Y NSW wants to see more men considering OSHC careers following COVID-19 job losses
In celebrating OSHC Educators’ Day, held yesterday, 29 July, the Y NSW encouraged more men to consider a career as an outside school hours care (OSHC) educator or leader, saying with many people unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working as an educator could be ”a job many men may not have considered before”.
For two of the male educators, Daniel May and Martin Vickery, both working at Y West Pennant Hills OSHC, the transition into OSHC “was an unexpected career path”.
Mr May, 23, started working in OSHC as a way of having the flexibility of shifts which would work around his studies at university.
He was surprised, on starting, to discover how much he loved getting to know each of the children he was working with.
“They’re at school all day talking to teachers and doing school work, so I’m the fun guy they get to play sports and games with at the end of the day,” he said, outlining how working in OSHC allows him to “almost always” be outside playing soccer, cricket or rugby.
“I love running around and always insist on doing it,” he added.
While he has encountered some stigma about the role he has chosen, he said it was important for the children that men in the sector pushed past this.
“When I started working there were just three of us (male educators), now there’s four at this centre and I hope that number keeps growing,” he said.
“All the boys we care for at OSHC appreciate being able to have a guy educator they can talk to and of course play sports with.”
Mr Vickery, 43, had a somewhat different path into the profession, having left a banking role three years ago to join Y NSW.
“I was teaching taekwondo and parents used to say ‘what do you do for a living?’ and they couldn’t believe I worked at a bank and didn’t always work with children,” he said.
“I love sport and I get on well with kids, so I did a few weeks of relief, liked West Pennant Hills as a good sporting OSHC and decided to join them,” he said.
While the 2016 Early Childhood Education and Care National Workforce Census showed only 18.3 per cent of staff employed in OSHC were male, the proportion of men employed specifically in OSHC is significantly higher than the early childhood component of the sector, which sits at 3 per cent.
Zach Browning, a male educator at The Y Lycee Condorcet OSHC, said it was important to have a diverse range of educators at a service, to provide positive role modeling.
“Especially for the kids who are growing up and figuring out what the world is, having positive male influences is really important,” the 20-year-old from Maroubra said.
To learn more about the Y NSW’s Outside School Hours Care please see here