Models for Childbirth Educators: Independent {Part 3 of 4} – Plumtree Baby

Models for Childbirth Educators: Independent {Part 3 of 4}

An educator is self-employed and teaches classes in her home or in a rental location.

Certification and Requirements: You build your expertise and reputation when you go through training and become certified through a reputable organization. It is not technically required for an independent childbirth educator, but often parents ask about your credentials.

Resources and Curriculum: Some certifying programs have specific curriculum that their educators are required to use, while others offer an unlimited range of options or provide no guidance at all. Ultimately, it is the independent educator’s sole responsibility to decide what curriculum to use. Other materials such as a birth ball, visual aids, videos and presentations are completely the responsibility of the educator, including purchasing, maintenance and storage.

Location: Classes often take place in the educator’s home or a rented space. If classes are held in the home, class size may be limited if the space is not large. The educator has to do additional work to make sure the class space is clean and organized and make arrangements her family during class. For locations outside of the home, the space may not be set up for classes and the educator will likely be responsible for bringing and/or setting up all resources (chairs, video player, birth balls, etc).

Schedule: The independent educator is completely in charge of establishing the schedule for classes.

Marketing: Marketing classes and recruiting students is entirely the educator’s responsibility, although some certifying organizations provide assistance in this area and/or offer an online directory listing.

Clientele: The goals and needs of students that sign up for an independent childbirth class may depend on the scope of the class. A general “prepared childbirth” class may bring in a wider range than a more specific focus such as “natural childbirth.” The independent educator can decide what she would like to teach and market accordingly to attract her ideal clientele.

Income: All of the income from classes stays with the educator and typically the fees for independent childbirth classes are higher than in the hospital. Income may vary depending on class size (i.e., if charging per couple, a class with 3 couples will not be as lucrative as a class with 8 couples). The educator is solely responsible to keep track of income and expenses for tax purposes. Depending on how much income is made, she may have a large tax payment every year. Essentially, the independent educator is not just teaching, but also running a business as manager and owner. 

Expenses: All expenses are the responsibility of the educator, including the rental space, materials, the cost of certification/training, marketing supplies, etc. Many of these expenses can be written off as business expenses but the educator must keep very careful and detailed records.

Management: Management is completely in the hands of the independent educator.

Flexibility: The independent childbirth educator has a very high degree of flexibility.

Stability: May vary widely and may depend on the amount of effort the educator puts into marketing and business growth.

In summary, independent educators have the most flexibility and income potential with this options, but also take on a lot of the additional work to market, prepare for and teach classes. 

Up next, Part 4: Teaching Private Courses.

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Julie Olson

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