summit 2019

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds explains why the chronic shortage of male teachers is such a…

by Atsushi Ukito in Auckland, New Zealand

It’s been seven years working at Kids’ Domain Early Learning Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. I have spent three years to qualify in New Zealand as an early childhood educator.

I’m originally from Japan. I have been living in Auckland for 10 years. I like the relaxed life style in New Zealand. And I like working with infants and toddlers here too.

Although it is not common to be an early childhood teacher in Japan, it’s an even more unusual job for a male. I have parents who have a traditional way of thinking. It means that all children follow their foot steps. In my case, my dad was a carpenter. I was supposed to be a carpenter like him. However many people in Japan started changing traditional way of thinking in general. Younger generation has more freedom of choice.

by Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton


Men make up just 1.6 percent of New Zealand’s early childhood workforce, one of the worst male participation rates in the western world – but the South Island’s largest kindergarten provider is taking a strong stance in addressing this statistic, and enriching the early childhood education environment with a greater gender balance.

Discussion Paper

Proposal for National Party Policy to deal with the Gender Imbalance in Early Childhood Care and Teaching

Presented By: Russell Ballantyne (President of the Men in ECE Network, ( on 13th May 2010 to Anne Tolley (Minister of Education)

Paper Prepared By:  Dr Sarah Farquhar (policy adviser for EC-MENz) and EC-MENz