Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Career in childcare

Doireann O'Connor of Sligo Institute of Technology (SIT?) wants young men to consider a career in childcare. That's not going to happen, at least not in any meaningful way.

First of all it's not considered 'manly' work, which rules out a big chunk of the young male population. Is this right? Who cares? It's true.

Next, the fact that men no longer want to teach at the primary level indicates that (a) there are more desirable jobs out there and (b) men are no longer comfortable working with small children due to all the high profile pedophilia scandals we've heard endlessly about over the past decade or so. If men aren't comfortable teaching, what makes anyone think they'll want to work in a job where trust and transparency are more difficult to establish than in teaching?

Third, women don't trust men as much as they trust women when it comes to minding their children. Is this right? Doesn't matter; it's true. Sure a woman will often trust a man she knows well more than a woman who's a stranger, but when weighing up two strangers to mind her children, a mother will be naturally inclined to choose the woman. And, you know what? Fathers will feel the same way only more so. Whatever about women not trusting men, men really don't trust men in such roles.

So, if we have a shortage in childcare suppliers we'll have to (a) convince more Irish women to take up the job, (b) import more women to take those jobs on or (c) reduce demand for childcare.