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Monthly Archives

August 2016

Music Licencing for Infant Massage Educators

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Music is an integral part of the First Touch Program -  and high-quality infant massage education generally. The use of nursery rhymes and singing is used to help support parent-infant interaction. Many educators also choose to use recorded music in their sessions - either as background music to help create a relaxed and supportive environment or as part of the activities in parent-baby groups. Recorded music is typically copyrighted material. This means the use of recorded music requires educators to ensure they comply with the relevant copyright laws.

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Copyright for Infant Massage Educators

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Whether you are teaching infant massage in private practice or in paid employment, at one time or another you will probably want to use materials (such as photographs or writing) that has been produced by someone else, in your promotional activities. Most of these works will be protected by copyright. Any work that you create yourself, will also have copyright protection. Therefore, understanding some of the basic principles of copyright is essential if you are going to be publishing any sort of material – either on your own website, social media or even paper.

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The most important decision we can make is whether to believe we live in a friendly, or hostile, universe.

~Albert Einstein         

Do I live in a friendly universe? Answering this question is the primary goal of infancy: a period in which our view of the world, and our relationship to it, is being shaped.

For the baby, their parents are the beginning and end of their universe.

It is within the subtle, day-to-day interactions between a parent and baby that each of us comes to discover whether the world is, indeed, a friendly place or not.

Health, education and human service workers are increasingly interested in how we can best help shape the baby’s universe – their social, emotional, genetic and neurological development – in such a way that fosters the long-term mental health not only of individuals, but of communities.

While the interactions that take place in the parent-baby relationship are simple, often subtle, and sometimes even imperceptible, this does not mean they are inconsequential. From the infant’s perspective, responsive and sensitive touch, voice, movement and eye-contact are the neurological and developmental equivalent to the Big Bang. Studies spanning disciplines of neurobiology, medicine, psychology, sociology and even genetics all pinpoint high-quality parent-infant interactions as being the source of our developmental trajectories.

Despite the surface simplicity of parent-infant interactions – touch, movement, voice and eye-contact – many factors can interfere with a parent’s ability or confidence to provide this sort of friendly universe for their babies. This training program provides health workers with a simple, unique and effective tool for supporting these interactions in the practice environment via The First Touch Program.

This course is taught in six major learning themes.

Rethinking infant massage: The principles of high-quality infant massage education

There is no question that infant massage is regarded as an enjoyable “soft” activity for parents and babies. Some researchers have also found that infant massage can have an impact on a range of isolated clinical outcomes: such as weight gain and brain activity. However, in general, the potential impact of infant massage education in promoting infant mental health and contributing to “hard” child development outcomes is generally under-estimated and often poorly articulated. Infant massage education is often frequently misunderstood and there are many examples of infant massage interventions being applied without critical reference to the research.

Together we explore the role of Touch in Human Development.

We then explore the history of infant massage education in Australia. We then introduce the available research specifically concerned with how infant massage education works, for whom, and under what circumstances.

This theme sets the scene for the remainder of the course, by inviting students to think critically about the context and framework of infant massage research and delivery of parent education.

Parent-infant interaction: The heart of attachment

A child’s attachment pattern, by definition is not consolidated until the age of around 2 or 3 years – yet the foundations for these patterns are established during the first year of life. How do we support or respond to something that we (and parents) cannot yet see or measure or fully experience? To do this, we must shift our attention from attachment as a goal, and more deeply understand the basic mechanisms of attachment during infancy:  touch, eye-contact, facial expression, movement and voice. We begin this session by introducing the key framework of the First Touch Program, based on the work of Vimala McClure. This simple 5-step framework is underpinned by a more complex assumption that attachment arises from the ways in which parents and babies use touch and other interactions to have a “conversation” with each other and, in turn, the shared meanings that parents and babies co-create through this conversation.

This realisation allows us to become un-stuck from our role as an “expert” whose job is to transfer “knowledge” to parents (via books, information, instruction, charts, diagrams, lists) about attachment. It opens up the space between the parent and baby, where we can more easily see and support the relationship as it gives shape to future attachment patterns. We then explore some ways in which this conversation might take place between parents and babies as they come to know each other and give meaning to their relationship. We also begin to consider where we might place ourselves in this space, and how this can influence the interaction between parents and babies and the meanings they create.

The authentic conversation

When a worker views secure attachment as their goal, they will naturally tend to focus on what a parent needs to do (or know) in order to “get attachment right”. In contrast, when we think about attachment simply as a future reflection of today’s parent-infant conversation, our role as facilitator shifts. We become more attuned to the ways that parents and babies “hear” each other…rather than being fixated on our opinion about what they “should be saying” to each other.

