Most people start their careers with some sort of specific formal education, be it from a university or a trade school. Nannies, on the other hand, come from different educational backgrounds. Some nannies get degrees in early childhood education, some in nursing, while others just simply start to nanny. At some point in a childcare providers career, it is likely that they will want to pursue ways to continue their education, and in turn, become better nannies. This is where people often get perplexed. Open up any university course catalog, and you will find no “nanny” degree program or course of study. Do a quick Google search for “Nanny School,” and you get 93.8 million results in .7 seconds (wow, okay.) It can be challenging to find adequate educational resources for nannies in a world of online, non-traditional learning. Family First has come together and compiled a list of 10 educational classes, certifications, and resources nannies can utilize to further their careers and resumes.

1. CPR/First Aid Certification

As a childcare provider, CPR and First Aid certification are a must have. This is the most common certification for nannies, and it is likely the most important. It is crucial to know how to handle a life threatening situation in a timely and appropriate manner. The Red Cross has many available options for learning CPR and earning your certification. Offering traditional, in-person classes, online classes, and blended classes (some online, some in person,) the Red Cross is a good choice for those whose schedules may not allow for a traditional classroom setting. The American Heart Association also offers CPR and First Aid certification courses in the classroom, and well as online. Prices for both The Red Cross and The American Heart Association courses are dependent on your area and what type of learning style you chose.

TIP: Make sure to stay current on your CPR/ First Aid certification. It expires every two years!

2. INA Exams

The International Nanny Association website offers extraordinary resources for nannies, from Recommended Practices for Nannies to nanny pay and tax help. The INA offers two exams for nannies, The Nanny Basic Skills Assessment, and the Nanny Credential Exam. The basic skills assessment is a multiple choice, 40 question, timed test “developed to assess a nanny’s basic child care knowledge.” The test covers basic child care topics such as health, professionalism, and safety. You must make a 70% or higher to pass the test and receive your certificate of completion. The INA Nanny Credential exam is more intense. It is a 100 multiple choice and 1 essay question exam that must be proctored either virtually or in person. It is recommended that a person taking the exam have 2000 hours of in-home care experience, and they must be current on their First Aid and CPR. The International Nanny Association offers an Exam Prep powerpoint for those looking to take the creditalized exam. If the exam is passed, the nanny will be considered an INA Credentialed Nanny. The cost of the Nanny Basic Skills Assessment is $25, and the cost for the Nanny Credential Exam is $100, with a discount given to International Nanny Association members.

TIP: Being a member of the International Nanny Association is beneficial to any nanny as they offer excellent resources, conferences, and mentor programs. For more information, click here.

3. INA Conference

The International Nanny Association hosts a professional conference every year. When you attend an INA Conference, you are surrounded by professionals that are experts in their childcare related field. Nannies, Nanny Agencies, Household Payroll companies, Newborn Care Specialists… The list goes on. During the conference, you attend workshops given by knowledgeable professionals. INA Annual Conferences are also a wonderful place to network, meet agencies, and possibly be interviewed for potential jobs. These conferences are held in different locations every year and people from all over the world attend. The INA offers a Facebook group for attendees, as well as a conference guide to assist first-timers in navigating workshops and activities.

TIP: International Nanny Association 2020 Conference will be held in Quebec! Registration opens November 1st, 2019.

4. Nanny U

NannyU is an online nanny learning community headed by Lora Brawley, a leading expert in the nanny industry. Lora offers interactive courses for nannies in Connection Centered Discipline, Becoming a Top Notch Family Assistant, and Professional Nanny Training. To assist your nanny family in cohesive discipline styles, the Connection Centered Discipline course is also open to parents. Lessons for these courses are given through instructional videos. Extra course support is available in the form of private Facebook groups, podcasts, and live Q&A’s. All courses are available 24/7 and can be done on your own time, and at your own pace (hello, nap time!) The family assistant and discipline courses offer rolling enrollment, meaning you can enroll anytime throughout the year. Materials for both of these courses are available to you for a lifetime. The Professional Nanny Training class has specific registration times, and only runs for 16 weeks. In every lesson, you are given a “password.” At the end of the session, you are asked to turn in all the “passwords” as proof that the course has been completed, and the certificate has been earned. All three Nanny U courses are $295, but can be purchased separately.

