Becoming a certified parenting class instructor can be an incredibly rewarding career path. As a parenting teacher, you have the opportunity to positively impact families and support parents as they navigate raising children.
This guide will walk you step-by-step through the process of gaining the proper credentials to teach parenting courses. From choosing the right certification program to marketing yourself as an instructor, we’ll cover everything you need to launch your career as a certified parenting teacher. Let’s get started!
Choosing a Parenting Instructor Certification Program
Research Different Certification Options
The first step is researching the main parenting instructor certification programs. Here are some of the most popular ones to consider:
- Effective Parenting Instructor Certification – This program offered through the Gordon Training Institute provides training on teaching the Effective Parenting curriculum. It has different levels like basic, advanced, and master instructor certifications.
- Parent Coaching Certification – Certification programs like the one from the International Coaching Federation focus specifically on parent coaching skills.
- Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) Provider Training – Becoming a Triple P provider allows you to teach this popular positive parenting course.
- Parent Education Instructor Training – Some community colleges and family service agencies offer their own certification programs.
- Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential – The CDA is a recognized credential in early childhood education.
Compare Prerequisites and Costs
Pay attention to the prerequisites and costs of each program. For instance, the Triple P provider training requires a professional background working with parents and families. The CDA may require some early childhood education coursework before enrolling. Costs range greatly too, from $300-$3000+ depending on the depth of the training.
Look for Accredited Programs
Go with certified parenting instructor programs that are accredited and nationally recognized. This ensures you’ll receive high-quality training that meets industry standards. Some things to look for are accreditation from:
- Council for Professional Recognition
- International Coach Federation
- Triple P America
- Gordon Training International
Enroll in Your Chosen Parenting Instructor Certification Program
Once you’ve selected the right certification option for your goals and budget, it’s time to enroll!
Complete Any Prerequisites
Make sure you’ve completed any prerequisite coursework or experience required before the instructor training begins. For instance, taking child development classes may be a prerequisite for a CDA credential.
Register and Pay for the Program
Then register and pay the fees for your parenting instructor certification program. Many offer flexible options like online, in-person and self-paced courses.
Study the Material Thoroughly
Immerse yourself in the material and properly prepare for any tests or evaluations. Highlight key concepts you’ll need to teach parenting students later.
Earn Your Parenting Instructor Certificate
Finally, complete all the requirements of the program successfully to earn your official parenting instructor certificate! This certificate proves you’re qualified to teach parenting skills to others.
Develop Your Parenting Curriculum
Now that you’re certified, it’s time to start developing your own parenting course curriculum.
Decide on a Core Focus
What will the objective of your parenting course be? Some examples are:
- Positive discipline strategies
- Co-parenting after divorce
- Building self-esteem in children
- Parenting toddlers effectively
Choose a core focus that matches your strengths, interests and parenting instructor certification.
Craft a Course Outline
Map out how you’ll structure the class from start to finish. Make sure to include:
- Introduction to course objectives
- Key principles and theories related to the topic
- Specific parenting techniques to cover
- Ways parents can implement what they learned at home
- Q&A sessions and discussions
Break it down into 6-10 weekly lessons or modules.
Develop Lessons and Activities
For each lesson, create engaging materials like:
- PowerPoint presentations
- Handouts and worksheets
- Interactive discussions and role plays
- Video clips and guest speaker sessions
Pull Together Resources
Compile a list of resources like books, articles, websites and more that you’ll recommend parents to continue learning. This supports your position as a trusted expert.
Gain Experience Teaching Your Parenting Course
Before launching your parenting instruction business, it’s important to gain some experience actually teaching your course.
Offer a Free Preview Class
Consider hosting a 1-2 hour free preview class in your community. This allows you to practice presenting your curriculum and get feedback from parents.
Teach Sample Classes at Local Organizations
Reach out to places like churches, schools, youth centers, etc. and offer to teach a 2-3 week parenting course for free. This is an excellent way to try out your full curriculum.