In this theme we work through some of the protocols and considerations that the facilitator uses to deliver the First Touch Program. These approaches enable us to support parent and baby in communicating more authentically and, in turn, to nurture the relationship between them.

The sessions within this theme are practical in nature, and provide students with the framework and activities for delivering the First Touch Program. These activities are underpinned by this premise that the role of the facilitator is not to direct the interaction. Rather we look at the activities through the lens of a facilitator who uses themselves and the environment to enable parent and baby to use touch, massage, voice and other interactions in an authentic and personal way to communicate with and “hear” the other.

The baby as teacher

The expression that the “parent is the expert” is frequently used, but we don’t often take the time to articulate what this means, nor to consider the actual pathway to engaging the parent’s expertise. What does parent expertise look like? Is it related to their knowledge? Skill? Intuition? Can the parent still be an expert without relevant knowledge, skill or awareness of their own intuition? How is their “expertise” gained? What do we do when a parent’s expertise conflicts with our professional knowledge about infant development and needs?

To overcome these (and other) difficulties with the parent-as-expert concept we need to consider the parent’s expertise in the broader context of their relationship with their baby. The topics in this theme  introduce the idea that the baby plays an active role in the development of their own parent’s expertise.

In the infant massage setting, the idea of parent-as-expert becomes far less problematic the more we can acknowledge and foster the baby’s role as the Teacher. We explore this by examining the ways that babies communicate: through their use of body language, body positions, body movements, eye contact, facial expressions, voice and skin. We explore the link between these expressions and their underlying neurological and emotional states. This theme asks students to build their ability to notice these behaviours, and to extend their curiosity about what the baby might be teaching us. This allows us to more directly draw out the infant’s role as the teacher…and the parent as expert…within the infant massage education setting.

Parent-baby classes

These practical sessions provide students with the opportunity to observe and reflect on the delivery of the First Touch Program in relation to key themes explored so far.

Parents and babies join the class-room and participate in a modified/ abbreviated version of the First Touch Program over three days. The parent-baby groups are co-facilitated by the Trainer and the students, so students have the opportunity to practice and observe the program delivery and dynamics in a supported environment.

In these sessions, students are immersed in the real-life, spontaneous dynamics, interactions and communication occurring between the trainer, parents and babies during a First Touch Program. Following each of the parent-baby sessions, students participate in an in-depth review of theirs and their peers’ observations. Student observations and experiences are considered in the context of the function of parent-infant interaction, infant cues, the role of the Baby as Teacher and other key ideas explored so far.

Beginning as an educator

Moving into independent practice can open many challenges and questions. Topics in this theme are designed to introduce students to some of frameworks and resources that can assist to navigate through these challenges as they arise. As well as exploring some of the legal and professional regulations that impact on parent educators, we also explore some of the methods and approaches that can be used by educators to engage parents and colleagues in the First Touch Program.


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The cue-based infant massage training provided by Baby in Mind, qualifies you to deliver education groups, that support and promote parent-infant interactions.

This course will equip you with the specific knowledge, skills and insights you need to deliver parent education programs in cue-based infant massage education to the national standards in delivering infant massage education to families.

You will be eligible to register with Baby in Mind as a parent educator, and to be licenced to deliver the First Touch Program to families.

The course covers a wide variety of content, and the course topics include:

Rethinking infant massage

History of infant massage in Australia
Mechanisms of high-quality infant massage education

Parent-infant communication

Talking with touch
The experience of touch
Relationship-based practice
Bonding and attachment

The authentic conversation

First Touch Program – 16 protocols and guidelines
Positioning and infant regulation
Environments to support parent-infant interactions
Supporting parent mindfulness
Infant massage routines – feet, legs, tummy, chest, arms, face, back
Gentle movements
Voice, singing, rhymes
Eye contact and facial expression
Massage for unsettled babies
Touch and the pre-term baby
Nesting and containment holds
Touch relaxation
Babies with additional needs
Adaptations for older children

The baby as teacher

Infant communication
Behavioural states
Infant cues, stress, reflexes and supporting parent sensitivity
Timing of massage
Infant crying, communication and emotion
Parent-baby group delivery
The Good Facilitator
Listening to the baby
Facilitating parent interactions

Beginning as an educator 

Engaging parents (or colleagues) in the First Touch Program
Planning promotion and marketing
Code of Conduct
Legal issues
Professional Networking

Session times

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Find out how much time you will need to commit to this course, and the session times/ timetable for each block:

Pre-Entry Course Work


To complete this part of the course, you complete three, short modules online.

