2021 EC MENz Summit


by Wayne Erb – Education Gazette in New Zealand  Nov 2007

Former truck driver Adam Buckingham reckons he has a few life skills that he can pass on to young children.

The Auckland man switched careers following a workplace accident and says that, after recuperating, he wanted to find a way to give more back to his community.

Adam had previously volunteered as a scout leader and had young children of his own, so teaching young children seemed like a good fit. Three years later, he hasn’t looked back.

Adam says he can draw on his past experiences to enrich curriculum delivery – introducing little ones to DIY-type activities, woodwork, and showing them how things work. He says it is not a case of men doing things that women can not, but rather that male teachers can bring a different dimension to children’s activities.

Men and women are in the same boat, trying their best to deliver the early childhood curriculum, he says.

Adam says it is important that young children grow up seeing men acting in positive ways.

“A child needs to see a male role model in their life. Children need to see that we can nurture too.”

Nov 2007. NZ Education Gazette.

Support networks are developing for men training or working in early childhood education. WAYNE ERB reports

Bring up the Men in Early Childhood website and their logo shows a male emperor penguin looking after a chick.

It is an apt analogy for a simple point that men in the teaching profession make; that males have a role to play in nurturing and educating young children.

These same blokes now also support each other, through groups for men in early childhood education that operate in the main centres. Some are new, others well-established and this year they have begun communicating with each other through a national network.

Still in its infancy, the network is known as Men in Early Childhood Education (New Zealand) or EC-MENZ.

1 October 2007 http://www.neon.org.nz
In March this year, a Men in Early Child Care and Teaching summit brought together advocates for increasing the number of men in early childhood sector. Researcher Sarah Farquhar, of Childforum Research www.childforum.com outlined to the conference some of the arguments as to why we need more men in the workforce teaching and caring for children in these formative years.

First, she argues, society has moved on and men are now more actively engaged in caring for their children with an increasing number taking over as the main caregiver as their partners choose to work fulltime.

The absence of men in early childhood centres also means young children may be missing out on any substantial contact with male role models. For children in single parent families, that could mean they have virtually no contact with men at all.

The Sunday doco “A few Good Men” shown last year has had a huge impact.  It has resulted in early childhood groups taking up the challenge and not ignoring it for another 10 years or more. There is now finally agreement across the early childhood sector that we should have men in teaching. And the Ministry of Education and officials are feeling the pressure for change. It’s now up to the sector to develop a successful strategy for improving the situation and hopefully we’ll be able to look back in the years to come and consider it strange that such sexism existed.

Minutes of meeting of the core of the ECE Menz

Saturday 23 June, 2007.


Adam Buckingham

David Baxendell

Russell Ballantyne

Peter Visser