Since organising your data at the turn of this year, we encountered the opportunity to use the new booking mechanisms to solidify our responsible approach to Privacy practices, tax disclosures as a community group and to address the compliance requirements around teaching Yoga to children.
So what does the law say about Kids Yoga? What are the requirements of teachers and organisers working in this space? And what should you know as a parent, in terms of the safeguards required by Yoga schools to protect minors?
Child Protection Laws in Australia:
There is an extensive list of Australian child protection legislation, that is constantly being updated, however the most prevalent of laws protecting our children at Yoga events is the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA) ("WWC Act").
Anyone who is a minor or works for organisations who work with minors are captured by the Child Protection laws, and the law defines a minor as anyone under the age of 18 years of age. Mandatory registration of your Yoga Teacher/officers of organisations and anyone that children are exposed to during events must take place and those names are published on the Working With Children ("WWC") register, following police clearance of the person. The law gives parents the ability to check without creating a fuss, by either searching the register online or by requesting to see the Yoga Teacher's WWC card, which should be on display if the organisation promotes child protection initiatives.
To secure venue premises and comply with responsible risk management at Yoga classes, organisations will need Public Liability ("PL") insurance to insure it's participants from general incidents that can occur from gathering with a public group. A Yoga school and its teachers will all have a PL and Professional Indemnity insurance, which is where the remainder of limitations for Yoga businesses lie, as a separate (more expensive) Children's Yoga insurance policy must be purchased by both teachers and the organiser, in addition to the usual, adult policy, if the organiser or teacher wants to be fully compliant and covered in the event of a claim. With insurance, if everything is not done properly, a policy is immediately void and participants are at risk of not getting the financial support they may need in the unlikely instance of a debilitating injury.
Children Specific Yoga Training and the submission of evidence to support adequate qualification arise because of Insurance companies, as the Yoga industry remains unregulated by government. The scrutiny of the authenticity of Yoga training providers, by insurance companies has increased significantly over the last 12 months in relation to new applications to buy Yoga Teacher insurance and this is a mechanism that acts in your interest as a participant to make sure your teachers and Yoga school are adequately qualified and have the policies and procedures in place for an insurance company to back them.
You may be surprised to hear of the backlash from Yogis about the non-authority of bodies that Police the yoga industry. With all that political perspective aside, insurance companies heavily recognise the validation of Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia, as these professional bodies require members to jump through hoops and throw a contentious amount of money acquiring their globally recognised certification marks and accreditation. Professional Bodies will guide members to continue with compulsory professional development and mentoring for the area they teach in, including Children's Yoga and un-doubtably create barriers that inexperienced Yoga teachers or wellness charlaton cannot overcome.
MAIN POINTS PARENT'S SHOULD KNOW
1) If a minor is at a Yoga event, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or be with a guardian that has been approved to attend the event with the minor, by way of a letter of consent, issued to the organiser, by the minors legal guardian. Minors cannot just attend adult events and organisers should know who their patrons are and be checking that minors are protected and not vulnerable in their interactions with adults. This is achieved by the compulsory signing of a registration form and waiver by each adult that attends our events. Minor details and consent letters can be included and uploaded to our registration form.