Higher Education Commands Higher Nanny Wages

Nanny Training
By Anne Merchant, Author The Child Care Textbook 

Further education is a win-win scenario for childcare providers, parents, and children.

Research confirms what we all intuitively understand: that superior training and education results in nannies that provide superior childcare.

It is estimated that in 12 million households both parents work full-time. This fact has caused a shortage of qualified early childhood caregivers.

Research confirms that the education level achieved by a caregiver has a direct and positive impact on America’s future economic strength. A high level of education and training is what differentiates a professional nanny from a long-term, full-time babysitter.

The highly educated nanny is rewarded by commanding a higher wage and better benefits. The children benefit by blossoming in a safe and secure environment. Parents benefit from a well-educated nanny because they have peace-of-mind and pleasure as their children prosper from proper care. A highly trained and educated nanny is a win-win-win scenario.

Sub-standard childcare seems to have become the norm rather than the exception. Research shows that custodial care (care that merely keeps children safe, warm, and fed) is sub-standard care that does not consistently include planned age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate social, physical, cognitive, and psychological care.

The demands of career has forced many parents to accept the easiest, not the best, choice of caregiver. The low pay at daycare centers leads to frequent turnover. Au pairs are often hired sight unseen and are often lack childcare training or experience. Many nannies are hired from advertisements online or in newspapers without proper screening, leading to sub-standard childcare.

Sub-standard childcare is not limited to the economically disadvantaged. Many children born into wealthy families do not succeed as well as children from underprivileged families. Sub-standard care is directly related to the lack of caregiver education. Early childhood education is cited in all recent research as being an essential factor in quality child care.

For example, the 1994 Carnegie Task Force report, Starting Points: Meeting the Needs of our Youngest Children states, “Research shows that [childcare] training is an effective strategy for improving quality, particularly if training initiatives are linked to career development, with trainees receiving credit towards associate and bachelors degrees.”

Therefore, it is in the best interest of nannies to be able to provide quality care by continually growing personally and professionally by attending nanny training and early childhood education courses and programs.

Children cared for by educated caregivers have better language skills, score higher in school readiness tests, have better social skills, fewer behavioral problems, and are more likely to become literate, gainfully employed, and enrolled in college, (Reynolds, Temple, Robertson, and Mann).

Gone are the days when experts believed that all infants and toddlers needed was someone to nurture them. As important as it is to cuddle and love children, if children are to grow to their full potential they must also receive developmentally appropriate cognitive, social, physical, and emotional stimulation.

There are nanny training programs in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, India and other countries. Generally nanny training programs include courses about child development, nutrition, health and safety, discipline, and supervised time working with children. There are a large number of certificate, associate, and bachelor degree courses in early childhood education in county colleges, vocational schools, and private colleges throughout the United States. There are also graduate programs in child development available for nannies who have already earned their bachelor degree.

Ask nanny training and early childhood education programs the same questions:
1. What specific courses does the nanny program curriculum include?
2. Is the program accredited by a federally approved accrediting body?
3. What are the costs?
4. What are the admission requirements?
5. Are credits transferable to another school or program?

If you work as a nanny have you acquired a higher education degree? What are your thoughts on the topic?


  1. EXCELLENT POINTS! This is truly the best article I have ever read on the topic of why childcare workers should continue education. So many nannies do not understand the importance. Plus this article proves why parents need to hire caregivers with most experience and or education. An education does make a difference!!Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this important information. Seriously the best article ever!Maria Lopez Miami FL

  2. I am constantly perplexed that the education system neglects the complex interactions of parenting and childcare and marriage. It is as mindless as expecting math to be learned intuitively.

  3. What I am confused about is why so many angry nannies have posted over the past week against Absolute Best Care's new training program. Doesn't this article in itself prove that any training for nannies be helpful?I agree with the fact that college credits are important to use on a resume though. I understand that parents are less likely to care about a certificate gained at a workshop or convention or conference. They want to see transcripts from a community or state or private college having earned at least a AA or BA or BS. If you want to gain college credits then I really doubt any nanny training program provided outside of an university would be transferable. But each student must ask questions that are important to them, before unloading tons of cash for a simple handmade certificate. But if you aren't looking for college credits than I think the training could be useful.Damn, even this article above proves why training is necessary. Do most nannies even know if they are providing more than basic care? Do they know that keeping kids warm, fed, clothed isn't enough?Why dish out $4,000 if not college credits that can be transfered is a valid question but criticizing the school itself is not important. Any training and learning is helpful! We continue to grow our entire lives.

