My name is Sarah Hanford, founder of Sarah's LA. I am a certified Educator of Infant Massage, accredited by the International Association of Infant Massage.
For the past 10 years, working with children and families has been my passion and career.
I was born and raised in England, where I trained as an Early Years Specialist at Nottingham Trent University. Throughout my study, I took the opportunity to work and volunteer with children in various settings:
Working as the primary coordinator for a family camp in California, with children aged 2 - 12.
Volunteering in orphanages, child centers and day care centers in Morocco as well as assisting with a feeding project for homeless children.
Substitute teaching in British public schools, working with children aged 2 - 11.
Teaching at special needs schools.
Professional nanny for newborns and toddlers.
After graduating, I moved to London with my husband and worked as the Early Years Coordinator at a public elementary school. There, I taught children with widely varying economic backgrounds and multiple languages... in one year having FIFTEEN different first languages in one class!
In 2015, I moved to Los Angeles. In addition to spending time with my husband and fluffy Aussie-shepherd baby, Cinderella, I work as a full-time preschool teacher. My teaching philosophy centers around play, nurturing the whole child, inclusive settings, social and emotional development.
My love for working with infants grew exponentially when I volunteered to help care for a close friend's newborn. Baby Alma changed my life and inspired my passion for child and parent bonding. Through the power of contact and consistent time together, my connection with her bloomed. I sang to Alma and read her stories, spending hours on the floor playing. Bath time became part of our daily schedule and I would apply lotion afterwards, inadvertently "massaging" her, with the hope that she would sleep for her parents and soothe her constipation.
That's when I had a light bulb moment and realized that there has to be an actual 'technique' to massaging babies. Over the next few weeks, I spent hours pouring over the benefits of infant massage and its history. Naturally, I found the International Association of Infant Massage and immediately booked a course to become a certified educator. Alma helped inspire me and I thank both her and her wonderful parents for that.
Now, I am a fully qualified Infant Massage Educator with the I.A.I.M., as well as American Red Cross Pediatric CPR and CBRF First Aid certified.
I have always loved the nurturing side of teaching and connecting with families on a personal level, and am excited to share that magic with you.