Envisioning a Three-Tier Nanny Credential

Last week we posted an article explaining that educated caregivers command higher salaries. Click here to read that article.

Yesterday we explained the International Nanny Association Credential Exam and Basic Skills Assessment.

Another organization that believes in the importance of accrediting nannies is the National Association for Nanny Care (NANC).

NANC believes there are three key reasons why nanny credential is important.

First, a comprehensive nanny credential, (an important element of which is an exam), provides parents with a way to accurately and objectively assess an in-home caregiver’s ability to provide quality care. Exams are a tool to help parents make an informed choice when hiring a quality caregiver.

Second, a comprehensive credential raises the overall quality of care throughout the nanny industry. The credential would require all nannies to engage in professional development. Training has been proven time and time again to directly impact the quality of care a provider offers so making training an integral part of the credential will create a better trained, therefore higher quality, nanny workforce.

Third, the NANC three-tier nanny credential offers all levels of nannies a way to distinguish themselves professionally. Studies clearly indicate that childcare providers that acquire a professional credential or accreditation have a stronger sense of professional pride, are more likely to stay in their chosen field, and provide a high level of care.

The goal of the NANC three-tier credential takes a comprehensive approach to applying standards to the nanny industry. It recognizes that there is great diversity in the nanny field and understands that to develop standards that will have a real world application, they must meet nannies where they are on the education, experience, and skill level continuum. The three-tier approach will set minimum standards while providing recognition to those who have achieved a higher level of education, accrued more experience, demonstrated a greater understanding of and ability to apply childcare knowledge, and actively given back to their profession.

For example, if a 19-year-old high school graduate wants to become a credentialed nanny, she would enter into the program at the first-tier. At that level, she only needs one-year of childcare experience. She would then have to complete the other parts of that level, things such as a resource file and a resume. The first-tier nanny needs to attend at least four-hours per year of additional training.

As the nanny continues in her career, she can then enter into the second-tier. At that level, a candidate must have at least 40-hours of training (workshops, conferences, college classes, and so on) and she must have three-years of childcare experience including at least one-year of nanny experience. At this level, more is expected from the nanny, including an expanded resource file, a caregiver philosophy, a developmental plan, and more.

The third-tier nanny is the most elite nanny, with more than five-years of nanny experience and 120 hours of training. This nanny will need to write competencies, expand her resource file further, and mentor nannies who are less experienced. At each level a test will be given geared toward that tier.

The knowledge on the first-tier test will be more basic while at the third-tier the nanny will be expected to have a greater understanding of all the core knowledge areas. Those areas are: child development; discipline and guidance; health, safety and nutrition; learning environments; working with families; and professionalism.

To see a comprehensive listing of the credential click here.

The framework of the credential is based on several successful public and private credential and accreditation programs. Every requirement within the credential is based on generally accepted core knowledge competencies and best practices. NANC will incorporate many different types of requirements (such as, a resource library, resume, and written competencies) into the credential to provide a multifaceted look at the caregiver. This comprehensive approach provides an accurate and objective way to assess the caregiver’s knowledge level, experience, and skill level.

NANC supports the idea of the credential as well as the commitment to educate the public about quality childcare. NANC’s credential has been in development for some time and they are looking for nannies, agencies, and others who share their vision to help move it forward.

NANC is a volunteer organization. NANC is inclusive and encourages all members of the nanny community to participate. Find more information online at: http://www.nannycredential.org/.

What are your thoughts on the topic of a three-tiered nanny credential exam?


  1. Why aren't the 2 organizations working together on this? Yesterdays group and this group?

  2. They should work together but it is personal. I think that a few people either don't like each other or just think differently so they choose to approach the topic of nanny credential separately.We can accomplish more together than separately though.

