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Infant massage information course graduates

Certification

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Infant Massage Certification

Qualification level:

This training course leads to a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education.

Registration and licencing:

Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible for registration as a Professional Member of Baby in Mind.

Parchment:

A certificate will be issued to all students who meet all course requirements. This certificate is issued by The Australian Institute of Social Relations (a division of Relationships Australia South Australia). The certificate will read “10282NAT Course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Education”.

Opportunities

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The cue-based infant massage training provided by Baby in Mind, qualifies you to teach The First Touch Program to parents.

There are many opportunities for you to use this qualification, in a variety of ways, depending on your individual circumstances.

The First Touch baby massage program is designed to be used in universal and primary prevention contexts, and can also be easily adapted by suitably qualified practitioners to meet the needs of families in secondary and tertiary health care settings.

The First Touch Program is a relationship-based intervention that takes the form of a five-session parent-baby group program.

The program fills an important gap in the availability of attachment-based, health promotion interventions that address the specific security and interaction needs of infants, as distinct from older children.

The First Touch Program pulls together key elements from attachment, health promotion, strengths-based and relationship-based theories into a coherent, simple program model that can be applied in diverse clinical, community and social settings.

The First Touch Program utilises evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies with the aim of supporting and promoting the development of healthy, secure attachment relationships between parents and infants. Activities in the First Touch Program involve a mix of infant massage, use of sensitive/ responsive touch, voice, singing, pacing, eye-gazing, movement and other interactions. These activities are structured in such a way to help parents recognise and sensitively respond to their own baby’s cues and communication, and to support optimal serve-and-return interactions.

You can teach the First Touch Program to new parents 

You can adapt the First Touch Program to teach infant massage in other settings

You can use the principles to enhance other interventions

A large number of our graduates go on to use their qualification by delivering the full, five session  First Touch Program to families. Many deliver this program in private practice, working flexible hours for themselves and offering groups open to the public.

 

Other graduates go on to deliver the First Touch Program in their place of employment (such as hospitals, parent groups, and community centres).

 

An increasing number of graduates are being approached by health and community services to deliver the full First Touch Program on a contract basis.
Some of our students are employed in specialised settings providing complex care to families with significant needs – such as NICU, mother-baby units, and mental illness treatment services. Many of our students with professional backgrounds use this training to gain an overview and a grounding in the use of high-quality cue-based infant massage education. They then go on to adapt and modify the program to the specific and complex needs of the families they support.

 

For example, some of the Child Health Nurses who do this training, adapt and include elements of the First Touch Program as part of parents groups. Some of our infant mental health specialist students use some approaches from the First Touch Program to support early interactions in the perinatal mental health and neonatal intensive care settings, alongside other interventions.
Not all of our graduates teach infant massage directly, but instead incorporate some ideas and elements from the First Touch program into the range of interventions they already use to help families.

 

For example, some of our students who are NICU Nurses use the teaching, facilitation and observation methods from the First Touch Program as part of their NIDCAP approach to supporting families in neonatal intensive care. Some of our Occupational Therapist students use the First Touch Program principles for supporting sensory-based interaction to support older children with sensory-based developmental delays.

All of these are legitimate ways in which your training with us can be used.However, it is important to note that this training course focuses on providing you with the skills you need to deliver the full First Touch Program,in its entirety, to parents with young babies. Any way in which you adapt and modify the program will depend on your experience, existing qualifications,skills, work roles, scope of practice and restrictions…and of course the needs of the babies and parents you work with.

