“Today’s nanny is an educated professional with a working knowledge and genuine
love for children.” – Michelle R. LaRowe, 2004 INA Nanny of the Year
Since being hired for a job in child care today takes much more than what it did
in previous generations, these tips and techniques will help you discover what education,
experience and support you'll need to land the nanny job of your dreams.
What is a nanny?
A nanny is a child care specialist. A nanny’s workplace is in a family’s private
home and his/her job is providing one-on-one attention and the best possible care
for the family’s children. The work may be full-time or part-time, and the nanny
may or may not live with the family. The nanny’s role is to provide support to the
family by serving as a loving, nurturing and trustworthy companion to the children.
A nanny tends to have special child care skills and a deep love and understanding
of children. A nanny offers the family convenient, high quality care to meet each
child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs.
A nanny is responsible for the complete care of their employer’s children. Duties
include tending to each child’s basic physical needs, meal planning and preparation,
laundry and clothing care, organization of play activities and outings, providing
behavioral guidelines and disciplining when appropriate, intellectual stimulation,
language activities and provide transportation when required. Housekeeping responsibilities
are child related. A nanny must be able to communicate well with both children and
parents. Depending on the individual family, the nanny may be treated as an employee,
a cherished friend or as a member of the family. – The International Nanny Association
Professional Organizations for In-Home Childcare Providers
Holding membership in professional organizations is the best way to stay current
on what’s happening in your field. Holding membership gives you a competitive edge
by being an active, informed member of your profession. The professional organizations
below provide unique opportunities for nanny specific education, networking, support,
as well as personal and professional development. By belonging you have the opportunity
to have your voice heard and to be part of the professional advancement of the nanny
International Nanny Association
The National Association
of Nannies The National Association
for the Education of Young Children
Local Nanny Organizations
in the US
US Nanny Training
The following programs provide training to meet the demands of working as today’s
professional nanny. Because there is no standardized testing or licensing required
to work as a nanny, each program may have their own unique curriculum. The American
Council of Nanny Schools is responsible for accrediting organizations
and universities which teach child care skills for the purpose of becoming an in-home
child care provider.
Nanny Training Schools
American College of Early Childhood
760 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
English Nanny and Governess
Ms. Amy E. Wooden
Director of Admissions
440-247-0371 or 800-507-8242
Nanny and Childcare Academy
3301 Hocking Parkway
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
Middlesex Community College
Childcare Specialist/Nanny Certificate Program
Nancy Tyler Higgins, Ph.D.
Bedford House, Room 105
781-280-3563 or 978-656-3183
Montcalm Community College
Nanny Certificate Program
2800 College Drive
Sidney, Michigan 48821
Northwest Nannies Institute
11830 SW Kerr Parkway #100
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
Southeast Community College
Early Childhood Education program
8800 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68520
1-800-642-4075, ext. 2603
Professional Nanny Program
3101 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205
Professional Nanny Certificate Program
Lou Ann Lindsey
1002 N. First Street
Vincennes, IN 47591
Nanny Training Programs
Online / Self Study Nanny Training
Annual Nanny Conferences
Many of today’s professional with jobs in child care attend workshops designed for
parents and / or professionals who work with children. Local hospitals, non-profit
educational organizations and institutions that offer continuing educational credits
for teachers and other professionals often welcome nannies to participate.
Although there is no current universal certification for nannies, the following
certifications are available to nannies. Many of today’s professional nannies take
pride in having passed voluntary examinations and have professionally benefited
from holding the certifications.
Association Nanny Credential Exam is offered to nannies that have a minimum
of 2000 hours of documented professional child care experience and current CPR/First
Certified Professional Nanny (CPN) Credentials offered by charter schools of the
American Council of Nanny Schools.
Recommended Reading for In-Home Childcare Providers
So You Want to Be a Nanny?
- FAQS for those looking into becoming a nanny
US Department of Labor Nanny Classification
Association Salary Survey
in the Nanny Industry
The Professional Nanny by Monica Bassett
The Good Nanny Book by P.Michele Raffin
Mrs. Starkey’s Nanny Manager by Starkey International
Nanny Essentials by Angela Rheingans
Nanny Textbook by Anne Merchant
Child Development Books
Visit the International
Nanny Associations Educational Resource page that provides a comprehensive
list of books that are geared specifically for those working with children in the
123 Magic by Thomas Phelan
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber
The What to Expect Series
Recommended Practices for In-Home Childcare Providers
To promote quality childcare and an environment for all children that nurtures their
well-being, the International Nanny Association has developed recommended
practices for in-home childcare providers.
Recommended Practices for Nanny Placement Agencies
To promote quality childcare and an environment for all children that nurtures their
well-being, the International
Nanny Association has developed recommended practices for nanny placement
Tips for Utilizing On-line Nanny Classifieds and Internet Based Matching Services
With the convenience of the internet, many of today’s nannies are turning to online
nanny classifieds and internet matching sites that have replaced the newspaper “childcare
help wanted” sections of yesterday to find nanny jobs.
