Women of Valor

Rodney West.png
Rodney West

Women of Valor

Father’s Day cards on display in stores are very sparse in comparison to the observance of Mother’s day. Much homage is to be paid to the CAAEYC leaders of the past. With the wide disparity of men working in the field of Early Childhood, it was leadership of our organization who saw fit to implement the Men in Child Care committee. The committee was kicked off by the appointment of Michelle Soltero in 2001. Other women that had the vision were Betsy Hiteshew, Ellen Junn, Eve Marie Arce, Ginger Swigart, Marilyn McGrath, Cary Larson-McKay and Jacque Sell. The historic moment happened when Kelly Lake was the first appointed male to be elected the president of CAAEYC.

There are approximately only two percent of males working in the Early Childhood field. It is the same percentage as it was approximately 16 years ago when the Men in Child Care committee was initially established. The charge was to recruit more men into the field and establish relationships with fathers of young children. It is somewhat discouraging for children in preschool to not have positive male role models in their lives. There also must be strategies to work with families so our children can have what they deserve. More male involvement would enhance the inclusion of diversity among the ranks in Early Childhood.

Every child who we interact with has a biological father. Many of the fathers are absent because of mishaps that make it difficult for them to be in the lives of their children. As Early Childhood caretakers; there are ways that we can engage the fathers and make them viable in the development of their children. We must do a much better job than Hallmark for advocating for our fathers and men working in the field.

The Diversity in Action committee would like to have individuals who would like to increase the number of males working Early Childhood. If you have a little bit of time; we would like to have you volunteer and contribute on the committee. Please feel free to communicate with Rodney West via email at mwalimurodney@cs.com. Let’s make CAAEYC the new Hallmark; and continue to make a positive change in the lives of young children.