The lack of regulation in the industry of Parenting Experts has, for some time, greatly concerned me. For this reason, I propose creating the Australian Association of Professional Parenting Experts (AAPPE). Professional accreditation to the AAPPE would require passing the Parenting Expert Standard Test (the “P.E.S.T.” for short).
Implementation of this framework would mean that next time a perfect stranger (or, for that matter, a close friend or family member) provides an unsolicited critique of your life as a parent, simply ask to see evidence of their P.E.S.T. accreditation before taking any advice. Rogue Parenting Experts can cause great harm and should be completely ignored.
So that we can ensure that these P.E.S.T.s are qualified to advise you on absolutely every minor aspect of your daily life as a parent (pregnancy, breastfeeding, sleep, teething, illness, nutrition, weight loss, hair, make up, clothing, child care, child development, well being and mental health, your personal relationships, your house, driving skills, child safety etc…) I propose that we require, at minimum, a total of sixteen years training and experience, consisting of the following*:
Child health and nutrition
- Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Health Nursing (1 year) – to ensure Parental Experts are at least as qualified as the local Maternal Child and Health Nurse. Of course, the pre-requisites need to be completed first: Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery (4 years) and one year of practical experience in each of general nursing and midwifery (2 years).
Child care and development
- Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (4 years)
- Specialised child psychology studies, eg. Graduate Diploma in Psychology (1 year)
- Art and craft short courses (total of 20 hours minimum)
- Graduate Certificate in Event Management (for the all-important birthday parties) (6 months)
- Certificate IV in Small Business Management (8 weeks)
- Certificate III in Commercial Arts (Interior Decoration) (6 months)
- Defensive Driving Course (8 hours)
Marriage & other relationship maintenance
- Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (2 years)
- Certificate IV in Fitness (14 weeks)
- Diploma of Specialist Make-up Services (6 months)
- Certified Weightloss Consultant course (4 weeks)
- Certificate IV in Hairdressing (21 weeks)
Normally at least 4 years of experience, but we will accept the 12-month intensive option as follows:
- 8,760 hours of consecutive care (that’s one year, 24/7 care) of four children: a newborn, a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 3-year old. Because all children are more or less the same (aren’t they?), this will provide adequate practical experience in all stages of child development from birth – 4 years.
* (Please note this is the P.E.S.T.(preschool) only, the P.E.S.T (primary school) and P.E.S.T. (teenagers) are currently under development).