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Matt Bowden

“I’ve just completed my Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at Crows Nest TAFE. My goal is to become a preschool teacher, but I’d like to work in the industry for a while before I start studying again. I’m excited to start handing out my resume in the new year. The course took two years. It’s mainly child development but we also do first aid and anaphylaxis training, which is so important. There are play sessions at the Crows Nest campus too where the students set up experiences for the children who come with their parents or caregivers. We are also required to do work experience, so I worked as a preschool room assistant for around nine months. When I left I was asked by the parents of two girls who attended there, and had just started kindergarten, if I could walk them to school a few mornings a week as both sets of parents had work commitments. I was so happy I was offered this opportunity as it meant I could keep in touch with my students and it showed that the parents trusted me. Personally, I find the term ‘manny’ to describe a male nanny as very unnecessary. The thought of having to put a masculine slant on a word just shows insecurity in my opinion. Be proud of what you do no matter what anyone says! When I was studying I met at least 80 students – unfortunately there were only two males. However, my friends who work in the childcare industry tell me that they have males in their workplace, which is fantastic to hear. Representation is so important for young children. Males and females can be equally as fantastic as educators, and the lack of male influence in the childcare industry definitely has an effect. Whenever I did something that was considered ‘girlie’ to the preschoolers, for example drawing with a pink pencil, a child would come up to me and ask ‘why are you using that colour? That’s a girl’s colour’. I would ask why and it would always lead them to reply ‘I don’t know’, which speaks volumes.”