Can I work for myself?
Yes, you can use this qualification to move into private practice. In fact, approximately 65% of our graduates go on to set up their own practice, offering the First Touch Program to families in the community. It can be extremely rewarding to work for yourself, set your own hours, and to support parents in a positive and empowering way at the same time.
Is it hard to run your own practice?
If you decide to set up your own practice, there are many rewards: including being able to work flexible hours and being able to focus on work that inspires you…and the parents you support. However, it is important to be realistic that to set up your practice, you will also need to dedicate a lot of time, attention and effort: particularly as you are starting out. Generally speaking you should allow 12 – 24 months to build up your practice, profile and reputation. You may also need to undertake activities such as learning how to manage your website, setting up your business processes, and building your networks.
How much can I charge?
If you are working in private practice, you will need to charge a fee that covers the costs of running your practice and that includes a fair living wage for yourself. We recommend that the Health Educators Award is a good guide  for how much you should “take home” from your classes after all your expenses: approximately $35 – $50 per hour.
Based on this figure, most of our educators in private practice charge between $185 – $235 per family to attend the five-session First Touch Program. 
Does Baby in Mind offer employment?
No. We are primarily a training organisation, and only occasionally deliver the First Touch Program within ourselves – usually as part of research or other funded projects. We rarely employ graduates except on these types of special projects. 
How will I find parents?
Whether you are intending to work for yourself, or deliver the First Touch Program in your place of employment, you will need to give some consideration to how to best engage parents in your program. This will depend on many factors, including the needs of the parents you support as well as the style and type of services you offer.
During your training, we introduce you to some methods you can use to begin develop your parent engagement approaches, in a way that is relevant to your individual circumstances. 
Following your training, Baby in Mind also provides additional supports such as linking parents with educators in their local area. However, our experience is that educators who invest their own time and effort into their promotional activities, have the best success in engaging parents. 
Is there much demand for parent educators to teach infant massage?
If you are looking for employment to teach the First Touch Program, rather than working in private practice, the opportunities available to you will depend on many different circumstances. While many organisations are now recognising the importance of having educators who have obtained a nationally recognised qualification, most organisations that deliver infant massage programs prefer to employ parent educators with other skills as well and who can provide a range of services (infant massage, play groups, etc).
If the opportunities for employment in your area are limited, you may like to consider providing the First Touch Program on a contract/  consultancy basis to local organisations. Baby in Mind is able to provide advice and information for graduates who are interested in this option. 
Nationally Accredited Infant Massage Training - Baby in Mind

Ongoing Costs

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What does it cost to set up an infant massage practice?

We provide detailed information about the costs of this course. This includes information about extra “out of pocket” expenses during your training.

Once you graduate, you may have some other optional costs, depending on your own goals and circumstances.

Private Practice/ Business Costs

If you want to teach infant massage in private practice, you will be pleased to know that getting started will not take a large investment.  Many services and supports you will need can be easily obtained. You can expand on these as your practice grows.

However, you will still have a range of up-front costs to set up your infant massage practice. You will need to factor in these costs when setting your program fees.

As a bare minimum you will need to purchase insurance suitable to your business needs, and to purchase supplies/ stock for your classes. These do not need to be excessive costs: many people are able to start-up their practice with a budget ranging from $500 – $1,000.

In setting up private practice, you will also need to consider how to begin engaging parents in your classes – there are many effective free and low-cost advertising options.

Depending on your budget and circumstances, and as your practice grows, you may choose to also consider things like:

  • Setting up a website
  • Designing a logo
  • Other promotional and networking activities
  • Software or programs that you want to use in managing your practice
  • Costs of any professional services that you might want to use – such as accounting services.

Of course, these are just general ideas to consider.

Before starting any business, we encourage you to do your own research. You might also like to seek professional advice about your own situation.

Ongoing Registration

After graduating, most of our students elect to stay on as Professional Members of Baby in Mind.

However, there is no obligation for you to remain a member of Baby in Mind once you graduate. If you do not wish to have an ongoing affiliation with Baby in Mind you are still able to go on to teach infant massage independently, with a sound, well-recognised, accredited qualification behind you.

If you elect to take out Professional Membership with Baby in Mind you will be able to:

  • continue to deliver the “First Touch Program” in your work.
  • use the Baby in Mind trademarks/ logos indicating your professional affiliation with the organisation.
  • be publicly listed as a registered as a certified infant massage educator
  • and, depending on your level of membership, access the range of supports available to members.

The cost of registration with Baby in Mind ranges from $150 to $205 per year, depending on the membership package that you select. There are a range of payment options available. These include casual monthly memberships, and discounts for 2-year memberships. If you work in private practice, you need to factor this cost into the fees you charge parents. Many educators who work in paid employment have their membership costs met by their employer.

Infant Massage Continuing Professional Development

All professional members of Baby in Mind are required to do 20 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities per year.

Your CPD activities can include workshops and courses. They can also be self-directed activities and projects, or a combination.

Most members who already have CPD requirements (e.g. as nurses, midwives or massage therapists) will find that their existing CPD activities also meet the requirements for Infant Massage Educators with Baby in Mind – and do not need to undertake any extra CPD.

There are a many free and low-cost professional development options. This means that, regardless of your circumstances, your costs in this area should be minimal.

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