  4. To answer your question: yes I do have a Bachelor's degree and it definitely affects how much money I make of $70K+ per year. But things change. We all have to continue to learn because child rearing philosophy changes constantly. Does not hurt to read books on your own too. We do not need to spend huge amounts to continue to learn. An evening course on child development at a community college does not cost much at all and the credits are transferable.Thanks for this awesome explanation of why educated and experienced nannies are the best choice for childcare!Tonya, Harrisburg PA

  5. From the INA nanny training programs: generally include classroom courses in child development, nutrition, family dynamics, safety, play activities, first aid and CPR, and may also involve interaction with young children under instructor supervision. These classes vary in length, extent of training and cost. For example, in Great Britain, home of the "classic nanny," training consists of 2,200 classroom and practicum hours over a two-year period. At the end of training, the British nanny takes a national examination to be certified as a nursery nurse.

  6. ChildCare Education Institute is committed to providing relevant and up-to date online coursework that enriches early childhood professionals and the care provided to children.October 5 – 9, 2009 is Step Up for Kids Week, a nationwide event focused on bringing attention to the care and education of America's children. In honor of this event, CCEI is giving child care staff access to its professional development library at no cost*. (Promotion ends October 9, 2009 and applies to professional development courses only. Students with current, individual professional development subscriptions are not eligible. Courses are limited to 6 per day.)Help spread the word on this to all the nanny groups, blogs, etc.It's a great educational career development opportunity for us nannies.CCEI's online professional development library includes over 100 courses, covering topics such as: Child Development, Classroom Management, Curriculum, Guidance and Discipline, Health and Safety, and other topics pertinent to the child care industry. Each completed one hour course is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU and may articulate to college credit. Students can print their certificates of completion immediately following course completion."Step Up for Kids Week is an opportunity for CCEI to recognize and reward early childhood professionals, teachers, center directors and staff for the valuable role they play in the development of children. We hope educators will use this opportunity for continuing education to enhance their knowledge base, which enhances the quality of care given to children," said Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO.Take advantage of this great opportunity to experience the benefits of online learning and gain valuable knowledge about early childhood education. To enroll, visit http://www.cceionline.com and select 'Click Here for Current Promotions' for detailed instructions on registering for the Step Up for Kids Week Promotion.

  7. It is like you are writing what I have always wanted to say but was not eloquent enough to explain why trained and experienced nannies are the greatest investment for parents can afford them! If you can afford to attend courses great. If not, there are still ways to learn for free. Go to the library and visit websites. There is plenty of knowledge to learn about always when caring for children, their parents and their home!Sarah P., Silver Spring MD

  8. Can Absolute Best Care program answer these questions? What are Starkey's answers?What is the average length of your programs? What percent of your students graduate? Do you have internship programs? Will I have an advisor to help me with scheduling and program-related questions? How difficult is it to get the class schedule I need? Do you offer tutoring services if I need them? When is your enrollment deadline? What type of financial aid is available to me? Do you have a financial aid application deadline? Are there scholarships available through the college? What is the total cost of my program including books, fees, and tuition? How many students are enrolled at your college? What is the average class size? How big is the largest class? Do you have student organizations and activities? What type of career placement assistance do you offer? Will you help me find a part-time job while I attend school? What is your placement rate?

  9. How many nannies have even heard of the term "custodial care" before reading this article? Doubt many and that is why we need more training programs. This article is a better explanation than any I have ever read for nannies. We are overlooked in America as domestic help. Wake up parents, if you want a qualified caregiver it might require a degree and some $ to get better than sub-standard care! Newborn SpecialistKristin in Chicago

  10. There are certainly hundreds of wonderful caregivers that are uneducated and make super nannies. No doubt of that. Most that I know are hired due to their mothering experience. They learned by experience and often experience is most important in finding a great nanny.But, then there are the hundreds that are uneducated and unwilling to learn.I have a terrible example. The other household staff told me that the nanny I replaced used to leave the child sitting on the potty FOR HOURS demanding she poop! This is from the other staff members that told me, I never saw it happen of course. The staff says the nanny I replaced made the girl sit crying on the potty until she would go poopy no matter how long it took and they said she sat crying for 3 hours once.See, I can understand the experienced mother and nanny thought this might be a way to get the child to poop in the potty. But, any current literature on potty training now says potty training must always be a positive experience. If it is a negative experience the child will with hold going to the potty because of the negativity.This is an example why an educated nanny would be preferable to an uneducated one. But, again that is not to say there are many many not formally educated nannies that instinctively know to encourage the child gently to use the potty. Of course, I think the majority know this and would be disturbed by the story I have heard about the nanny I replaced.In college I learned a lot about positive discipline and behavioral modification that I took for granted. Now I see nannies making mistakes of negative discipline, punishing kids instead of rewarding them for their good behaviors and actions,and yelling when not nec, and it breaks my heart.So, although there are many great uneducated nannies, the need for continued learning can't be understated.All nanny training programs can be good I think. Just sounds like there are warnings about wasting money for programs that will have you leaving with little credit.Diane, Near Denver