Many internet matching websites, free online bulletin boards and for fee searchable
databases have been created to connect potential employers with nannies that are
searching for positions.
However convenient, there are risks associated with using these services. By using
these virtual services, you are replacing the “human” service component. You loose
the middle man that helps you walk through the placement process, ensure that ethical
practices are being followed, and the support of an agency if the placement doesn’t
go as expected. You are also putting yourself in a situation where the potential
employers have never been met, spoken to, or even verified as actual potential nanny
If you do decide to do an internet based job search, consider using a site, like
NannyJobs.com that provides the convenience of internet searching with the reliability
of using a reputable nanny placement agency. NannyJobs.com provides a forum for
reputable placement agencies to advertise their listing positions on a national
level. If a nanny is interested, an application is completed and forwarded directly
to the agency, where the standard interviews, background searches and reference
checking takes place.
Useful Tools for Nannies
The following tools are available to help nannies present themselves as a professional
to potential employers, maintain a professional relationship with their employers
and to equip them with the tools to maintain a high level of professionalism on
Creating a Nanny Portfolio
There is nothing like a first impression. Your professional portfolio is just that
to potential employers. A well thought out, eye pleasing portfolio is a reflection
of your professionalism. Here's a 'How to' on developing a completed portfolio:
An introduction letter is an autobiographical letter – a letter written by you,
about you. It should give an overview into who you are and how you came to be. Sharing
information such as your family background, educational experience, work experience,
childcare philosophies, hobbies and interests help potential employers get to know
you. The letter should also include details about the position you are seeking and
the type of role you wish to play. For example, “I am looking for a position where
I can be a full charge nanny, helping to shape the physical, social and emotional
development of the children in my care.”
A resume is a one (or at most two) page summary of your education, skills, accomplishments,
and experience. It is usually written in conscience bulleted format outlining “the
facts.” A quick internet search for “resume template” will give you tons of samples
to browse through so that you can create one that expresses your personal style.
Your work experience section should include the name and contact information for
each previous employer, a description of your role and responsibilities and the
reason for leaving the position.
Your educational background should include your high school and college information.
- Professional Affiliations
This section should list the names of any professional organizations that you hold
membership in. Joining local nanny organizations is a great way to start building
this section of your portfolio.
Letters of reference can include both personal and professional. Two of each is
a nice balance. Professional references could come from past employers, placement
agents, industry leaders, members of your local nanny group, people that have observed
you working with your charges (such as the kids teachers) or other nannies.
Any and all volunteer work should be included.
- Awards and Certifications
This section highlights any awards received or certifications that you hold. Industry
related awards, include receiving your National Association of Nannies service award
pin, Nanny of the Year Award, or special recognition from others, such as your local
nanny community. Certifications include any special credentials that you hold, such
as certified life guard, or INA Credentialed Nanny, as well as being CPR and First
- Nanny Specific Education / Training
Included in this category is a list, accompanied by certificates, from any nanny
related workshops or conference that you have attended, any exams that you have
passed, or any training programs that you have participated in. Parenting classes
could also be listed under this category.
- Publications and Presentations
Any nanny related articles that you have authored or any workshops or seminars that
you have presented should be included here.
Having a few photos of you with your charges and you in action, give the portfolio
a personal touch. If you scrapbook, photo copy in color, your favorite page and
include it here.
Maybe you have some other qualities or experiences that truly make you stand out.
Maybe you have a cherished collection of cards from former employers, or notes from
former charges. These can all be incorporated into the portfolio.
Sample Nanny/Employer Work Agreement
All nannies should have a nanny/employer work agreement in place. Having a written
understanding of the details of the job ensure that both parties are in agreement
of what their expectations are. Having an agreement also gives you something concrete
to go back to when issues, such as which holidays are paid holidays, come up.
The following link contains a great article on the importance of work agreements
between employers and nannies and provides a wonderful sample agreement, at no cost.
The International Nanny
Association also offers a comprehensive work agreement that can be purchased
from their website.
Sample Authorization for Medical Treatment Form
Every nanny should always carry a copy of an up to date, completed authorization
to treat a minor form. One should also be in the car and in the diaper bag. This
form will allow for treatment of a minor child if the parents can not be reached
Sample Daily Journal
A daily journal, or log book is a great on the job tool. It allows nannies to keep
a running record of the day’s events and to record anything that may have happened
out of the ordinary. It allows you to record meals, temperament, development notes,
questions to ask mom and a place to record when and where the day to day bumps and
You can use a regular note book and keep your log journal style, or you can purchase
specialty nanny journals, such as the one online at www.thefamilyrocks.com
Reporting Suspected Abuse
Nannies are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse. For information related
to child abuse and to learn more about filing a report visit National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect.