Some children don’t have dads in the home so it’s nice for them to have a male role model

“Early childhood education in Ireland at the moment is at a very exciting place,” says David Kenna (29), a “floating” junior manager with Park Academy Childcare, which has eight centres in south Dublin/north Wicklow, including an outdoors nature kindergarten.

“It is all moving towards child-led learning and learning through play; that’s what really appeals to me.”
He first worked in early years education as a teacher’s aide when he lived in New Zealand for a while, before returning to Ireland.

Having just completed a three-year honours degree in early childhood education and care at the Wicklow campus of the Institute of Technology Carlow, he combined his studies with working his way up the career ladder at the Park Academy. There were 42 in the class and the one other male was employed in a primary school.

“My mother is a special needs assistant and she has always encouraged me with children, it was a step from there,” says Kenna, who believes a lingering stigma still puts off men from becoming involved in childcare.

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