Childcare Worker Certifications
There are many ways to gain an extra edge when applying for a nanny or au pair position with a family. While entering nanny or au pair school is one way, there are other ways to gain nanny certification that do not require the time commitment of a full time program.
What is Nanny Certification?
Despite the popularity of nanny and au pairs, there is not one standard certification that all nannies or au pairs “need” to have in order to gain employment. However, there are a few certifications that could be beneficial, particularly for those who have a fair amount of experience and want to make it officially recognized.
The United States Department of Labor offers multiple certifications for child care workers. These are not exclusively for nannies, but can be applied to any job that is responsible for children who are younger than school age. These include the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation from the Council for Professional Recognition and the National Child Care Association, respectively. Both credentials require some experience, and may also require college course work.
One of the most popular of these is the International Nanny Association Nanny Credential Exam. To take exam, a nanny must have at least 2,000 hours of nanny experience and answer 90 multiple choice questions. The exam can be taken online, but only with a proctor present. More information is available on the International Nanny Association website. Look into distance learning as an overall option for certifications.
In addition, most agencies will recognize any teaching or Early Childhood Education Credentials (ECE) as support or experience in lieu of formal nanny certification as well.
While most agencies and families will look favorably on these certifications, there are very few who actually require them. Additionally, as a nanny starting out, it will be difficult to obtain credentials right away without the requisite experience. However, if you have worked with children in a day care setting and are looking to add to your resume, you can contact the Department of Labor or the International Nanny Association to find out more about how to sign up for certification classes and testing.