We are keen supporters of the trade associations within the babywearing and nursery industries and an active member of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) and Center for Babywearing Studies, through which we work with other babywearing schools to discuss continuous improvement within babywearing education.
We’ve been asked recently why we have not applied for membership of the British Association of Babywearing Instructors (BABI). When BABI was setting up in 2011, shortly after we’d announced the launch of the School of Babywearing, we were excited at the prospect of a group representing babywearing consultants and were involved in the original BABI Yahoo group. BABI admission criteria included a requirement to have been running courses for two years which the School of Babywearing had not.
The new BABI proposals for Babywearing Schools and BABI members involve all BABI members voting on an application before a School is admitted and the right of the Board to veto any request (from a school or an individual) to join even if members have voted in favour. [Excerpt shown below is from the BABI School Admission Policy: http://babi.me.uk/babi-school-admission-policy/] This is out of keeping with our values of inclusion and transparency, both as a social enterprise and an adult learning provider.
We believe that trade associations should either, like the BCIA, warmly welcome anyone connected with the Babywearing industry (practising as a Babywearing Consultant in the case of BABI) or should have clearly defined, fair and reasonable entry requirements which, once met, can’t be overruled by members. To allow existing members to exclude prospective members who meet requirements is unfair in our view and we won’t be applying to join BABI while this practice continues.
For those babywearing educators looking for a professional association to join, we can highly recommend the BCIA and will shortly have news of how groups of educators can join together to share the membership costs.
Anyone keen to access insurance may be able to access one of the schemes that we have set up. Our original Babywearing Consultants insurance, set up in 2011, costs £62 per annum (£52 on renewal) and offers cover for those who have a qualification accredited by an educational body (of which the School of Babywearing is the only provider). But we have also set up another policy which is open to all qualified Babywearing Consultants and which costs £69.50 per annum and £29.50 while the Consultant is a trainee. All School of Babywearing courses include time as a trainee while the Consultant completes coursework and carries out evaluated consultations. The new policy, though offering lower levels of cover, does offer a reduced price option for this period and can then be upgraded to full cover. We also have a sling libraries insurance policy which has been operating for over a year now and can be tailored to fit the needs of individual sling libraries.