  3. This is timely.The online course I was studying last night The CDA Assessment Sytem. (CDA for those that aren’t familiar Child Development Associate.) Basically, the type of ECE training of many child care workers have at least.Many professions working with children require continuing education. Even volunteers who work with youth receive ongoing orientation as well. This is why as far as credentialing goes as a professional nanny I support NANC’s efforts with the tier system.I do want quality care out there for all children in our country. I want nannies who are calling themselves professional nannies to be able to stand behind those statements with some credential in place.I do want to be able to distinquish myself professional. Take a look at our economy. Having an education helps one rise above all the candidates out there applying for the limited nanny positions available. I still am taking courses in things that may not be relevant to curret job. But we can’t control our futures, our employers futures, the country’s future etc. To make ourselves more marketable we have to widen the niches we are interested in or the different types of jobs we are able to perform.I have great employers. What made them stand out when I was interviewing was their awareness of my background and knowledge of overall child development. I wanted to work for people who appreciated that I did have training, that I read up on topics, and that I would continue distant learning. They paid my registration fee for the Wisconsin Retreat. When I sent my DB a link to the NAEYC convention he forwarded it to his mother (a former ECE teacher educator) for feedback. She got back to him immediately endorsing it and that she was excited for me. So not only am I working for supportive parents but grandparents too.All nannies want to work for good employers and my employers were looking at what the nanny could bring to the table as far as educational background too.Many nannies have come to this field because the pay was better than what they were earning at the childcare centers, preschools, etc. (hey I'm one of them) They bring in to their jobs the techniques and theories they applied while in those jobs. The charges are better off for this.I think of myself as a teacher nanny for young charges and a tutor nanny for the school age ones. I want them to do well academically. It is my role as a nanny to help them succeed in this.And one big way is by being an example with ongoing training too.I get that it may take awhile for the NANC PNC program to be up and running. But in the interim, we as nannies can take that criteria and start to fulfill requirements on our own. Or look at the CDA credentialing requirements at least and follow their instructions. http://www.cdacouncil.org/The different nanny associations have their codes and standards. Education is in all of them.Until there is some real official licensing for nannies, I’m going to go ahead and get the INA credential to in order to cover all my bases.When one realizes the cost of the credentials and training really isn’t that bad (Less than a week’s salary for some) it’s not a big deal to have the various ones.

  4. Very interesting, thanks for sharing this information. I had no idea groups were working on this.Maria in Miami

  5. I like the idea of having tiers.And being able to set yourself apart from others as well as strive to become a Level 1-2-or 3 nanny.Any idea when this Credential Exam will be ready? In the mean time I am going to work on getting all the things they require.

  6. My first thought is: this is wonderful, however, wow— look at how in-depth this is. We as an industry have a hard enough time pulling a few volunteers here and there to get anything done (you usually find the same people volunteering over and over and over again), that who, exactly, is going to be policing all of this information for long-term? It looks like it's going to be a massive project- especially for an organization that has no paid administrative staff. Do they have a plan for this?My 2nd thought– INA (the ones with the 2 credential exams) and NANC likely won't ever work together. I know that a couple people this year from the INA board really sought out to bring the conferences all together as one for 2010, and because of some sort of inter-personal issues within the organizations, the idea tanked and I was told it likely won't ever happen due to the reaction of the proposals. That's the whole reason we have 10 different nanny organizations (which I find totally frustrating, but that's a whole other topic). Some people have issues working with others at the end of the day I think.Again- great ideas on the NANC tiers… And if they find a way to monitor it well I'm sure it will be fantastic.

  7. It is unfortunate that there are different personalities that may be getting in the way of the different larger nanny organizations coming together. We live in a country that has different political parties, a variety of religons, culture, ethnicity, etc. Life is made up of differences. So I'm not going to lose sleep over the range of opinions in the nanny organizations.I support NANC because of NAEYC. I worked in day care centers too, and had to take the workshops, trainings, etc. I actually like them. I started doing the online studying to earn clock hours to be in that third tier requirement. But I couldn't stop. There is a lot of cool things out there to learn. I could easily put a lot of my paychecks into this. THUS, I am so OVER the amount of clock hours I need to have for my tier level based on the number of years in this profession.All those other criteria for the PCN, is stuff that either is already in my portfolio already (and had been way before I joined NANC) or is on my list of things to get in there within the next few months.The credentialing has to begin with the nanny's desire to develop professionally. No nanny organization or nanny school can make this happen.

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