Being a nanny isn't a licensed profession, which means there are no specific educational requirements. A strong background packed with child care-related classes, however, can increase your appeal as a candidate and boost your salary. It can also prepare you to deal with emergencies a nanny may face. Some nanny agencies may even require classes in CPR and first aid.
Some organizations offer certification programs designed specifically for nannies. New York-based Infant and Childcare Training Academy, for example, offers courses on the basics of child care, as well as certification in CPR and first aid. Some organizations offer online courses, and SitterCycle offers a menu of online and in-person classes. Your local nanny organization may also offer training sessions throughout the year.
Choking and minor injuries are part of the everyday landscape of the nannying world. If you're not prepared to deal with an emergency, a scary situation can quickly turn tragic. Try taking infant and child CPR and first aid classes at your local Red Cross. If your charges have a pool or regularly go swimming, you'll need to ensure your swimming skills are up to par and may even want to take a class on how top be a lifeguard. Some hospitals and doctors offer childproofing classes for new parents, and these courses can give you insight into how to keep the home safe for children.
Good nannies are prepared to help children with their homework, participate in potty training, plan appropriate daily schedules and provide discipline when necessary. Courses in child development, such as developmental psychology, can help you understand how your charges' minds work. Classes such as early childhood education can help you plan appropriate educational activities. If your charges are struggling with a specific issue, consider taking courses to help you help them. For example, if a 7-year-old child has trouble learning to read, you might want to take a course on teaching elementary reading skills.
Nutrition and environment can both affect a child's long-term health and well-being, so consider taking courses in infant and child nutrition. You may also want to learn about the basics of child health so you can avoid spreading diseases and provide appropriate care for sick children. You'll also need to consider your charges' emotional health, particularly if you're working with special needs children. You may want to take a course on child psychology, special needs children or abnormal psychology in childhood.
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