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Inspiring Change: Paige Ramy, Director of Education Discusses Gender Roles and Aspirations at The Butterfly Patch on International Women's Day

Preschoolers playing dress up

Welcome to a very special mini-blog feature!


Today, to celebrate International Women’s Day we’re chatting to Paige Ramy, the Education Director here at The Butterfly Patch to discuss gender roles and aspirations at The Butterfly Patch.

Let's dive straight in!


Q: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?


A: Hi, I’m Paige, the Director of Education here at The Butterfly Patch and I support the nurseries in a smooth running, supporting the managers and staff in providing a safe and enabling environment for the children.

I started working in childcare as soon as I left school. I travelled and worked in Egypt for a year before coming back. I juggle running a business of 6 nurseries and being a mum and a wife!  

For a bit of background, I started with The Butterfly Patch in 2018 as a nursery manager, then quickly over to area manager supporting Feyaz, our Director, in opening 4 new nurseries.

Then in May 2020 took on this very exciting, challenging and enjoyable role as a director. 

So ultimately, I am the nominated person for OFSTED - I am the primary point of contact for OFSTED.

It's my role to ensure we are effectively monitoring setting manager/s and staff to ensure they are operating the provision/s to the required standards, and are taking appropriate action when necessary.

My expertise is education and the statutory requirements, and I work closely with the area managers to ensure we are always running to a high standard this is where my title director of Education comes from. 

I enjoy not only seeing our children thrive but also the staff, without our wonderful early years practitioners our children and nurseries wouldn't be to the standard they are today. 

Growing our staff is one of my favourite things! Out of 6 managers, 5 of them started as either practitioners or deputy managers! Some apprentices who started with us are now deputies at more than 3 of our sites! 

I also use myself as an example coming in as a nursery manager in February 2018 and by May 2020 this is where I am! 

I'm excited for the future with The Butterfly Patch.


Q: How does The Butterfly Patch promote an inclusive environment that challenges traditional gender roles for both children and staff?


A: We are an inclusive nursery and welcome children and staff from all traditions and backgrounds.


We love to celebrate these throughout the year and on different celebration and observance days.


Our ethos around that is to recognise that no one person is the same and that both our differences and similarities should be celebrated!


In that way, we create a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment at each of our nurseries.


Q: In what ways do you believe early education can shape children's perceptions of gender equality and their future aspirations?


A: By the time a child reaches the age of three, 80% of their brain is developed, making Early Years education so important in supporting children’s development.


Meaning, the things we teach them now will stay with them all throughout their life.


This is the case with ensuring they’re learning important skills (communication, physical skills etc.) as well as instilling concepts of equality, acceptance, sustainability and more.


We find this is best done in practice where all children are encouraged to for example dress up as princesses or doctors or construction workers.


We also explore a variety of storybooks which show a range of different characters – whether that’s through gender, religion, background etc - as representation is also incredibly important.


Q: Can you share examples of activities at the nursery that encourage girls to explore various interests and career paths traditionally seen as male-dominated?


A: We do so many things, but one example is we love to play construction. We use real-life construction materials, using tools within the nursery to “fix” things.


This is a ‘traditionally’ male-dominated field – even when it comes to children’s playtime but we think both boys and girls should enjoy whatever interests them.


Pursuing topics of interest can really help little ones immerse themselves in their learning so supporting that is really important to us.


Q: How does the nursery involve parents in discussions around gender equality and breaking down stereotypes at home?


A: We do this from the offset. As soon as a parent visits us for a show-around we explain that their child, whatever their gender is entitled to explore all areas of our nursery – including a range of activities, role play and real-life experiences.


Our parents also receive activity updates via the Famly app so they’re able to see that for instance their little girl really enjoyed pretend play as an astronaut that day, giving them the opportunity to further explore that at home.


Q: Finally, what steps are taken to ensure that boys also benefit from an environment that challenges gender stereotypes and encourages empathy and understanding?


A: In the same way we support girls to explore all play and learning, we also do the same for boys.


As I mentioned before, it’s all about celebrating all of our similarities and differences.

As well as supporting a child’s development through play and exploration as an individual rather than focusing on what they’re traditionally supposed to be interested in.



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