You have to pay an application fee and then yearly leader dues. I began the process and have decided not to continue because it's just too much right now with two kids (though many leaders balance it very well). I also didn't like the idea of paying to volunteer for a group.
I was very lucky to start my leadership training when Medela had a grant. I was awarded all my materials, application fee and membership for the year for free.
This is just an idea but can you ask the group to help pay for your application, borrow their books and when accreditation nears and its obvious you are in it for the long haul they can pay for your books? The books really do cost the most! I know there is a huge need for leaders here and offering financial help may be just the thing to entice more leaders. Heck, it cant hurt to ask right?!
I'm in the process of becoming a leader and my understanding is that leader dues are the same as member dues. I pay my member dues so all that will change when I become a leader is the name of my dues.
also another suggestion is to see if your group will be buying new books for the LLL library soon. If they are buying a certain amount they get a big discount and you could possibly add your books to their order and get the discount also. Also you could probally borrow the pamphlet set from your leaders.
I just finished my LLL Leader accredidation. there was an application fee.... maybe around $30. Then there was the cost of books and phamphlets, I think around $50...books you would want to have for consuling mothers. The books are at a discount over if you tried to buy them otherwise. The rest of the required reading I borrowed from my LLL library. Then I just paid my leader dues, which was $40. the regular member dues are $36, and the leader membership includes subscriptions to 2 "magazines". I think the $40 is for the 1st year only, then it is less.
Honestly, if this is really what you want to do, you can probably find ways to figure out the financial part... either through personal money management or some of the ideas previously posted.
For me, the time that it took was more "prescious". I spent countless hours reading, reading, reading. I also spent a lot of time "writing essays" and taking oral test questions. Of course, this a topic that I am passionate about, so it was very interesting too. And LLL says that "your family comes first", so you can budget your time as your situation warrants.
So, my advice to you in making this decision would be to not look at your watch/calendar or your checkbook, but see if you have it in your heart!!!
I believe the Medela Grants pop up once in a while. Our local Breastfeeding Coalition has funded at least one LA. Sometimes groups will do it as well. I wonder if a business, such as a diaper service, baby store, etc., would be willing to sponser somebody?
There are usually "scholarships" availible if you need them. Talk to your local leader(you'll need a recomendation from her anyway) and you can also speak to the area coordinator. My group has a set of books availible to leader applicants for their use so the only fee a leader applicant has to pay is the application fee which I think is under $20.
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