Men Not Welcome in Child Care? Speaking Out for Vinicius Magalhães by Mike Prochaska
Today I want to share a story that makes my skin crawl – a man losing his job at a hotel chain caring for kids because he's a man. This is a story about discrimination and it’s sad that something like this has happened in 2018. I am outraged that Vinicius Magalhães' employer didn’t back him up and instead let his client’s bigotry control his actions.
Vinicius Magalhães loved working with kids, has been in the childcare industry for three years back in his home country of Brazil and was looking forward to continuing his work once he arrived in Australia. "I truly love it," Vini told Kidspot. "I love what I do, I’ve learned so much from the little ones … If I did not love it, I would have given up already as it’s not that easy and there's still a lot of prejudgment from people against male teachers, babysitters and childminders."
Vini said that he had originally planned to work as an au pair when he arrived in Australia, but found out it wasn't very easy to find work, despite having a working with children check, a police check, an up-to-date first aid certificate and excellent references from previous employers. "It was more difficult than I thought to find a family that would be OK with hiring a male au pair," Vini said.
Vini was heartbroken by the message and says that at no point is he even left unsupervised with the children, as is standard in childcare regardless of the staff member's gender. "To be honest, I’ve no words to express how bad I felt at the time I read that message," he said. "I’m qualified to do the job, and so upset and frustrated, as I’ve been giving my everything to the job, giving my love, care and making the kids happy!"
In Australia, the Sex Discrimination Act, 1984, states, "It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the ground of the employee's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy."
Vini is sad about the hotel's decision, but he hopes that other people might be able to see past his gender and allow him to continue working in the industry that he loves.
I don’t understand how the owner of the company can get away with not supporting his employee. That makes me so angry as a fellow male working in early childhood education that the company he worked for refused to back him up and instead allowed the parents to discriminate against him.
I watched a news clip for Channel 10 that said men should be stepping up and speaking out for each other in this field. And that is what I am doing right now. It is called equality! And it should be given to all people no matter your sex, race, age.
I am hoping by writing this tip it’s a call to action. If your child has a male teacher, let your school, district, everyone, know that you stand with him.