Early years practitioners should have training in how to communicate better with fathers so that dropping off children at nursery becomes less daunting for them, according to a new study. Researchers interviewed fathers who took their children to nursery and early years practitioners to find out how they related to each other.
The joint project between Derby University’s Early Childhood Studies department and the Pre-School Learning Alliance sought the views of around 40 fathers and early years staff at a range of settings, from small pre-schools to children’s centres and private nurseries, in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
Co-author and lecturer in early childhood studies, Andrew Sanders, said, ‘What we were asking was for views on the encounter between fathers and practitioners at the nursery door. It’s not about men in childcare or father-friendly activities, but about how practitioners feel about the everyday contact they have. Not surprisingly, fathers and practitioners felt settings were intimidating places for men. That definitely came through. And practitioners were conscious of the fact that it might be.
So do Dads feel intimidated when they come to Learning Curve? I doubt it very much, because our dads seem very relaxed with all things to do with children. We hope that none of our team will ever make you feel uncomfortable when you drop off or collect your child, but if they do, be sure to let us know.