Across our nurseries the male practitioners are making their mark on the early year’s sector! Forest School Practitioner Brook Evans rallied the ‘Portland Nurseries boy’s together at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School to help the children plant a Christmas tree. The children continually learn the importance of nature and caring for their environment and the Portland Nurseries men have picked up their spades and led the way in explaining that “a Christmas tree is not just for Christmas”. Portland Nurseries now employ 7 male practitioners across 3 of their Ofsted Outstanding sites, who are consistently making a positive impact on practice. This accounts for 7% of their workforce; over double the national average for children’s nurseries. All the children respond fantastically to them and they often act as positive role models for boys. The children have loved helping the male practitioner’s plant their old Christmas trees so they can have them for many years to come and decorate them in their natural environment. We have been lucky to see males coming forward in this area, but there is still a gender imbalance in the workforce and childcare sector nationally. We are constantly looking for more men to join our team, as they bring a whole new dimension of practice to the settings! The female employees and mothers of the children all happily welcome males in the nurseries and we’ve also noticed that the level of interaction with fathers has improved, as they help to make them feel comfortable in what is a mostly female environment.. Portland Nurseries aim to continually attract young men to careers in childcare, emphasising the benefits and potential career progression of working within the industry. The 6 male employees span all areas of the company from Managers and cooks to practitioners and apprentices!