Sarah Watkins started Parentskool in January 2011 with zero finance, two children under 2, no experience of running a not-for-profit and a burning desire to make a difference. Five years on and the Parentskool experience had been shared with hundreds of mothers and fathers to be, from all walks of life, from many backgrounds and socio-economically diverse groups. The course was uniquely quality assured by the University of Brighton’s recognising educational quality and we were the first (and one of only two) antenatal courses in the country to have the Department of Health devised CANparent quality mark, in line with government policy.
2016 saw a new CEO, Kerry Fox, and in 2017, Parentskool was given a new name, BABIES: Birth And Baby Information, Education, Support to reflect the additional services and courses that will be provided in addition to our flagship course. What remains the same is that BABIES is a social enterprise, a new breed of organisation that does business for good, that puts people before profits, but is sustainable and must make a profit to be able to help more people.
Our model is simple. We offer fantastic value, quality assured, accredited, evidence-based, practical and FUN antenatal classes and courses which people are very happy to pay for. With the money we make, we put on the same fantastic antenatal courses for free, to those who want or need them, but cannot afford to pay. You can read more about our dreams later on.
How are we going to change the world of antenatal education? With a plan. A good one, one which we developed with the assistance of the Department for Business & Innovations Growth Accelerator scheme for high growth businesses. We hope to reach many more parents in the future and are currently working with various children’s centres around the country to be able to provide free or subsidised places on our courses.
Our vision is for every parent to be informed, prepared and confident in their ability to care for their baby. Our mission is to provide realistic, fun and confidence-building antenatal courses, and other products and services, that support our vision to inform and prepare parents-to-be, resulting in more confident, healthier and happier parents and babies. We have specific social-impact targets and values to help ensure we follow our mission in a careful and ethical way.
BABIES/Parentskool is an award-winning organisation. Our most recent accolades are winning the Cloud Start-up story award and the HUB Westminster Impact Den pitch. Read more about our awards.