Baby Hire Information Pack

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					                                                LIFE CHOICE

                            THE NEW 2006 BABY HIRE SERVICE
                                  INFORMATION PACK
This Information Pack aims to give teachers as much information as possible to make the hiring of RealCare Babies from Life Choice a
                                       successful and positive event for everyone concerned.

                                                       LIFE CHOICE LTD
                                                 Clifford House, Boradway
                                                Bebington, Wirral CH63 5ND
                                          Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818

It really is important to read the accompanying information – the more planning and preparation
you put into your Baby Hire, the better it is for everyone. But to help you, here is a very quick
reference guide to get you going!

       Make sure your students know that you will not give out the Babies if attendance is poor or
        course work / homework has not been completed. The Babies are the best tool for
        enthusing and motivating students – we promise!

       You will need AT LEAST 6 weeks to let your students prepare for their Babies. Less time
        results in neglect and damage to the Babies.

       If you can, invite the parents of your students to a demonstration of the Babies. Involved
        parents are a great support. The most expensive damage to the Babies is carried out
        by adults! Get out your parent consent forms and questionnaires out in good time –
        parents have to prepare for the weekend too.

       Agree what equipment the students will provide. The more realistic the experience, the
        better! Prams, slings, car seats, blankets etc. – they would have to get them if it were a
        real baby!

       Check on why a babysitter ID is needed and ask for a letter to confirm who will be

       Get the class to work on a Care Agreement and ask each student to sign it, promising to
        care for the Baby, keep it clean and away from harm (see example).

       If you are putting Babies into day care on Friday, make sure the students appreciate the
        costs of real nursery care in your area. Nothing is free and the students experience with
        the Babies is no different.

       Once the Babies have returned, sit down with your students and ask them what they gained
        from the experience. Get them to work on their Essay and please, remind them they have
        choices in life and that sex without contraception leads to a much more demanding
        experience than a weekend with a RealCare Baby!

Good luck!

Jane, Lesley, Tracey and Debiy

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                       Baby Hire Information Pack V5

The Life Choice Baby Hire service allows schools to give a substantial group of students a
simultaneous Parenting Class – an extended care experience with the RealCare Baby.


Once the initial decision to book a Baby Hire has been taken it is important that everyone buys into
the experience. This should include the Head Teacher, other teachers, parents and all the
students of the school – not just those students wanting to experience the Parenting Class. The
Board of Governors or Parents Association should also be involved as they may be in a position to
support or fund the project.

                            Gaining the approval and support of the Head Teacher ensures the Babies
                            will be taken seriously as a valuable tool for educating young people. One
                            effective means of communication is for the Head to introduce the scheme
                            to the whole school at assembly. A positive message thus presented
                            should cascade down, so that when students are walking around your
                            school with RealCare Babies they are not ridiculed or mocked, but treated
                            with appropriate respect. Universal support throughout the school also
                            reduces Baby abuse such as other students grabbing Baby and trying to
                            make it cry.

Parental consent has to be gained before the Parenting Class can take place, but involving parents
as much as possible in fund raising, providing baby accessories and answering questionnaires,
contributes to a shared weekend that both parent and student can benefit from.

Above all, the students who want to participate in a Parenting Class should see it as an opportunity
to explore their choices in life; we would have failed if they perceive that the message is to avoid
becoming parents indefinitely!


RealCare Baby plus accessories and outfit                £25.00 (minimum of 20 Babies)

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                        Baby Hire Information Pack V5

Contact Life Choice to arrange a date to book your Parenting Class. It may be necessary to book
3 or 4 months in advance to ensure everyone is geared up and ready.

There are two alternative time periods you can select for the Parenting Class:

        Day Care plus Weekend

        Thursday evening to Sunday morning. Because it includes a school day, this option gives
        students a better understanding of the pressures of having to be somewhere at a certain
        time, as well as coping with having to get a baby ready too.

        The students are couriered to you by Life Choice on Thursday
        and students take their Baby home on Thursday afternoon and
        care for it during the evening and night and take Baby into
        school Friday morning. A room is designated as the crèche or
        nursery and students have to book their Baby in by a certain
        time. The Day Care feature of RealCare Baby suspends the
        programme – so no care is necessary. Students should be
        encouraged to visit Baby during breaks and lunchtime.
        Students collect Baby at the end of the school day and take it
        home for the weekend. The Baby programme ends on
        Sunday morning and students have a full day and night to
        “recover”. Babies are returned to class Monday morning.

