Paralympian a champion for childcare

PARALYMPIAN gold medallist Danny Crates became a champion for childcare yesterday as he spent a morning working with children in Ipswich.The athlete, who holds the paralympian gold medal for 800m, spent the morning with children at The Willows Children's Centre nursery in Magdalene Close.

PARALYMPIAN gold medallist Danny Crates became a champion for childcare yesterday as he spent a morning working with children in Ipswich.

The athlete, who holds the paralympian gold medal for 800m, spent the morning with children at The Willows Children's Centre nursery in Magdalene Close.

Mr Crates was backing a government campaign to encourage men and disabled people to take up more jobs in Early Years care, where they are currently under-represented.

The 800m star and his partner Victoria are expecting their first child in November, and he said the day had been good preparation for him and thoroughly enjoyable.

“It has been great fun. Having spent three hours working here I have realised what a tough job it is but if you talk to the staff here they love their job. It is not easy but it is great fun,” he said.

The athlete said the job was wrongly viewed as a female occupation by some and it was important for children to also have male role models in their early learning.

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Currently only about four per cent of people working in Early Years in the UK are men. It is estimated that thousands of people need to be recruited to work in the sector to support the expansion of childcare services.

For information about working in Early Years and Childcare, go to www.childcarecareers.gov.uk or call 0800 99 66 00.

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