Settings such as day nurseries, schools or playgroups can Offer opportunities for fathers to be involved in a setting by suggesting they engage with the setting in more traditionally male roles - Fathers leading football or sports sessions, demonstrating building skills, supporting children to do the gardening are all ways that engage fathers in a role that both fathers and other mothers feel comfortable in seeing them in. Culturally diverse fathers might have skills to share in addition to this, cooking curry with the children as most Indian chefs are men, or cultural activities that we are yet unaware of that could be incorporated into the curriculum through planning topics that are culturally relevant. Once young Fathers are in schools or other settings and see the advantages of their involvement in supporting their child’s academic achievements and social needs being met they may be happier to engage with the setting and their children in other ways.
Parent partnership or liaison committees are another good way of encouraging fathers’ involvement, especially if it is seen as a more business supportive role, as the fathers feel they can offer support in an area that might be their expertise- accounts, marketing etc. This type of group, however, might not attract some cultural fathers if there is a language barrier but for other cultures such as like eastern Asian this might be seen as a very good opportunity.
Having social meetings like family fun days, where both parents can attend, is another good way of encouraging Fathers’ participation. Often father feel more confident if they are in the setting with their partner as they can explain the routines and rules and introduce them to staff and other parents this then builds up their confidence to attend alone. Once they are involved in the setting will hopefully become more involved in their children’s needs and learning in other ways.
Services such as children’s centre’s can engage with young fathers by running classes specifically designed to support young fathers where they can meet other young fathers and make relationships with them as well as learn skills. ‘Ladz to Dads’ and ‘Sat Dad’