Get Feedback from Participants
Ask the parents in your classes to fill out anonymous surveys about what they found most useful, where you could improve, if they’d pay to take a full class with you, etc. Use this to make your course even better.
Build Your Confidence
The more you practice teaching your material to real parents, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become as a parenting instructor. This experience is invaluable.
Earn Continuing Education Credits
It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest parenting strategies and trends.
Look Into Ongoing CE Requirements
Some instructor certifications require a certain number of continuing education credits each year to maintain active status. Be sure to stay current on any CE requirements.
Complete Additional Training
Seek out seminars, conferences, webinars and classes that allow you to earn CE credits and further develop your skills. For example, take a course on mindful parenting techniques.
Expand Your Knowledge
Read parenting books and blogs, listen to podcasts, join professional organizations and more. Diversify your knowledge so you can provide better instruction.
Specialize in New Areas
Earning certificates in additional areas like positive discipline, preventing technology addiction, teaching STEM skills etc. will make you stand out.
Create a Business Plan
Now it’s time to build a business plan so you can start your professional parenting instruction career.
Define Your Target Audience
Who needs your services most? Some examples are:
- New parents
- Parents of toddlers/preschoolers
- Single parents
- Divorced co-parents
- Foster/adoptive parents
Cater your business approach directly to your ideal students.
Set Pricing for Courses
Determine reasonable rates for your classes based on:
- How much similar instructors in your area charge
- What you need to earn to make this a sustainable business
- How receptive your target audience is likely to be about prices
Consider offering bundled packages, discounts for multiple children, scholarships etc.
Pick the Right Location
Decide whether you’ll rent classroom space, teach online, or come to families’ homes. Each option has different costs and benefits to weigh.
Market Yourself Strategically
Promote your classes through platforms like social media, community bulletin boards, parenting blogs and on your own website. Pass out flyers and business cards everywhere you can.
Project Your Income and Expenses
Using your pricing, estimate how many students you’ll need monthly to cover costs and make an income after startup expenses. Revise your business plan as you go to improve profitability.
Apply for Small Business Loans or Grants
Funding your new parenting instruction business can require significant startup costs.
Seek Small Business Financing
Explore small business loans or grants from banks, credit unions and online lenders like Kabbage and Fundbox. Have a solid business plan ready to improve your chances of approval.
Use Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards like those from Capital One and Chase can provide flexible financing as you launch your parenting instruction company. Make sure to pay balances promptly though.
Crowdfund Your Expenses
Create a compelling crowdfunding campaign through a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo explaining your business goals. Reach out to everyone you know to invest in your idea.
Join the SBA Women’s Business Center
If you’re a female entrepreneur, tap into advice and support including possibly grants and loans through the SBA Women’s Business Center.
Apply for Small Business Grants
Check databases like Grants.gov and your state/local government for small business grants you qualify for as an educator and woman/minority if applicable. Every little bit helps get started!
Create Your Brand Identity
You’ll need to develop a professional brand identity for your new parenting instruction business.
Choose an Easy-to-Remember Teaching Name
Come up with a catchy yet simple name or do business under your own name. For example, Sarah’s Parenting Academy or Johnson Family Coaching.
Design a Logo
Create a memorable logo that communicates your brand. Some affordable online services are Looka, DesignHill and LogoMaker.
Pick Brand Colors and Fonts
Select 1-3 brand colors and consistent fonts that represent your image and style. Stick to this palette on all your materials like your website, course handouts etc.
Order Business Cards and Stationery
Print professionally designed business cards, letterhead, invoices etc. featuring your logo and brand look. Vistaprint is very affordable option for this.
Create a Website
Your website will be most parents’ first impression of your business. Use templates on Squarespace or Wix to build an attractive, conversion-focused site easily.
Set Up Your Teaching Space
You’ll need to create a positive learning environment to teach your parenting classes in.
