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.

It was a grand day in Whangarei recently when the local EC-MENz network got together for a jam and a catch up at the famous Tikipunga Tavern. In the sunlit garden bar, surrounded by guitars, children, and assorted dogs we played, sang, and swapped stories.

We are very lucky to have the talented Jason Chung as our new local area contact. Jason is teaching with the Northland Kindergarten Association, is a heck of a good guy, and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A huge vote of thanks is extended to the team at ‘The Tiki’ for making us feel so welcome. This included setting up the stage and PA system so we could really rock out a bit later in the piece, much to the delight of the local regulars. Kia ora kaupapa whanau!