Credential Exams for Nannies

Last week we started discussing nanny training. Click here to see our article on the topic.

Currently there are two nanny credential exams available for nannies created by the International Nanny Association (INA). There is a challenging INA Nanny Credential Exam and new INA Basic Skills Assessment.

The International Nanny Association (INA) Nanny Credential Exam is a 90 question multiple-choice timed exam that is available to be taken online. The exam is designed to test a nanny’s practical knowledge of child care. A proctor must be secured by the exam candidate to administer the exam prior to testing.

The exam addresses:
  • Child Development
  • Family/Provider Communication
  • Child Guidance
  • Multicultural/Diversity Awareness
  • Learning Environment
  • Personal Qualities of a Nanny
  • Safety
  • Management Skills Health
  • Nutrition
  • Professionalism

Because the exam is challenging, it is strongly recommended that anyone sitting for the exam has a minimum of 2000 hours of (the equivalent of one-year, full-time) professional in-home child care experience. Those sitting for the exam must have a current certification in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid and photo identification. There is a charge for taking the exam, with a discount offered to INA members.

A nanny will see her/his exam score as soon as the exam is submitted. Complete information about the nanny’s exam results will be sent to INA automatically. All nannies who pass the exam (Score 70% or better) will receive a certificate in the mail. They will also be listed on the INA’s website as an INA Credentialed Nanny. Once a nanny passed the exam, she or he will be considered an INA Credentialed Nanny and will be identified on the INA member list as such.

If a nanny does not receive a passing grade on the exam, an opportunity to retest will be provided, but no sooner than six-months from the date of the first attempt. Candidates must re-apply and pay another testing fee. The exam will not be identical to the first one.

The International Nanny Association has published Beyond Parenting Basics: The International Nanny Association’s Guide to In-Home Child Care. This book is an appropriate study guide for those who wish to take the International Nanny Association’s Nanny Credential Exam to become an INA Credentialed Nanny and was co-authored by Sara McCormack Hoffman (the author of the INA Credential Exam) and Michelle LaRowe. The see the book, as well as a sample chapter for download, click here.

For less experienced nannies, INA has developed the Basic Skills. The INA Basic Skills Exam is a 40 question timed, multiple-choice exam that is available to be taken online that tests basic child care knowledge.

The Basic Skills Exam addresses:

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Nutrition
  • Professionalism
  • Child Development

The INA Basic Skills Assessment was authored by the following seasoned INA Nanny Members:

  • Myrna Alphonse, MA/NCC
  • Kellie Geres, 1997 INA Nanny of the Year
  • Cortney Gibson, Newborn Care Specialist
  • Becky Kavanagh, 2006 INA Nanny of the Year
  • Michelle LaRowe, 2004 INA Nanny of the Year and parenting author
  • Glenda Propst, 1991 INA Nanny of the Year and founding member of the International Nanny Association

The minimum passing score for the Basic Skills Exam is 70%. Those nannies that score 70% or better will receive a certificate stating that they passed the exam.

To learn more visit the links below.

Basic Skills Exam:
INA Nanny Credential Exam:
Beyond Parenting Basics:
INA Credentialed Nannies:

Did you know there is a credential exam for nannies? If you have passed the INA Nanny Credential Exam how has it affected your nanny career?


  1. I'd rather not leave my name but I respect the hard work volunteers do for INA. The only reason I never took the exam is I have a Bachelor's Degree already so I don't feel the need to add this exam to my resume at this time. I certainly do not think it's a bad thing, just we need to help make nannies licensed too. This is a good first step. I would like to hear if those who have taken the exam feel it is a good addition to their resumes though.

  2. I have not taken it becasue I have ECE degree. Has it been helpful to those who have taken and passed the exam? Was it hard? I think probably studying for it would be helpful in itself for many nannies. Does it cover topics specific to nannies, or same info I would have learned when earning my ECE degree? I haven't joined INA but have local group because expense of membership is high and I wouldn't have time or funds to travel to conferences anyway. But would take the test if others feel it helped them in their nanny careers.Homeschool TeacherNanny of 2 boys3 Years ExperienceLisa S.Staten Island

  3. More can be done as a group than alone or as an individual. So, I don't see why all nannies wouldn't work together to support these credential exams and work towards using credentials to help nannies become licensed.

  4. The exam is designed for nannies. The credential exam was written by a college professor who teaches a nanny training program at a MN college. I've taken the exam and it has set me apart from others when job searching and helped me earn a higher salary, I believe.Liscencing is a tough issue for nannies. In MA, for example, they refuse to get involved with nannies because they cannot supervise them.

  5. I know it is hard to regulate nannies (nannygate most don't even pay taxes). But, in England and Europe and Australia somehow nannies are well respected and considered skilled (rather than just domestics like here in U.S.). In England nannies are different than child minders or sitters. They require degrees or certification. We need to follow that sort of system at some point. I do think the credential exam is a great start. I think by reading this I think I might like to take it now. Why not add another good point to my resume. every little bit helps.

