Gender Pay Gap Report

Gender Pay Gap Report Executive Summary 

Day Nurseries have historically been female-dominated; the UK statistics in 2019 being 98% female and 2% male, with most staff paid the minimum or living wage, or just above this, due to the culture in the UK and funding challenges within this sector. This has meant establishing career opportunities and respected training has been a challenge, which has restricted the whole sector’s ability to encourage male participation in the sector, including the previously outdated negative perception of males working in the early year’s sector. The company works very hard indeed to fight this stereotyping and promote professionalism in the sector, which has been effective, as shown by the statistics below.

Tops Day Nurseries, as of the snapshot date of 5th April, is 94% Female and 6% Male, compared with 98% Female and 2% Male in the sector as a whole.  Norway has the highest percentage of male Early Years professionals in the world (around 10%) with a national target of 20% male participation.  There is no formal target set within the UK, other than to increase males working within the Early Years Sector.

The Founder and Managing Director is female and the board 60% female, with senior management being 95% female and 5% male, and management being 89% female and 11% male.  The results show that males are paid more per hour than females in the company, this is due to an increase in males being employed in management roles (up to 11% from 7%) and due to more males being employed in technical roles (maintenance, accountancy, legal and IT positions where hourly pay in the sector is higher than in early years).

Gender Pay Gap Report

The Background:

This report used a total of 283 full-pay relevant employees (756 relevant employees) as of the snapshot date 5th April 2020; 263 are Female (707 relevant) and 20 Male (49 relevant). As mentioned in the executive summary, as of the snapshot date Tops Day Nurseries had a workforce of 93% Female and 7% Male.

The ONS has reported that the median gender pay gap within the UK has fallen to 15.5% in 2020, as shown under the Gender Pay Gap section previously in this report the median gender pay gap within Tops is 5.2% therefore considerably better than the UK median.

As of 2018, the gender pay gap in the Early Years sector was 4.5% with males earning on average more than Women. There doesn’t appear to have been a further report on the gender pay gap within the Early Years Sector since 2018.

Within these gender pay gap figures are our employees based at The Hub (i.e. senior managers, Board Members) that due to their professions (law, accountancy, maintenance, IT) can earn higher salaries than the nursery staff and this is where the majority of our male workers are based, therefore this is why we see a higher percentage of males in the ‘Upper Middle Quartile’.  Nursery staff pay is hampered by inadequate government & local authority funding for childcare education and care to both day nurseries (EYA, 2021) and parents, and this bites particularly harshly in deprived areas, where some of our nurseries are located.


Gender Pay Gap Report

The table above shows our overall mean and median gender pay gap in hourly rates of pay as of the snapshot date, 5th April 2020.

The Bonus Pay Gap reflects an increase in males paid bonuses on the board, compared to a much higher number of women in mid-management positions paid smaller bonuses swinging the average down although there are still more women on the Board than there are men.

Pay Quartiles

Gender Pay Gap report quartiles

The above charts display the gender distribution at Tops Day Nurseries across four equally sized quartiles, each made up of around 71 colleagues, showing a predominantly female workforce (orange) to male (green).

Our Commitment:

Tops Day Nurseries continuously produce recruitment marketing campaigns to attract all genders to join our organization and develop careers within the Early Years sector.

We believe that it is important for children to be cared for by both female and male practitioners, as male caregivers can offer a different set of skills and experiences to children that positively boost their development; many studies have shown that there are significant positive effects male practitioners have on their key children’s development (Brandth & Kvande, 1998).

In 2008, Tops Day Nurseries produced an informative DVD of the benefits of ‘Men in Childcare’, in partnership with ‘The Children’s Workforce Development Council’, who were supporting us in researching and developing a project aimed at encouraging men into the Early Years/Childcare employment, the results of the research reflected that a higher income, career and training opportunities were very important to potential male applicants and a perceived lack of these in early years was deterring males, in particular, from applying to work in the sector, along with cultural perceptions of men who worked with children.

In our Spring/Summer 2017 edition of our Tops Day Nurseries Magazine, we have written an article further identifying the benefits of male practitioners within the Childcare industry and the careers available within our company specifically, whilst also addressing our commitment to addressing the gap in male employment within our business and the sector as a whole.

Tops is signed up to the MITEY  (Men in The Early Years) Charter, which is a national network and campaign to pledge to show support in valuing men and their contribution to the care and education for young children. In 2019 the company established its own MITEY group in order to actively promote and create opportunities for male colleagues to embed strategies and ideas the company can implement in order to promote males not only within Tops but across the entire Early Years Sector.

We endeavor to ensure all colleagues, regardless of gender and other characteristics, are provided with equal pay earnings, equal career advancement, and training opportunities with Tops Day Nurseries (and relevant legal entities) and will continue to advance the ways we market ourselves to attract all suitable applicants in our local communities.  Strong leadership and belief in the benefits of a mixed-gender workforce is important to Tops Day Nurseries.

Charlotte Percival

HR Director

5th April 2020


ONS Office for National Statistics (2020), Gender pay gap in the UK: 2020, accessed 18/06/2021

EYA (2021), Freedom of information investigation findings from DfE, accessed 17/06/2021

(Brandth & Kvande, 1998), accessed 17/06/2021

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