13 Nanny Certifications You Can Earn to Advance Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in a career in childcare, earning certifications can help you highlight your skills and improve your abilities as a nanny. Families may look for individuals with specific credentials, so earning a relevant certification may contribute to your professional development and earning capacity. Understanding the training programs that are available can help you find one that suits your interests and applies to the age group with whom you want to work.

In this article, we review what nanny certifications are and provide a list of 13 examples with brief descriptions for you to review and consider.

What are nanny certifications?

Nanny certifications are designations professionals can obtain by completing training programs that allow them to develop their professional skills and improve upon areas of expertise. While some programs allow you to teach children new skills, others are important for ensuring their safety and well-being. Nannies and childcare professionals may pursue certification to distinguish themselves from others in their field and improve their capabilities so they can effectively care for a wider range of babies and children. These credentials can help professionals highlight their commitment to professional development and illustrate that they take their role seriously.

Related: Finding Nanny Jobs (Plus How To Become One)

13 examples of nanny certifications

Depending on the children you plan to care for and your interests, there are a variety of role-related certifications you can earn. Here's a list of 13 nanny certifications for you to consider:

1. Newborn care certification

If you're interested in caring for infants and newborns, there are a variety of skills you can develop and possess to prepare for this responsibility. Since they have different requirements than toddlers and older children, enrolling in a newborn and infant care certification course may help you understand this role and the job duties it involves. The Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA) offers a variety of classes you can take, allowing you to become a certified Newborn Care Specialist (NCS).

2. Water-safety certification

Enrolling in a lifeguarding course and earning a water-safety certification may be especially important if you live and work near the ocean or other large body of water, or if the family that employs you has a pool. These skills can help you ensure the safety of the children you care for and allow you to participate in a wider range of activities. Consider enrolling in Aquatics & Water Safety Certification Programs administered by the American Red Cross, or another program that helps you develop water safety skills.

3. First aid and CPR

Adding the completion of a first aid and CPR program to your resume can help you highlight your commitment to safety and show families you're prepared to care for their children in the event of an emergency. If you want to care for babies, you can also complete certification in infant CPR. Many families may consider these to be essential skills for childcare providers, so earning these credentials may be an important aspect of your professional development.

Related: 10 Must-Have Nannying Resume Skills (With an Example Resume)

4. Professional nanny and childcare provider certification

There are a variety of nanny schools where you can enroll in a program to become a certified Professional Nanny and Childcare Provider (PNCP). Although families may not require this credential, it can help you develop your professional competencies and highlight your commitment to your career. If you earn PNCP certification from the US Nanny Association, the program requires you to complete professional training, pass an exam, provide proof of significant work experience and pass a background check. This means this designation shows families you're experienced and capable.

5. Foreign language certifications

Families may look for a bilingual childcare professional who can provide their children with linguistic skills and exposure to multiple languages. This means earning a foreign language certification as a nanny can help you distinguish yourself from other professionals and highlight the unique value you can bring to the role. You can complete foreign language classes at a community college or enroll in an online language program to validate and improve upon your knowledge.

Related: How To Become a Nanny in 7 Steps

6. Youth fitness specialist certification

Parents may look for a nanny who has a fundamental understanding of fitness and exercise so they're able to instill positive habits in the children they care for and provide them with valuable lifelong skills. The American Fitness Professionals and Associates organization offers a program nannies can complete that allows them to become a Certified Youth Fitness Specialist. The completion of a health and fitness certification program can help professionals learn about strategies for promoting healthy activity in children and games they can play to encourage exercise and movement.

7. Children's nutritionist certification

Nannies may complete a children's nutritionist certification program to learn more about providing children with a balanced diet and the importance of nutritious meals. These certifications can also make you a more competitive candidate and show families you can provide their children with the level of care they want. Consider enrolling in a cooking and nutrition course at a local community college or health food store to earn these credentials and hone your culinary skills.

8. Connection centered discipline certification

As a nanny, disciplining the children you care for may be an integral aspect of your role, so consider pursuing a positive discipline certification. Consider a designation such as the Connection Centered Discipline Nanny Certification, offered online by NannyU. This type of program can help you learn about positive and respectful caregiving approaches. It can also allow you to develop the strategies required to deescalate children's reactive behavior and provide them with helpful emotional coping tools and solutions.

Related: Skills for Working With Children: Definition and Examples

9. Early childhood education certification

You can develop your professional skills by learning more about childhood development and enrolling in an early childhood education certification program. Consider reviewing information from the National Association for the Education of Young Children to identify programs in your area that offer accredited childhood education certifications. You can also review courses and certificates offered by community colleges in your area.

10. Babysitting and childcare certification

The American Red Cross offers an online course where you can receive a digital certification in babysitting and childcare. This credential is valid for two years and allows you to show parents and families that you're able to provide adequate care for their children. Earning this certification may also allow you to earn a higher hourly pay or salary because it validates your skills and distinguishes you from other professionals in your field.

Related: Babysitter vs. Nanny: 4 Key Differences

11. Special needs care certification

If you plan on providing care for children with special needs, it's important to familiarize yourself with the tasks and responsibilities this role may require. You can receive this training by pursuing a special needs care certification through a childcare training organization or in a workshop from a local college. They can give you access to the need-specific information you may require, and additional details that can help you care for a child with special needs adequately.

12. Nanny basic skills assessment

The International Nanny Association (INA) allows professionals in this field to validate their credentials by completing a Nanny Basic Skills Assessment. Parents may also ask these individuals to complete this exam before hiring a childcare professional to ensure that they have the knowledge and abilities required for this role. It can help families feel confident in a nanny's skills and allow childcare professionals to illustrate their expertise.

13. Basic, intermediate and advanced childcare programs

If you're interested in developing your skills, you can enroll in a basic, intermediate or advanced childcare program from the U.S. Nanny Institute. These courses build upon each other, allowing you to improve your competencies and grow your role-related knowledge. This training can help you highlight you take your position seriously and that you're committed to professional development throughout your career.

Please note that none of the companies or certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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