        Full Weekend Session
        Friday evening to Sunday evening. The students get their Babies on Friday and students
        take Baby on Friday afternoon and care for it during Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday,
        with the Baby programme ending at about 10.00 pm Sunday evening. Students experience
        a weekend of little or no social life and no long lie-ins in bed! Babies are returned to class
        Monday morning.

        NOTE: A Babysitter can be arranged if students have a weekend job (the sitter has a
        separate ID and cares for the Baby while student is away). However, this option should not
        be abused and it should be made clear in writing from the student beforehand why a
        Babysitter is needed and who that responsible person will be. A Babysitter ID is not
        provided for visits to doctors or dentists etc.

Agree dates and options with Parents, other teachers and students. See Parent Consent form.

Finalising the Booking

A week before the Parenting Class, confirm with Life Choice the number of Baby Sitter ID’s to be
programmed and the final number of Babies to be hired. We also need a list of names of
participating students in order for us to prepare the individual Care Reports. If you wish to specify
the ethnicity of your Babies, please let us know at this stage. Note that you will receive written
instructions on how to use Day Care.

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                       Baby Hire Information Pack V5
PREPARATION FOR THE PARENTING CLASS – very important, please read!

Prior to the Parenting Class the students need an understanding of how RealCare Baby works and
what will be required of them in terms of caring for Baby. They should be aware that they will each
receive a detailed Care Report (see Appendix) that displays the care their Baby received.

Students should be aware of the consequences for real babies of:

       Not supporting a baby’s head
       Roughly handling or shaking a baby
       Putting a baby to sleep on its tummy or its side.

Accessories – very important, please read!

All students should prepare to acquire the following accessories:

       A Baby carrier, car seat or pram, to carry Baby safely to and from school. If the student is
        taking Baby home by car, an appropriate car seat should be used.
       An extra set of clothing.
       A blanket or shawl.
       A Baby bag to carry nappies and bottle.

Student Essays

Students should be given the Post Parenting Class Essay Topics list so that they can prepare their
essays, after the Parenting Class takes place.

The issues raised in the Topics List are designed to get students to appreciate the impact a real
baby would have on their lives and to understand they have the power to achieve their aspirations.

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                       Baby Hire Information Pack V5

Abuse or Neglect

The Babies will turn themselves off it they are neglected for longer than 12 hours, or receive over
24 abuses.

Returning Babies

Students return Babies to class on Monday and the Teacher should ensure that the Babies are in
good condition and all accessories and outfits are present. This can be verified against the
inventory checklist provided when the Babies were delivered.

The Babies will be collected and Life Choice will prepare the Student Care Reports. These are
posted to the Teacher, with an accompanying letter outlining any issues for concern.

Post Baby Essay Topics / Parent Questionnaire

Following the Parenting Class, students should be encouraged to write an essay based on the
Parenting Class Essay Topics and parents should be requested to complete the Parent

Post Baby Student Discussion Group / Counselling

It is useful for the Students to be given an opportunity to talk about their experiences before they
get their Care Reports and a group discussion is a great way to get students talking. Some
students will feel they had the Baby from hell and some feel they had an easy ride. All the Babies
will have been programmed with the same schedules (although we do not let students know this).

Students views on their experience may change when they receive their Care Reports, so where a
high number of neglects have been recorded it is important that these students are given an
opportunity to talk in private. These records of abuse may simply be the result of rough little sibling
at home, but they could be the result of a frustrated student.

The last thing we want is for students to feel they would be bad parents or to scare them from
having children for the rest of their lives. Our collective aim is to get students to understand how
demanding a real baby is and to postpone having a family until they are older, more mature, more
financially secure and hopefully in a long term relationship.

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                        Baby Hire Information Pack V5

                                        PARENT CONSENT FORM

                           Sample Letter to Parents with Consent Form


                                          Sample Essay Topics

                                       PARENT QUESTIONNAIRE

                                          Sample Questionnaire

                                        STUDENT CARE REPORT

                                               Sample Report

                                                 May be copied

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818              Baby Hire Information Pack V5
Dear Parent or Guardian

Our school has introduced the Life Choice Baby Hire for students, and I hope each of you will take
full advantage of the opportunity.

