I attended this event with fellow “Tiger and manager of Lullaby Lane Milngavie – Sharlene Davis, and our very own young “man into childcare” Nathan Beaton who is currently working through his Modern Apprenticeship SSCYP Level 3 at Lullaby Lane.

This was a day created by Experiential Play to celebrate and inspire men who are currently involved in Early Learning and Childcare or who are currently considering this profession as a possible career path.

Keynote speakers - Gary Wilson and Neil Griffiths provided the group with inspiration and enlightenment into the impact a positive male role model can have on our children and young people.

Gary Wilson

Gary talked about his own experience as a teacher of 27 years and the challenges he faced when trying to raise attainment and achievement for young boys. Gary told the group about how he approached a well-known high street department store to challenge their advertisement of young children’s clothing designed for boys which displayed negative messaging on the front. E.g: “Here Comes Trouble” Gary used this as an example of how society can have a negative and discriminatory approach to boys. His speech was thought provoking and delivered with compassion and a great sense of humour.

Neil Griffiths

Neil is a successful author of children’s picture books who also developed the successful resource “Storysacks”. Neil read a children’s story to the group which enthralled everyone. His unique delivery and natural gift for storytelling was a real masterclass. Neil drew on his own childhood experience and reflected on the importance of his own father as his primary carer. Neil talked about how storytelling was a special time for him and his brother as his father would always make this time a nurturing and connecting experience. Neil talked about how that strong sense of security and attachment has helped to make him the person he is now. He feels he can still hear his father reading to him through his own voice.

Every day is a Learning Day in Early Learning in Childcare as our youngest children continue to demand (rightfully so) that we provide them with the best possible resources we can in order to achieve positive outcomes. One of the most important resources we must give our children is ourselves. The training made me reflect on the courage over comfort that young males into childcare demonstrate as they enter a predominantly female profession.

Lorraine Glendinning

Early Years Trainer / Assessor