednesday 31 August 2016 for a Wellington EC-MENZ gathering.

Beginning at 7pm at the Childspace Institute (45 Helston Road, Johnsonville) attendees will be welcomed by the handsome, talented, knowledgeable and articulate duo of Robin Christie and David Sinnott a.k.a the dream team or Robid Chrisnot.