Personality-wise, nannies should be individuals with a strong love of children and the desire to watch them grow and thrive in a nurturing environment to be successful caregivers.
Becoming an in-home childcare professional is not a difficult task. Nannies should be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Candidates for in-home child-care jobs should be up to date on all of their necessary immunizations and be trained in first aid and CPR. Many families will hire nannies based on experience and won’t necessarily require them to have any additional education. Families that hire based on experience only often feel that experience raising and caring for children is worth just as much as a diploma.
The INA offers an examination online for nannies. This exam, when passed, provides nannies with certification proving they know the necessary information about nutrition, childcare, child safety, development, and other concepts a childcare provider should know to do their job correctly.
The INA exam is available to any person who has worked at least 2,000 hours as a nanny. This equals out to a year of full-time work in the field. When the exam is passed, it shows that successful test takers are aware of the basic concepts behind caring for a child properly. This certification looks great to families and childcare agencies.
If a nanny-in-training is looking to work through a staffing company or an agency to place them in homes that need nannies, more work needs to be done. Staffing companies and agencies only hire certified nannies. Fortunately that process isn’t too strenuous to those who have the drive to complete the necessary steps.
Early childhood education degrees are the ideal choice of education for nannies. These degree programs are filled with useful information about how children thrive and develop with proper early childhood care. Even an associate’s degree in early childhood education can be enough to skyrocket a career for nannies. Early childhood education degrees are especially useful if a nanny-to-be has an interest in working with children that have special needs.
Workshops and lectures that focus on the development of children, as well as parenting classes, are other useful resources that nannies can put on their resumes. The more practical childcare know-how, the better the resume will appeal to agencies and families looking to hire in-home childcare professionals.
The Council for Professional Recognition offers a program called the Child Development Associate program. This tests a candidate’s overall knowledge of childcare and their abilities as a childcare professional. In order to pass the program, a person must have advanced knowledge about nurturing creativity in children, child safety, health knowledge, and communicating effectively with children. Many areas of North America require childcare professionals to have this certification.