Combined, these modules contain approximately 4 hours of course material and teaching. You should allow another 2-4 hours to take notes, review materials, and complete the short quizzes.  You may need to allow some additional time if you are new to using online learning, or if you do not have any previous qualifications relating to early child development.


There is no time limit to complete this block. You can commence any time, and complete the activities in your own time, at your own pace.

Start Block 1 For Free Today

Online Course Work:


This block is held over a 10-week time period. Most students will need to allow 3-6 hours per week to complete the combination of activities and assignments.


Activities can be completed at a time in the week that suits your own needs as all materials will be available throughout the week.

However, you will be required to complete and submit an assessable task each week, during this block. The final assessment task is due one week following completion of this block (i.e. week 11).

Face-to-Face Workshop:


This block is held over 3 consecutive days. You must attend all three days of the workshop.


A typical timetable is:

Day 1: 10:30am – 5pm

Day 2: 9am – 5pm

Day 3: 9am – 3:30pm

Practical and Practice:


You complete this block following your attendance at the three-day face-to-face workshop. Most students will need to allow 20-30 hours to complete this block.

During this block you will be delivering a full First Touch infant massage program to five families in your community. This program is delivered over five (1 – 1.5 hour) weekly sessions, and assignments include planning for and promoting your workshop, and evaluating it afterwards. Therefore, at a bare minimum you need to allow at least 6-7 weeks to complete this block.

If you live in a smaller community or a community with low levels of parent engagement in programs and services, you may need to allow additional time to find enough families to work with, in order to meet the course requirements.


You have four months (following your face-to-face workshop) to complete this final part of your course.

However, you may request an extension of up to 12 months from the date of your initial enrolment (Block 2) to complete this section. This will allow you sufficient flexibility to meet course requirements.

Important note:

We are currently phasing out the full four-day face-to-face version of this training program, where all course content is delivered during a four-day workshop. Self-directed learning and assessment tasks are completed following attendance at the workshop.

We have a limited number of places available in the remaining scheduled 4-day course structure.

Sessions are held from 9am – 5pm. We strongly suggest that during the training program, you do not schedule other activities as there will be a small amount of preparation and review you will need to undertake between each day.

Following the workshop, you will need to allow 50 – 60 hours to complete the required tasks and assessment activities.

You have four months to complete the self-directed tasks and assessment items, following your 4-day workshop. However, an extension of up to 12 months from the date of your training workshop is available on request.


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Baby in Mind provides training for students who wish to undertake a nationally recognised qualification in infant massage education.

This is the only training organisation in Australia where you can undertake a nationally (government) recognised, vocational course in infant massage education.

Benefits of Nationally Recognised training:

  • Your training will meet the needs of employers and community expectations because nationally recognised training is developed in consultation with industry, including early childhood and perinatal health services, community organisations, clinical experts and specialists, and large and small businesses in metro, rural and regional areas.
  • Your training course provides you with the same standard of skills, knowledge and competencies regardless of your individual trainer, or where you do your training.
  • On successful completion of your course, you receive a nationally recognised certificate and competency statement, issued in accordance with the national qualifications framework, which is more widely recognised and regarded in the workplace and community, and more easily integrated with other qualifications.
  • The skills and knowledge you you gain through this course is transferable— your course is recognised in all states and territories of Australia.
  • You may be eligible for supplementary financial assistance from Centrelink to undertake this course.
  • The training provider (that’s us!) has to comply with strict standards regarding our practices in fees, assessment/ marking, handling student complaints and many other areas that can impact on your experience. Our compliance with these standards are regularly reviewed and audited by an external government assessor.

National accreditation is the system used by the Australian government to ensure people who undertake training courses graduate with the essential skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

Deliver Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education to Families is the name of the nationally accredited, industry endorsed competency standard for people teaching infant massage.

To become accredited, a course is first reviewed by industry experts to ensure it meets the current research and community needs. A course is then reviewed by the Australian Skills and Qualifications Authority (ASQA) to also ensure it meets government standards and requirements for vocational education and training.

Course details:

Course name: Short Course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education
Australian Qualification Code: 10282NAT
Relevant Competency Unit(s): CIMDCI001 Deliver Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education to Families.
ANZSCO professional category: Health Promotion Officer (code: 251911).

Confirm our national accreditation at www.Training.gov.au

We are able to offer you a course with an organisation well-established in the community, with a high standard of ethics. Baby in Mind is a nationally registered Health Promotion Charity. To meet our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) requirements we partner with Relationships Australia SA (registration number 102358).


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In addition to our National (government) Accreditation, this course is formally endorsed by the following professional associations for the continuing education of their members.

The Australian College of Midwives

Members of the Australian College of Midwives can claim 26 MidPLUS points for this course.

