About us

‘Men und Gender in ECEC’

Information, Networking and Strategic Consulting for Politics and Practice

Coordination Centre ‘Men in ECEC’

In 2013, the percentage of men among the professional ECEC workforce in Germany was 3.4% (or 4.1% if one includes interns and other young men doing their voluntary national service). The proportion of male ECEC workers in Germany remains low, but it has been rising continuously for several years now. Thus between 2010 and 2013, the proportion of men in the profession in Germany increased 51.5 percent, from 9,979 to 15,113—all this despite the fact that traditional gender-role images continue to have a massive effect on the occupational choices of boys and girls. Men in ECEC are an ‘avant-garde swimming against the “mainstream” of traditional gendered occupational choices that have existed for many years’ (Prof. Wippermann).

The political authorities are keen to stabilize these positive trends and take the EU recommendation of a 20 percent proportion of men in ECEC as a guideline.

In order to achieve this objective and to improve the prospects for male ECEC workers in the long term, we at the coordination centre ‘Men in ECEC’ promote the dialogue between politics, practice and research. Moreover, together with relevant actors from the field of elementary education we are developing strategies to increase the proportion of male ECEC workers and to establish gender-sensitive pedagogy in ECEC.

Turning strategies and models into practical approaches

We advise ECEC service providers that are developing models for attracting men to and keeping them in ECEC. Important working areas here are gender-sensitive pedagogy, vocational orientation, volunteer services and internships, public relations, strategies for overcoming the overall suspicion towards male ECEC workers, personnel development, work with fathers and parents as well as working groups for male professionals in the field.

Our topics | Interviews, reports on experiences, best practices and more

At network meetings we get different actors talking with one another and participate in (inter)national scholarly exchange. A practical orientation, competence in the field and cooperation with numerous partners and networks are characteristic of the coordination centre’s work. It is attached to the Catholic University of Applied Sciences and receives funding from the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

We assist ECEC providers interested in the topic of ‘Men in ECEC’ with the following services:

Strategic counselling: Attracting more male ECEC professionals requires a comprehensive knowledge of the field, organizational and personnel development processes, dedicated staff and an intensive preoccupation with gender-related themes in ECEC and the training of ECEC workers. We advise political decision makers, service providers and those responsible for vocational education as well as networks in order jointly to develop long-term procedures for winning over more male ECEC professionals for work in ECEC centres.

Information & Events: At conferences and symposia we present the state of national and international research and provide information about ‘examples of good practice’ and current developments in the regions.

Research: We provide information on current research activities on the theme of ‘Men in ECEC in both Germany and other European countries, and regularly analyse the statistics of persons employed in ECEC. In the context of the Federal programme ‘Lernort Praxis’ (learning by doing) we evaluate and advise ECEC centres that focus on winning over and guiding new target groups. This includes men and people from ethnic minority backgrounds as well as lateral entrants and school leavers with higher qualifications that would permit them to go to university.

Press and Public Relations: Our gender-sensitive press and public relations work helps to create attention for the topic with the aim of improving the image of the profession of ECEC. Once yearly we publish and evaluate detailed figures on the proportion of men in ECEC. We serve as contacts for members of the press, provide information on developments in the field and facilitate contacts with practitioners. We introduce current developments on our website and in our newsletter, which appears several times a year. We systematically observe press reporting and develop approaches for gender-sensitive press work, which we place at the disposal of professional circles.

Networking: We support existing networks and initiate new ones in order to create sustainable structures for professional exchange.

We are happy to place our knowledge at the disposal of the international (professional) audience, and welcome inquiries from the international press. 

Please feel free to contact us.