Day care dad loves his work

Shanon Tough is one of a rare breed – a male day care provider.
Shanon Tough is one of a rare breed – a male day care provider. Adam Hourigan

FOR most blokes, admitting you run a home day care centre isn't something you'd race down the pub to tell your mates.

But Shanon Tough is one of a new breed of men who proudly spends his working day minding other people's children.

There's nothing sensitive new-aged guy about Shanon; he worked in the building industry as a glazier for most of his life.

But a shoulder injury a few years ago forced him to reassess his future.

"I had a shoulder reconstruction and while I was off work I was looking after my kids and a few mates of mine asked if I could look after their kids as well," he said.

"I looked into doing it professionally and got my certificate III in child care and started up."

But it seems women aren't the only ones to face sexual discrimination based on gender.

Shanon said the first company he approached was less than enthusiastic because he was a man. He then had to look further afield.

Surprisingly, Shanon said minding kids for a living wasn't as stressful as you'd think.

"If I say 'morning tea', they pack up their toys, wash their hands and sit down without an argument or a fuss," he said.

"The best part of the job is when parents come to me and say (young Billy) has learnt his alphabet or when they ask their kids where they learnt something and the kids say 'at Shanon's'."

Topics:  dad, day care, grafton



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