Occupational Therapy Australia

Members of Occupational Therapy Australia can claim 10 CPD points in category 6 for this course.

Australian Association of Social Workers

Members of the Australian Association of Social Workers can claim the time spent undertaking this course to meet their CPD requirements.

Association of Massage Therapists

Members of the Association of Massage Therapists can claim 35 CEUs per day of this course.

Members of other professional associations may also be able to count this course toward their CPD requirements, and a Certificate of Attendance will be issued on completion of the four-day training component.


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To be eligible to enrol in the cue-based infant massage education course, you will need to meet the following criteria:


To enrol in this course you must be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time your course commences.


To gain entry into this course you must either:

(a) Hold a qualification in health, welfare, early childhood, child development or a related field; OR

(b) Have relevant equivalent work or life experience in a role related to the care, health and well-being of infants, or health education and promotion. Life experience as a parent, grandparent or carer of children is sufficient equivalent experience for entry to this course.


To gain entry into this course you must also be of good character. This means that you must not hold any criminal convictions that would prevent you from working with children or other vulnerable people and you must be in good standing with any associations, registration bodies or other similar organisations with whom you are associated.

Assumed knowledge:

To successfully complete this course, you will need sufficient English literacy and numeracy skills.

You will also need to have a basic knowledge of the human body, sufficient to enable you to achieve the learning outcomes of this course.


To gain entry into this course you must also be of good character. This means that you must not hold any criminal convictions that would prevent you from working with children or other vulnerable people and you must be in good standing with any associations, registration bodies or other similar organisations with whom you are associated.


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The Baby in Mind training for infant massage educators is a unique course in Australia.

If you are thinking about taking this course, we want to make sure that you can make an informed decision before you commit to this program. It’s in your interests – and ours – to make sure we can meet your expectations and deliver you the best possible training experience!

To do this, as well as allowing you to ‘try before you buy” and complete some foundation subjects for free, we also encourage you to consider the following questions before you enrol in this training.

Use the tabs on the left to access questions that will help you work through your expectations, and to determine whether this course is right for you.

Are we a good match for your learning style:
  1. Do you have a flexible approach to learning? 

This course is intended to prepare you for work with families, or to extend the skills you already have in working with families. Babies and families rarely fit formula and “text-book”solutions. This course is most suited to students who are comfortable with flexibility in their thinking, and a reasonable tolerance for situations where a “black and white” answer may not always be immediately obvious or applicable.

2.  Are you comfortable with the principles of Adult Learning? 

We use the principles of adult learning in our training. This means (among other things) that we aim to provide you with training that is relevant to you. Within the limits of the course requirements, we enjoy supporting students to focus their learning in ways that reflect their own specific ideas, passions, challenges or situations. Are you someone who would feel comfortable communicating with us about your learning needs?

3. Are you comfortable taking initiative? 

How do you respond when confronted with something you don’t know or a situation you are uncertain about?

Are you the sort of person who is able to look up ideas or reach out to others for help and suggestions?

This training (and the work you will be qualified to do on completion of the course) is best suited to people who are willing to “not know” all the answers, and who have a willingness to use their own research skills to find answers from other resources and people.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘most of the time’ to these questions:

You will probably find that your learning style is a good match for this course, and working with families to teach cue-based infant massage.

If you answered ‘no’ or are uncertain about your answers to these question:

It is important to be aware that you may find the style of learning in this course challenging. You may need to be willing to develop some of these approaches to learning and working in partnership with your trainer, in order to get the most out of this course.

Is this the right course for you in your current circumstances:
  1. Are you experiencing significant financial distress? 

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous training organisations gain students for Baby Massage courses, by suggesting that graduates can earn hundreds and thousands of dollars a week in private practice, once they graduate. This has the effect of attracting a lot of students on very low incomes and who need work that is flexible.

However, in reality most graduates take a good 12-24 months to establish their own  practice, and some can even take longer depending on factors such as location, other time commitments, and the resources you have to work on building your business.

If you are experiencing immediate financial  distress or are seeking an immediate income source, we believe it is important that you are realistic about the time and energy you may need to apply in order to build your practice to a viable level: especially if you have not worked for yourself before. Many of our graduates do go on to establish very successful practices to varying degrees. But any businesses can take time to establish, and teaching infant massage or the First Touch Program is no different.

2.  Are you in active recovery from childhood or relationship trauma? 

This course addresses child mental health development–with a particular focus on the quality of early parent-child relationships. Students are exposed to a range of topics that can trigger uncomfortable feelings for some people–particularly those who have survived or witnessed abuse, neglect or trauma.