The programme is designed to inform young people about the realities of parenting, and an
important element that affects you is the home Parenting Class. This involves your daughter or
son caring for a RealCare Baby over a weekend and aims, through an extended experience in a
realistic environment, to help young people understand three important facts about babies:

    1. Babies demands are unpredictable and must be met promptly

    2. Babies require a great deal of time and attention

    3. Babies change parents’ lives profoundly. The Life Choice Programme helps young adults
       explore the physical, emotional, aspirational and social consequences of parenthood.

The RealCare Baby will require care throughout the day and night. The baby’s schedule is based
on the schedule of a real baby. When Baby cries, it will be the student’s responsibility to attend to
Baby’s needs. The student responds to the cry by waving their ID over the Baby and then has to
judge what kind of care Baby needs – feeding, burping, rocking, or nappy changing.

Baby will also cry if roughly handled, held in a position it does not like, or if the head is not properly
supported. Although the Baby will disrupt your home for a few days, just as a new baby would, I
am sure you will agree the valuable lesson your daughter or son will learn far outweighs the
possible inconvenience.

It will be your daughter or son’s responsibility to keep Baby safe and cared for. You can help by
making arrangements for Baby in advance – be a coach for this event, not a player. Offer advice,
but remember your daughter or son should do the actual work of caring for the Baby. You may
wish to use the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding teenage and adult pregnancy, boyfriends
and girlfriends and relationships. All parents try to have these conversations with their children, but
sometimes the issues are difficult to broach. This is a perfect time for such discussions.

If you want your daughter/son to participate in the experience, please complete and return the
attached Consent Form.

Yours faithfully

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                          Baby Hire Information Pack V5

As a parent of guardian of a student who is participating in the Life Choice Baby Hire Programme, I
understand the following:

    The programme will require my daughter or son to be the sole caretaker of a RealCare Baby,
     whose sounds replicate those of a baby. The experience is intended to demonstrate to my son
     or daughter the full time commitment required for parenting a baby.

    The RealCare Baby will require care throughout the day and night. When the Baby cries, it will
     be the responsibility of my daughter or son to attend to the Baby’s needs.

    The Baby’s crying and need for care may cause my daughter or son to lose sleep and possibly
     disturb other family members and lack of sleep may cause drowsiness.

    I agree to reimburse the cost of any loss or damage to the RealCare Baby, and any equipment
     that is issued with it.

Having read all of the above, I agree to allow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. .

to participate in the Baby Hire.

Signed . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   Date . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .

LIFE CHOICE LTD. Tel: 0151 608 5938 Fax: 0151 608 0818                                                        Baby Hire Information Pack V5

1. What did you learn from the Parenting Class? Did it reinforce or change any of
   your opinions?

2. Caring

    2.1. How well do you consider you cared for Baby?

    2.2. Would you have cared for a real baby any better? How?

3. Realism

    3.1. How was caring for Baby a realistic experience?

    3.2. How was caring for Baby an unrealistic experience?

    3.3. Having a real baby has far more wide-ranging affects on your life than your weekend
         experience suggested. What issues do you think parents of young babies must deal
         with every day? Please list.

4. How do you think having a real baby would affect you and your family?

5. Life Choices

    5.1. What single word would best describe your feelings if you became a parent in the
         next 12 months?

    5.2. Who is responsible for making this happen or not?

6. Your Aspirations

    6.1. What would you like to achieve in your life?

    6.2. How would having a baby affect your aspirations?

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4                                10

Objectives of the Post Parenting Class Essay Topics

To reinforce the Parenting Class experience and to encourage students to think more
thoroughly about the implications of parenthood.

To gain feedback to ensure that the Parenting Class and the use of infant simulators serve a
valid purpose.

To help identify improvements that can be made to the Parenting Class experience.

Facilitator Notes

There are no right or wrong answers, but these observations are based on the findings from
numerous Parenting Classes.

      Question 2 – Care
    We recommend that students complete their essay before seeing their Care Reports (see
    Appendix IV) because some will have an optimistic view of how well they did. This is
    especially important for those who register unduly high levels of neglect or abuse
    warranting one-to-one counselling.

