Council Letter

June 23, 2021

We Applaud Dads!

Dear Colleagues,

How much do men care about their children? The question came up as countries around the world marked Father’s Day this month. And there are some answers in a new report from Promundo, a global nonprofit devoted to changing gender norms. Its survey of men in 47 countries provided some good news. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, men have contributed more to child care in the home than at any other time in recent remembrance.

More good news came from a recent study conducted by Sesame Workshop-India and HCL foundation. Their survey of Indian families in low-income neighborhoods of Lucknow showed that the pandemic has brought fathers closer to their children. And this finding has helped Sesame Workshop carry out the Daddy Cool campaign to make Indian fathers see that they can make a major impact on their children’s lives. Young children whose fathers engage with them closely have better language skills and higher test scores, as many studies show.

And Arab-American fathers have gotten the point since they’re moving past the old notion that the father’s primary role is to be a stern paterfamilias, who provides for children and prepares them for adulthood. Now many Arab-American men are finding new, warmer ways to parent and interact with their children more. The change reflects the impact of social media, which has helped the men expand their comfort zones, and the entry of more Arab women into the U.S. workforce.

Arab-American women are now finding their way into the early childhood field, thanks to the Pamoja Early Childhood Education Workforce Program in Colorado. This month we profile two Pamoja students, Fatima Boubina and Masuma Adelzada, recent immigrants who are on the way to earning their CDA. They love the program because it’s helping them be better moms and giving them the know-how to work effectively in an early childhood program.

Educators with the right skills can help the most vulnerable children succeed, as you’ll see when you read our blog on “Tomorrow’s Hope.” This recent documentary puts the spotlight on Educare, a cutting-edge early childhood program on Chicago’s South Side, one of the poorest census tracts in the country. Many of the children in the program come from single-parent homes and lack the role models that fathers provide. Yet educators can fill the gap, especially male teachers such as Buddy Rhodes, who serves many Head Start students from homes without fathers.

Buddy is a CDA holder like Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr., CEO of the Council. Dr. Moore is also an accomplished singer and devoted dad who loves to sing and dance with his two daughters, as you’ll see this month in our blog, If It Sounds Good, It is Good: The Benefits of Music for Children. It doesn’t matter whether you play them Tchaikovsky or the Jackson Five, a Bach Concerto or Benny and the Jets, as two real-life moms from the Council explain. Music of all kinds helps children build the brain networks that support visual perception, memory and self-expression—qualities that play a key role in learning and life outcomes.

Children also benefit from the attention and affection of their dads, as Dr. Moore points out in a plea to give good dads their due. Too many devoted dads remain unsung, unpraised and unnoticed since gender norms haven’t kept up with social change and the rise in working moms. Now a number of public campaigns are trying to change this by honoring fathers who are committed to being there for their kids, despite issues like addiction and the stresses of immigration. Whatever the roadblocks you face, as these fathers know well, being a daddy is cool.

Happy Father’s Day,

The Council for Professional Recognition

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