  11. I ALWAYS believe in training and workshops for teachers, babysitters, nannies, etc. PLUS, I believe in continuing education for caregivers too. (For instance, when I started as a nanny babies were still placed on tummies to nap, instead of the back to sleep rule)I believe in education in ways that are accessible, affordable, and accurate. When I was younger I read lots of books and magazines on parenting. I observed my mom (a nurse, grandmother, etc.), my sisters, cousins (some with education degrees). I worked in childcare centers in my 20s so I picked a lot of things from that too.There are many nannies out there who can say the same.There are many nannies out there who received training via universities and tech schools. (Like my sister, who has one in ECE. The program was meant to train teachers for childcare centers, she realized she could earn more as a nanny.)In the past year I have used online training sites like CCEI. For $99 for a year I can take over a hundred courses in all aspects of Early Childhood Education. I have gone to foster parent training sites to get more instruction on working in some delicate situations. I have enrolled at Childcare Lounge and Perpetual Preschool for some of their inexpensive courses.I look at a program like the one in NY at $4,000 for 50 hours of instuctional time and think —- THAT IS CRAZY!Nanny Network Library Provides so much information for nannies and parents for free. Including how to screen each other indepth and not go into the placement clueless on how to proceed on the first day. There are discussion boards out there for us caregivers and parents.It helps our profession when nannies are ready to step up and develop themselves through education. This economy has done a number on this occupation and nannies may not have the finances etc. to go to the big bucks nanny schools. But it doesn't mean they should avoid looking for other options. And there are many online.Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I talk about all of this. But then article like this one comes up, and I feel compelled to provide information on other options.SO thanks for reading.Peace,Lisamodernizingmarypoppins.comPS if you are curious you can go to the training area of my website to get a listing of all those inexpensive online courses I've taken.

  12. Testing…

  13. Great points! Thanks, Mary near Boston

  14. I think most nannies that are educated beyond high school fall into the profession by default. A psych or education major who couldn't cope with the administrative red tape or low wages and after being burned out try nannying until they figure out what to do with their careers. Then they find nannying can be much higher paying than psych, social work, early education and so they stay. I haven't met many nannies (ANY nannies although they must be out there) that were educated to be a nanny then became a nanny. Rare to my part of the world for sure!

  15. Great article and yes everyone including mothers need to continue to learn. We should never stop learning. Although experience is sometimes great and more than enough to make a great nanny, education is worth a lot. I think it is just taken for granted. Four yr degrees are worth the extra $.

  16. It is a great topic because most of nannies where I work are not career nannies by choice but rather they are stuck with nothing else to do. This publication and organizations like INA NANC and local nanny support groups are great for nannies like myself who love the job. I do not find anyone else loving their nanny job in my area. A few nannies I know in my area have good attitudes but still caring for kids in someone else's home isn't what they wanted as their job for their lives. When I invite them to read this magazine or attend workshops, groups or conferences with me they all decline. Even fun events they avoid, so they definately don't go to classes. Most experienced nannies I know feel they have enough experience and therefore do not need to take classes. I will continue to though.I agree about the new training course in NYC that it is very high cost for what it offers. But if an employer is willing to pay for the training it would be great.I agree that standard certifications and degrees are more important to earn than non-traditional certificates that parents may never have heard of.See, I add to my nanny portfolio my high school and college degrees but I have never included my certificates from conferences or workshops. If asked I would mention my attending the workshops but I never have yet to get a job. Parents asked for my transcripts from college, never about even my community college courses after I graduated college that I have taken over the years since I graduated.

  17. Being a baby nurse has really increased my salary from when I didn't have a degree and worked as a nanny. The education of nursing really helped raise my wages. But, at some point we do "cap out" on how much we can earn. Education does not ever hurt so nannies should be trained whenever they can afford the time and expense to do so. It really does help you earn better wages. I completely agree. (Of course many of the best may not be trained just experienced and they deserve good salaries as well).M. R. Belvedere, California

  18. I think the parents should help pay for cpr/first aid courses and further education like attending conferences and college courses. My last job helped pay for the cost of attending nanny conferences. My current employers do not. But I never asked. Any advice on how to ask if they are willing to help pay for further education?

  19. Nannies need to be able to afford education. The once advertised recently for $4000 is not affordable to a typical nanny.Sara Nanny of 4

  20. Despite the economic recession working mothers will be working full-time again soon. Finding a high quality childcare provider is a working mother's most important hire. Another great article by this wonderful nanny publication. I am taking evening courses at community college. We can always take online courses too.

  21. Wonderful post, I have been searching for more training resources for nannies and would be in complete agreement that families should list formal training on child development as a requirement in their nanny selection and hiring.Also important is ingoing professional development. As in any career and as a good employer families will help support ongoing professional development.

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