  6. I would like to take the exam, but the process seems hard to organize. I don't know a lot of people in my area, and I've already graduated from school, so it would be very difficult for me to arrange for a proctor and jump through all these hoops they have in place.

  7. I took the Exam in May of 2008 at the INA Conf. in Florida.The main reason I took it was for my own personal satisfaction. The other reasons were that I did not have an ECE Degree and this seemed like the best way to prove I was a serious, dedicated, intelligent nanny. Also the cost was affordable, $40 for an INA Member, or $50 for a Non-Member.It's true "some" parents/agencies don't feel it's important, but I feel it's because they don't understand all that is involved with taking the exam. The exam covers: Child Development, Family/Nanny Communication, Child Guidance, Multi-cultural/Diversity Awareness, Learning Env., Safety, Health, Nutrition and Professionalism.The exam is a bit difficult, mainly because some of the questions are worded in a way which you have to really pay close attention to the facts. If you underline the facts in the question, you can figure it out the answer.The only suggestion I have to improve the process, is that they find more recent books, as some of the books they suggest are from 1989- which is 20 years ago- and I did feel some things mentioned in those books were out-dated. However, I was able to find most of them at my local library or on-line for a few dollars. The CD roms are a bit expensive at $60- but I felt I learned the most from them.Someone mentioned you have to jump thru a lot of hoops to take the exam- and that is *NOT* true.Just read as many of the books they list as you can, take notes, and study,- but most of the questions are "common sense"- then and find a library or a nanny placement agency in your area that can serve as a proctor and take the exam.Having the INA Cred. Exam listed on your resume truely is a nice addition and will set you apart from a nanny who does not have any type of formal training.I strongly suggest all nannies take the exam and keep current their CPR/1st Aid – as this can be the min. standard for all nannies in the US.~Andrea Flagg, Professional Career Nanny- Northern, NJ

  8. Andrea, I don't think you read the entire article. The INA published a book to use to study for the exam, just this year. Beyond Parenting Basics: The International Nanny Association's Guide to In-Home Child Care. "The International Nanny Association has published Beyond Parenting Basics: The International Nanny Association's Guide to In-Home Child Care. This book is an appropriate study guide for those who wish to take the International Nanny Association's Nanny Credential Exam to become an INA Credentialed Nanny."

  9. Ariel Chan,Ask your nanny agency to proctor the exam for all of their nannies and nanny candidates one weekend!Maria in Miami

  10. INA's new book "Beyond Parenting Basics" is a one stop shop for the exam, as far as study materials go. Through your experience, past education and this new book (available here: ) you will be set to take the exam.To me, as an agency owner, these exams/credentials DO matter. It's the first thing I look for on an application or resume. If someone has taken these exams, continued their education in multiple ways professionally… etc… these candidates go to the very front of the pack for job seeking. it shows me they are serious about the nanny profession and are likely in this for the long-haul.Here's a list of names who have passed the INA Exam: WeberOwner/Founder Perfect Match Nannies, Inc.INA Board MemberPublic Relations Chair

  11. I’ve gone to college, taken a lot ECE courses, read of tons or parenting articles, websites, and books, worked in a wide range of tough nanny jobs that required additional orientation. Taught community education courses and done lots of volunteering with kids and parents. STILL, I have decided to take the Credentialing Exam this spring.For me, will it make a difference on my resume? Probably not.BUT — I look at it this way. In other professions people have to receive training, go to school, get licenses, etc. Why should it be any different for us?I speak all the time about getting training (some will say I’m broken record). It is affordable and available. And having it makes being a nanny easier. This sends a favorable image and impression of our industry out to the public.I am waiting for my copy of Beyond Parenting Basics to arrive in the mail. I am forming a study group with some nanny friends and we will all take the exam in a few months. Let’s make 2010 Nannies Odyssey In Education. It costs less than a day’s pay to prepare and take the Nanny Credentialing Exam. To go to an online ECE program like CCEI where one can get an annual subscription is $99 for 122 clock hour courses. Think of what’s in the best interests for marketing yourself for those better jobs. THINK of what it means for your charges.

  12. It is sad but I have never met a nanny that is a member of INA or that has taken the exam. I emailed my friends yesterday and none of them heard of INA. It's just not what the typical nanny is interested in because long working hours and they are doing fine at their positions. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I am impressed, never knew about it, will check it out.

  13. Anonymous-Yes, I am glad INA has put out the book Beyond Parenting Basics-Unfortunatley, it was not ready yet, when I took the exam. So I was basing my response on my exp. when I took the exam.However, on the INA Exam Page, they do still list the books that are 20 years old as study guides. But am glad they now have this up-to-date book- Beyond Parenting Basics. I have not read it, but have seen sneak peaks of it- and it looks wonderful!Good luck to everyone who takes the exam! ~Andrea Flagg

  14. Dear Ariel Chan,It reads the INA credential exam can be taken online! How is that complicated?With new study guide and take test online I think it's become easy!I am not a member of the group but I am seriously considering taking it now because they have made it easy, not complicated anymore.Maria in Miami

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