Childcare is an under-rated job

29th August 1997 at 01:00
Your headline "Childcare is derided by students and tutors" is a misleading one for our report Childcare as a gendered occupation. Far from "deriding" childcare training, tutors felt that it had a lot to offer those who undertook it, and most students felt proud of the qualification they had gained.

The problem is that childcare is an under-rated occupation, judged by the pay and conditions it offers, and both students and tutors wished that it were seen more positively. One of the consequences of under-rating childcare is that the training is only a vocational two-year post-16 training which has little academic transferability, and contrasts sharply with the more rigorous academic training undertaken by teachers. Because the course is not academically rigorous, low achievers at school tend to be routed into it - but that is not to write it off. On the contrary some of the tutors argued that having had a poor educational start meant that nursery nurses might, with suitable support, become more sympathetic and alert to many of the young children they came across because they understood only too well what the difficulties are with schooling.

Men are less likely to work in childcare partly because they are aware that it is a low-status job, and partly because of fears about being seen as abusers. The men we spoke to had discovered childcare almost by accident, but, having begun to work in the area, were extremely enthusiastic about it. It opened new horizons for them.


Institute of Education University of London London WC1

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now