If you in the early stages of, or in active healing from, any type of abuse or other trauma associated with parenting or childhood, you may find some of the content in this course distressing, and this may not be the right time to do this training.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions:

Please contact us prior to enrolling in this program. We will be able to provide you with additional detail about the course content, and to discuss any questions you have so you can make an informed choice about whether this is the appropriate training for you to undertake at this time.

Do you have the time to work on the course requirements:
  1. Do you have approx 3-6 hours a week to spend on your course-work? 

On average, most students need to spend from three and up to six hours a week on the course work. This may not be every week during the course: it is an averaged-out amount over most weeks and is a good guide for evaluating whether you have sufficient time to undertake the course-work required.

You should also take into account any specific learning needs you have. For example, if you have not studied for a long time, or if you are new to using online learning, you may need to allow some additional time.

2.  Are you able to meet deadlines? 

This course has some flexible components, and it also has some parts with tighter deadlines.

For example, Block 4 (practice and practical) has some flexibility in terms of the timing for submission of your assignments.

However, Block 2  consists of 10 weeks of online learning, with a small assignment (e.g. a quiz) due each week. You can complete the work at any time during the week that it suits you, but during this block, it is important that you have sufficient time on a regular weekly basis to submit each assignment.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ both of these questions:

Then it is likely you will have sufficient time to comfortably do this course.

If you answered ‘no’ to either or both of these questions:

We suggest that if you want to enrol in this course, you may need to re-order some of your activities or priorities to get the most out of it and to successfully participate in the learning and assessment activities.

Is your preferred working style suited to this course:
  1. For health/ allied health/ welfare professionals: Are you comfortable working outside of a clinical specialisation and treatment framework? 

Most of our students from health professional backgrounds report to us that this course enhances their practice and adds much depth to their repertoire of skills. This is true of students who work in highly clinical, tertiary health services, as well as those providing primary and secondary health care services.

However, The First Touch Program was originally designed as (and continues to be) a program based on the principle that knowledge about relationships between parents and babies should belong to communities and families as much as to any professional group.

The emphasis in this training in on facilitation skills and relationship-based approaches for supporting gentle touch and other forms of parent-infant interactions in any environment.  The First Touch Program is a health promotion and education intervention which is adaptable to a wide range of situations and contexts.

However, it is important to be aware that this course does not provide training in complex infant mental health diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a treatment-focussed intervention, that addresses specific clinical problems, this course may not be suitable for your needs.

2. Are you comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds? 

Our student body is made up of people from very diverse backgrounds – ranging from PhD graduates, medical practitioners, nursing and midwifery practitioners, allied health professionals, teachers, bodywork therapists, complementary health therapists, and lay-persons. Each student on our course has a range of strengths and areas of learning they are focusing on, which may be different to yours.

Likewise, our teaching faculty is made up of professionals from a wide variety of health and human service backgrounds. They have various qualifications ranging from nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, education and teaching, and body-work. You will work with a variety of trainers throughout the course, some of whom may have very different professional backgrounds and experiences to you. However, all of our faculty have extensive experience in their background profession and in delivering the First Touch Program to families in many diverse environments. This course is most suited to people who are comfortable with learning in a cross-disciplinary environment that respects a wide variety of professional knowledge.

3.  For students intending to teach infant massage in private practice: Are you comfortable working collaboratively? 

Many people are attracted to teaching infant massage as a private practitioner, because it offers a way to work flexible hours that can fit in with other family and work commitments. We see many graduates go on to establish successful programs working for themselves, and others who struggle. Although there can be many reasons for this, one of the characteristics that our most successful graduates have in common is that they are able to work collaboratively with others in their community.

Some students come to the course with the perception that in order to build a viable practice, that they must compete ferociously with other educators and services in their area. However, we have found the opposite to be true: those who meet up and build networks with other graduates, those who get involved in and make use of the Baby in Mind resources, and those who support others typically face far fewer challenges, and are much more likely to still be practicing five years on, than those who tend to isolate themselves from the infant massage community. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that the more parents who take this program, the more parents who want to take this program. By being part of building a strong infant massage awareness in your community, the more parents are likely to seek out private classes.

This issue does not affect your training so much: but if you are intending to work in private practice after you graduate, and have no time to build your networks – or if a collaborative approach doesn’t sit with your philosophy – you may find it helpful to consider these issues before committing to the training.

What your answers mean:

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘mostly’ to these these questions:

Then it is likely this course is a good match for your needs.

If you answered ‘no’ or ‘probably not’ to these questions:

Please contact us to discuss your concerns – we’d be happy to talk through a bit more about the nature of this course and to work out whether we can effectively adapt the materials to suit your needs.

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