Rent Classroom Space
Look into renting space at churches, schools, community centers, daycare facilities or shared office spaces. Negotiate the best rate possible.
Furnish Your Room Professionally
Outfit your teaching space with a whiteboard or projector screen, tables and chairs, toys for kids and decorative elements like plants. Amazon, Ikea and thrift stores can help furnish on a budget.
Display Your Certificate and Reviews Visibly
Showing your credentials and rave reviews builds immediate trust and credibility with parents.
Prepare Engaging Visual Aids
Place posters and other visuals around the room that emphasize your core teaching principles. Rotate them seasonally.
Set Up a Welcoming Waiting Area
Have a waiting area with chairs, books and toys so parents and kids feel comfortable before and after class. Offer coffee and snacks if possible.
Schedule Convenient Class Times
Offer morning, afternoon, evening and weekend time slots to fit parents’ busy schedules. On-demand online classes provide flexibility too.
Market Your Parenting Instruction Services
Now it’s time to spread the word so parents start signing up for your amazing classes!
Create Social Media Accounts
Build a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Post updates, share parent tips, and run Facebook ads.
Distribute Flyers and Brochures
Blanket your target area with eye-catching flyers. Mail postcard brochures with class details. Offer discounts for referrals.
Guest Blog for Parenting Sites
Relevant websites will often allow reputable instructors to contribute blog posts with a bio and link back to your site.
Partner with Local Organizations
Offer to teach free workshops or give talks at libraries, schools, clinics etc. Have signups for your paid classes.
Send Press Releases to Media Outlets
Let local newspapers, magazines, TV stations and radio shows know about your classes through press releases. Offer yourself as an expert source.
Ask Satisfied Graduates for Reviews
As parents complete your classes, ask if they would be willing to write Google and Facebook reviews so you can showcase testimonials.
Develop Your Teaching Skills Over Time
Becoming an truly exceptional parenting instructor takes commitment to continuously improving.
Watch Recordings of Your Classes
Review videos of yourself teaching to observe strengths and areas for improvement. Are you connecting well with students? Is the pace engaging?
Regularly Ask for Feedback
Check in with participants about what they found helpful or confusing. Ask for constructive criticism so you can address any weaknesses.
No matter how frustrated a parent or child gets, stay cool, compassionate and solution-focused. Your reactions teach by example.
Improve Your Public Speaking
Take public speaking, improv or storytelling classes to gain confidence and learn to command an audience.
Expand Your Toolkit
Collect fun new activities, icebreakers and tools to enhance your lessons over time. Subscribe to parenting educator newsletters and Pinterest for ideas.
Consider Further Certifications
Eventually you may want to expand your expertise by gaining additional parenting instructor certifications. Offer an even wider array of classes.
Maintain Your Passion
As you grow your career as a parenting class instructor, stay focused on the joy and meaning this work brings.
Connect With Your Students
Focus on building caring relationships, trust and community with the parents and families in your classes. Make a difference through understanding and guidance.
Remember Your Motivation
When you face challenges, recall the reason you wanted to teach parenting skills in the first place. Your passion will carry you forward.
Continue Your Education
Never stop learning, growing and adding to your breadth of knowledge as an instructor. Seek inspiration from thought leaders.
Find Supportive Community
Connect with fellow parenting professionals so you can share ideas, get advice and feel energized by a community who understands this meaningful work.
Make Time for Self-Care
Don’t get burned out. Make sure to practice self-care so you can be fully present, patient and compassionate teaching families.
Becoming a certified parenting class instructor allows you to positively influence children’s lives by equipping parents with essential skills. While it takes dedication and hard work to build a successful parenting instruction business, it’s incredibly rewarding to support families through teaching. Hopefully this guide provided a helpful roadmap to get started with the certification process and launching your classes. Just remember that the most important keys to effective parenting education are compassion, understanding, patience and a genuine desire to help. By maintaining this motivation, your contributions as an instructor have the power to uplift parents and kids for years to come.