Survey about minimum standards for professional baby wearing education

Below is the start of a gigantic project that I believe is important for my field of work. I hope this page may help make it easier to recruit more participants with their diverse perspectives for this project. Thank you for your help.

Dear colleagues,

More and more people are working, whether paid or unpaid, as babywearing educators. As the field has matured, several of us who have connected through our work realized that we were having many separate conversations all over the world about ways that we as educators could better support families and each other.

Several of us were able to meet in person early this year in Chicago, where we discussed our concerns about and ideas for improving the industry. A few volunteered to begin working on pieces of a shared vision, all fully expecting that we would modify this vision as the community evolves, that others would be included at different stages to make their contributions in an organic way.

I’m asking for your input on the piece I have in my hands: drafting minimum standards for professional babywearing education.

I believe such a list would be useful on its own for several reasons. It could help distinguish anyone who shares information relating to babywearing from those who identify as professional babywearing educators, with the professionals *voluntarily* committing to practicing in alignment with these standards. The standards could help educator training programs and schools establish or refine curriculum and help even non-professional babywearing educators understand where to start if they are interested in this career field.

These standards, which I hope to present as a draft in the next few months, have the potential to interlock with and strengthen several other components. One example of a component of the vision that would connect with these standards would be an academic journal specializing in babywearing research, which in turn would help support, refine, or drastically change the standards.

I am asking for your input in a survey linked below. Once I have collected your input and used them to as a basis for the standards, I intend to formally propose the draft to our community. What I hope will happen immediately afterward, is that a few educators would voluntarily begin practicing with these standards in place, publicizing the fact that they do, and offer feedback (the collection method will be announced upon the draft’s proposal). At a next good opportunity to gather many of our industry’s thinkers and leaders, I would then present compiled feedback from these educators, a revised draft of the minimum standards, and seek to adopt that draft as the first version of what I hope will be a stable, though improvable document.

I would hope that educators would in actuality to practice to much higher standards than what may end up on this minimum standards list. In addition to describing what you think *all* professional educators should teach, I am therefore also also asking you to describe the practices and skills you believe exceptional educators would use, even though I perceive that establishing best practices will be an immensely more complicated (but still worthwhile) project.

I would appreciate your sending me your input by September 5: http://bit.ly/PracticeStandards **

If you would like to edit your submission after sending the form, you are welcome to submit another or contact me so I may amend your original submission. I will leave the survey open after September 5, but I plan to begin reviewing responses at that time.

* Thanks to Beco for hosting the survey.
** Some respondents have reported that the “Submit” button was only visible from a desktop.

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