Babyem, a company that provides childcare courses for parents and professionals, began quietly in a village hall in Balham, South London, with just six people. Now it is a leading provider of maternity nurse training in the UK and internationally, running multiple courses every weekend in a large Kensington Hotel.
The organisation works mostly in the private nanny and childminding sector offering bespoke and accredited training in childcare and babycare. Now five years old, it was set up by Emma Dewey, an early years childcare specialist and trainer with. a wealth of experience in writing accredited training programmes in areas such as childcare and mental health. The core training team includes sleep experts, lactation consultants and cognitive behavioural therapists and nutritionists. In addition, there are over 30 assessors, verifiers and course developers.
“Over the last few years it’s been quite a transition, but it does show there is a demand out there for our work. Agencies can be quite caring towards the nannies and childminders they place in families. But even so, you’re on your own when you go into a family, so this provides them with a skillset to empower them and make them feel more confident,” explains Emma.
Babyem gets 80 people through its courses a month, 40 of them taking OCN London awards. The courses are mostly bespoke, covering areas such as postnatal maternity nurse care, sleep training, food and nutrition, breastfeeding skills and first aid.
Emma Dewey explains why she chose OCN as their awarding organisation. “They have a reputation for caring for their clients and I found them very easy to deal with. They are a lovely friendly, flexible, team, “ said Emma. “Having our courses accredited also adds credibility.
It means we’re seen as a serious business, which is important as the nanny industry is unregulated. Parents want to feel confident that their child carers know what they’re doing and that we are providing good quality training. Accreditation enhances our reputation considerably and may well be why we’ve been such a success.”
Although Babyem gets some referrals from JobCentrePlus most of its clients are privately financed. The market it caters to is mainly private child carers working in London which can include nannies, childminders, au pairs, maternity nurses and healthcare professionals. The training is specifically geared towards childcare, but participants on the courses also learn about family dynamics and relationships. “Within each of our courses is an element about how to work with families and understand relationships and family dynamics,” says Emma. “That’s why our training can be such a confidence boost to nannies and child carers working in private homes where there is no HR department and no colleagues. Our courses offer chances for feedback, networking and sharing good practice. By gaining confidence and developing skills our learners become more employable. That’s another reason why an accredited qualification at the end from OCN is so vital to our work.”
Babyem hopes to deliver training abroad in the future and will be exploring accreditation for this with OCN London.