TIP: Keep an eye out on Lora Brawley’s Facebook page “Nanny Care Hub.” Sometimes she will have sales for her courses!

5. Nanny Training

Nanny Training, run by Michelle LaRowe, International Nanny Associations “Nanny of the Year” for 2004, offers an affordable Nanny Certificate Class. The Nanny Training Course consists of 13 units, covering topics from nutrition to literacy development, and everything in between. Each unit starts with an introductory video, included resources, and ends with a quiz. You are permitted to take a quiz as many times as needed, but can only take the final exam once, and must score 75% or higher to earn your certificate. This course is entirely online, and can be completed around any schedule. The cost of this course is $69.

6. Conscious Discipline Training

Conscious Discipline has become a leading child educating method. Backed by 20 years of research, Conscious Discipline focuses on safety, connection, and problem solving. The 10-week online course includes topics that cover social-emotional learning, discipline, and the brain-state model. Registration for the course is $379. Included in your registration costs is access to video sessions, a printable workbook, and more! TIP: Interested in learning more about Conscious Discipline? Click here to view the downloadable brochure.

7. Wilderness Medicine and First Aid- National Whitewater Center

This course is perfect for the adventurous nanny. Enjoy taking your kiddos on hikes? Love to travel with your nanny family? Adding this class to your “toolbelt” will help you feel more prepared for the unexpected, and help your charges parents feel more comfortable with their little ones in your care. This is a two day, 16 hour course that focuses on the basic first aid skills needed in the wilderness. You must be current on adult CPR and AED to take this course. If you are lacking this certification, a course can be given at the end of Day 1 for an additional $25. The cost for this certification is $150, and it is good for two years. This specific course is local to Charlotte, North Carolina.

8. InterNational Nanny Training Day

If you are a nanny in a major metropolitan city, it is likely that you have heard of InterNational Nanny Training Day. iNNTD is a day, usually in the spring, when agencies and nannies all over the world hold a local training day for nannies in their communities. The training day often consist of related workshops, handouts, giveaways, and open discussions with other nannies attending. Some leading experts will have webinar iNNTD workshops and events, as to include every nanny in a day of professional development. Family First, has had the privilege of being a co-host of iNNTD with The Nanny Joynt located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s always such a blast!

TIP: Reach out to your local agencies to find out about InterNational Nanny Training Day events near you, or check here to find events by your state/city from Nannypalooza!

9. Amslee Institute

The Amslee Institute was founded in 2017. There is one big factor that sets this institute apart from other online certification courses: Amslee is licensed by the United States Department of Education. Program standards were developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Amslee Institute offers four different programs that must be completed in order, starting with the “Basic Childcare Diploma” and ending with “Professional Childcare Program.” These programs are designed to grow with you and your career. As you advance through the online courses, different prerequisites are required, the hours to complete become longer, and the cost of tuition gets higher. The Amslee Institute offers two scholarship programs, one given in the spring, and another in the fall.

TIP: Amslee offers a free course on work agreements to those unsure if Amslee is right for them!

10. Local Events

The best and easiest way to gain access to professional development courses and resources is to reach out to your local agencies. Many agencies host events and trainings of their own. These trainings are often open to nannies in the area, even if you have never been placed through that agency before. Family First recently hosted a Professionalism 101 event, alongside North State Photography and Pink Studio! During this event, nannies were able to talk one-on-one with agency owner Leigh Aberle concerning their resumes, and how we can bring more professional expectations into the nanny industry. When not talking with Leigh, nannies had the opportunity to get their makeup done, followed by a professional headshot taken to add to their resumes. To check out photos from that event click here. You can also follow up with your local Chiropractic office, Doula’s, Lactation Consultants and Birthing Centers. Many of them often have free or discounted classes!