      Question 3 – Realism
    We recommend that the issue of realism is discussed with students prior to the Parenting
    Class as otherwise a student’s perception that it is unrealistic can invalidate the
    experience. Even then students will have misconceptions:

    Students generally have strong views about lack of realism, understandable ones such
    as eyes not closing, an unbending plastic body, no maternal (or paternal) feelings
    towards it, an over-demanding schedule, and the lack of a real baby’s interaction.

    Facts: Real babies do not interact in terms of smiling, responding etc for quite some
    time. Baby bonding takes time to develop and love for a baby is not automatic at birth.
    RealCare Baby schedules range from relatively easy to demanding, but all are the result
    of 24 hour diaries kept by parents of real babies aged 8 days to 82 days old. Students
    may also fail to realise that the Parenting Class is much easier than real life because they
    have not had to deal with many of the other demands imposed by infants, for example
    cooking family meals, changing dirty nappies, washing and drying clothes, food shopping,
    travelling on public transport with pram and bags, etc.

      Question 4 – Family
    This question is designed to make students think about the practical arrangements
    necessary when introducing a real baby into the home. Where will the new family live?
    Are there other members of the household to be considered i.e. younger or older
    members of the family? Who will provide financially for the baby? Will education
    continue? Who will provide childcare if education is to be continued?

    These questions are not unrealistic and have to be faced to allow the student to see the
    impact a new baby has on the extended family and to also understand that family support
    may not be automatically available.

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4                                   11
      Question 5 – Life Choices
    The usual response to question 5.1 on their feelings would be “horror” or similar, but the
    important response is that to 5.2 – the students must recognise that it is their personal
    responsibility to control their lives.

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4                                  12
Dear Parent or Guardian

Our school wishes to thank you for your support over the Life Choice Baby Hire for our
students, We understand how arduous the home Parenting Class can be for parents and
students, but hope that you appreciate its value and that you can further help us by
completing and returning the questionnaire below.


7. Did the Parenting Class make your daughter/son more aware of the realities of
   parenting? How?

8. Did the Parenting Class stimulate discussion over parenting and related issues?

9. If applicable. Was your assistance in funding the scheme worthwhile?

10. Should the Parenting Class be repeated, and if yes, at what age?

11. Should the Parenting Class have been at a different age, and if yes, at what age?

12. Do you have any negative views on the Parenting Class?

13. Do you have any suggestions on how the Parenting Class might be improved?

14. What do you think your daughter/son learned from the Parenting Class?

Thank you for completing this questionnaire.

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4                                13

Baby Think It Over Program
RealCare Student Report (RealCare Baby II)

Student                                Elizabeth Brown
Baby                                   012                               Caucasian Male
Scheduled Start-Stop                   13/03/05 Saturday 3 pm            18/03/05 Thursday 1 pm
Care Level                             CUSTOM                            Schedule Order 1, 5, 4, 7
Total Simulation Time                  4 days, 22 hours, 2 minutes
ID 1 Used 205 times                    ID 2 Used 0 times                 Day Care / Quiet Times 0 times

  180 Proper care of 183 requests – 98%

  Proper Care                            Missed Care                      Mishandle
  42 Proper rock                         1 Missed rock                    0 Shaken Baby
  43 Proper diaper                       0 Missed diaper                  7 Head Support
  34 Proper burp                         0 Missed burp                    0 Wrong position
  34 Proper burp                         0 Missed burp                    0 Rough Handling

  Baby cried total 88 minutes

Missed Care and Mishandle Detail
….. Saturday …..                                 ….. Wednesday …..
03.00PM Start                                    05.50 PM Head Support
08.20 PM Head Support                            09.24 PM Head Support
…..Sunday …..                                    ….. Thursday …..
03.53 PM Head Support                            01.00 PM Stop
….. Monday …..
02.00 PM Feed
02.01 PM Head Support
09.04 PM Rock
09.05 PM Head Support                           Comments: This student did well.
….. Tuesday …..
05.37 PM Head Support

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4                                                  14
I promise I will:

          take full responsibility for my Baby
          take care of my Baby and take pride in it as if
           it were real
          take my Baby and accessories with me at all
          not to leave my Baby alone or with someone
           else unless approved by my teacher
          not abuse or neglect my Baby, but to treat it
           gently and patiently
          not to tamper with the electronics, ID or
          care for my Baby well and return it with all
           accessories to my teacher

Signed ……………………

Life Choice Baby Hire Service – Information Pack V4   15