A new documentary TV series that follows nine fathers as they swap their day jobs for work in a nursery starts on Wednesday.
The three-part series ‘Daddy Daycare’ on Channel 4 sees how nine fathers cope looking after children at three London nurseries under the watch of staff.
All of the men have little or no experience in looking after children, some of them think it is easy, others feel they are too busy with their jobs to help raise their children, while the rest aren’t interested in getting involved.
During their week’s work experience at one of the three nurseries, the fathers must take on the role of a nursery practitioner and play with children, change their nappies and feed them.
The aim of the programme is to teach the men to be become more involved with bringing up their own children and prove that childcare isn’t solely for women.
The Pre-School Learning Alliance advised the makers of the programme on aspects relating to maintaining Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirements, and all of the men underwent the same vetting procedure as other nursery practitioners.
The first one hour episode follows father of three Gary, dad of one Jay and father-to-be Stefan, who spent a week working at the Magic Roundabout Nursery in Stockwell.
London Early Years Foundation’s Carlton Hill nursery in Westminster also features in the three-part series.
Melanie Pilcher, policy and standards manager at the Pre-School Learning Alliance, said, ‘The Alliance welcomed the opportunity to advise on aspects of the programme relating to maintaining Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirements.
‘Although we have no control over the content aired, we hope that the programme will further reinforce the importance of dads’ involvement in caring for their children and will also prompt them to consider a career in childcare as a realistic and viable option that brings huge benefits to children, their parents and the early years sector as a whole.’
Channel 4 factual entertainment commissioning editor, Dominique Walker, said, ‘Men just don’t do as much childcare as women – either inside or outside the home. This series is a fantastic opportunity to address that, we follow these men as they are, literally, thrown into the deep end, but I also hope to open up a broader debate about why we are in this situation and what can be done about it. The fact that only 2 per cent of childcare workers are men – and one in four primary schools have no male teachers – is incredible.’
- The first episode of ‘Daddy Daycare’ was on Channel 4 on Wednesday 15 February at 8pm.