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Surrey - Push for male role models

A campaign to encourage Surrey men to work in early education and childcare has been launched to help ensure children grow up with positive male role models.

The campaign, run by Surrey County Council's early years and childcare service, is believed to be the first of its kind in England.

Organisers hope it will address the gender imbalance which means out of more than 10,700 voluntary and paid childcare staff currently working in Surrey, just 385 are men. The campaign is based on interviews with men working in early years education.

Dan Wadey, who is the manager of Butterhill Play Group, Dorking, said: "Being a man in childcare has been tricky. At the time, my grandfather wasn't sure I should do it, but he is proud now. He is of a different generation."

Stephen Liddle, a play worker at Allsorts After School Club in Weybourne, said: "It's a very good thing. Children can look up to a man being here, like a second dad."

Mary Angell, Surrey County Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "It is important for children to have positive male role models in their lives from a very early age." dw.

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