Our approach

The GenderEYE study is being conducted by a team based at the Lancaster University Department of Educational Research and the Fatherhood Institute, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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For this study we are working with hubs of early years professionals in four English localities, who are interested and active in advocating for an increase of men in the sector, and who are engaged in supportive MITEY (Men in the Early Years) regional networks and national conferences.

We are also collaborating with a team of academics and practitioners from Norway who have been engaged, through Norway’s gender equality action plan, in regional and national recruitment strategies to achieve a government target of 20% men in kindergartens.

The key elements of our study are:

  • A knowledge exchange event in Norway
  • Eight case studies in pre-school centres (two in each hub)
  • A survey to the wider UK early years sector, seeking data on male recruitment and retention, and information about previous, ongoing and future approaches to increasing numbers
  • Interviews with key training providers, careers stakeholders and key early years strategists
  • Recommendations and training pathways for early years providers and managers
  • A training event for key stakeholders, who can then act as MITEY ‘champions’ and cascade their knowledge further to others in the sector
  • A training toolkit for free distribution to the sector, drawing on the best available evidence
  • A conference at the end of the project, to pull together and communicate all our learning
  • Academic journal articles and conference presentations.