Monday, October 19, 2009
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?