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Is Kids Life Coaching accredited?

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2022

When I first started coaching children full-time in 2005, I had left my career as a teacher in a reputable private school to pursue my passion of being a children's change maker. I had just completed my Honours Degree in Psychology of Education and I was lecturing Bachelor of Education (teaching) students part-time. 

At the time, I didn't officially call myself a Kids Life Coach. 


Well for 3 reasons:

1. The field was relatively unknown and I preferred to position myself as a well-educated academic and not a certified life coach because of the stigma associated with life coaching.

2. I came from a counsellling background and I was using a hybrid blend of therapy and skills training to support children who were struggling with a variety of everyday life challenges.

3. I wasn't trained as an accredited life coach since when I explored this option, there were no training providers specializing in children. 

In 2009, when I started first training professionals to use my system to support children, I was aware that we were coaching but...I preferred to position our steadily growing team of kids life coaches as life skills trainers. Whilst I knew that there was an undeniable need for life coaching to take centre stage, I wasn't ready to step into a minefield of unregulated and disputed practice.

I saw life coaching as an adult industry centered around adult approaches. The more research I did, the more I saw how different life coaching for children versus life coaching for adults was. In fact, there was absolutely no formal evidence that coaching for children was even a 'thing'.

Fast track to today...2022...and life coaching for children has become a popular buzz word. As the founder of the Kids Life Coach Academy, my organisation is leading the way to regulating Kids Life Coaching as a reputable and respected profession.  In a largely unregulated industry, we have taken the self-directed route of setting our own high standards. Whilst there are some coaching federations that offer accreditation, they do not really understand the psychology of childhood and how this relates to the unique niche of life coaching for children. The training providers that they accredit in the kids life coaching space, have completed a tick box exercise to earn continuing Coach education credits. Easy to do....and largely anybody can do it. 

This is why our organization has chosen to go the opposite route. Rather than choosing to put an accreditation logo on our website that acts as window dressing, we have taken the academic route for verification and we offer fully certified and accredited Diplomas in Kids Life Coaching instead!

This didn't happen overnight. I have worked tirelessly to educate myself in various methodologies that are backed by research. With a Bachelor of Education Degree, a Honours Degree in Psychology of Education, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Child Psychology, I found that there was an intersect between neuroscience and psychology that needed to be bridged when it came to coaching children.

I realized that despite the stigma attached to coaching children, the methods I was teaching doctors, psychologists, teachers, school principals, social workers, adult life coaches to use...


I officially realized in 2014, that I needed to stand strong and proudly announce the launch of The Kids Life Coach Academy school. My organization The Kids Life Studio®, launched this school in response to the demand we were seeing for quality training that allowed professionals to pivot their careers into coaching children.  We were no longer shy about calling ourselves Kids Life Coaches...we were proudly embracing the fact that our track record of success, our commitment and dedication as well as our intentions, were testimony to the fact that we were reputable and being recognized by the right people and organizations. 

Play Based Coaching® is my system that has been recognized by child development expertspsychiatrists, the secretary-general of the commonwealth, the head of social care England and other reputable leaders in the child mental health field. 

Despite this recognition, we understand that it is our measurable results that are our biggest asset. With both quantitative (statistics) and qualitative (lived experiences) data backing our approach, we take great pride in our global network of certified Kids Life Coaches working towards sustainable long-term results. 

As an honorary fellow of the global policy institute at Queen Mary University London and a fellow of the Advance Higher Education Sector, I am committed to excellence in the training we offer at The Kids Life Coach Academy. 

Where I live in the United Kingdom, Fellowship is usually awarded to professionals who can demonstrate they meet the criteria of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. As a Fellow, I have officially demonstrated (call this an accreditation for want of a simpler term) that I am able to engage with a broad understanding of effective approaches to learning and teaching that supports a key contribution to high-quality student learning. To gain this fellowship, I had to submit an extensive portfolio of evidence and demonstrate:

  • successful engagement across five areas of activity;
  • appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects of core knowledge;
  • a commitment to professional values;
  • successful engagement through appropriate teaching practices;
  • successful incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within the above activities, as part of an integrated approach to academic practice;
  • successful engagement in continuing professional development in relation to teaching, learning, assessment and where appropriate, related professional practices.

So when people ask me if our Kids Life Coach Training programme is accredited...I never really know how to answer. Because...well yes it is....but it isn't? Also...we don't feel we should need to justify our approach since we have a long-standing track record and anybody who does their homework properly can verify this. 

Our training has been independently peer-reviewed and we have been cited in a narrative review in the Journal for Social Psychiatry on the topic of family resilience. Whilst we don't yet have rigorous randomized controlled trial studies to verify our efficacy, we meet the stringent standards as a higher education provider. In fact, professionals who have completed our training have termed it a "micro Masters Degree." Our students take a minimum of 6 - 18 months to complete our levels of graded training that progressively move from theory to practice. Unlike some "accredited providers", we don't believe in quick-fixes, and in our opinion, a weekend course or a two-week online programme isn't sufficient to ethically coach children as a career. 

I would say where we fall that we aren't that great at marketing ourselves! We love our results to speak for us. However, we have realized that in an age where 'whoever speaks loudest online' wins recognition...we needed to share who we are and what sets us apart which is how this blog arose. 

So I suppose this is a pertinent time to share a public Linkedin review written for me (blush)....

“Zelna Lauwrens is a remarkable global leader. She is deeply committed to the plight of children and young people living with multiple adversity and disadvantages. Courageous, driven and considered and scholarly in all her interactions, she is tackling stigma and structural violence – creating a global community of youth coaches to empower young people and promote their resilience and agency. I hope we continue to work together for many years to come. She is a brilliant public speaker and currently supporting a QMUL-Oxford GCRF programme in Haryana and Nairobi on family resilience, in local partners. 

Kamaldeep Bhui, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford

If you have read this far...I want to say thank you for allowing me to share my views. This means that you are serious about accreditation! I respect that! I know that our approach of ongoing professional development and being held accountable for high standards and implementing child safeguarding procedures isn't for everybody.

As a voting member of the World Federation of Mental Health, I lead our global team of certified Kids Life Coaches towards a commitment to:

  • The prevention of mental and emotional disorders;
  • The proper treatment and care of such disorders;
  • And the promotion of mental health.

Some people want to go the easy route and use an accreditation badge to verify that they are "certified" because they may not have the time or patience to commit to the work. Others, like our current students and our global network of Kids life Studio® coaches, believe in being lifelong learners. They are not satisfied with mediocre standards when it comes to coaching children. They want to be the best at what they do and they strive to do that!


With all of this being said, I now proudly call myself a Kids Life Coach because I believe we have led a good race in uplifting the standards in this profession. Whilst there are many 'new kids on the block' offering kids life coach certifications, our organization stands proud that we have the longest track record of verification and we are being noticed where it counts! 


So if box-ticking accreditation is important to you...then maybe our organization isn't suitable for you. But....if you want to be supported, mentored, and involved in ongoing supervision and earn a properly accredited Diploma in Kids Life Coaching...then fill in a Statement of Interest form! We would love to hear from you if you are prepared to go the extra mile and really put in the work that children deserve when you are coaching them!

Wishing you all the success you deserve in whatever route you wish to follow!

Regards with zeal,


Kids Life Studio® & Kids Life Coach Academy Founder



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