Making the decision to become a nanny is exciting and rewarding. Those that successfully land a position spend their day playing with, caring for, and nurturing children. Parents making the decision to hire a nanny are opening their home and lives to someone who is basically a stranger, in hopes that they are making the best decision for their family and child.
In order for parents to feel comfortable leaving their pride and joy with a new caregiver, they need to know that the person hired has the skills required to do the job. Below are five classes that every nanny should take so that they have those skills parents seek. Once you take these classes, be sure to list them in your portfolio so that parents can visually see that you are trained and certified. Here are 5 classes every nanny needs!
CPR and First Aid
To work in a childcare center surrounded by other trained adults, employees are required to be certified in CPR and first aid. It makes sense then that every nanny and caregiver should have the same training. If something goes wrong, a nanny will not have others around to help. He or she will most likely be home alone with the child. They need the skills to react in an emergency, to know when to seek out medical help, and be able to treat minor cuts and injuries on their own.
The Heimlich maneuver and CPR are not one size fits all. There are different procedures for infants, children, and adults. A good class will cover methods for each age group, and allow participants to practice these life saving techniques in class. First aid classes will cover everything from wrapping sprains to bee stings. You’ll learn the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration, as well as how to treat minor burns.
Don’t be surprised when at an interview one of the first questions parents ask is if you are CPR certified and trained in first aid. Take these courses now so you can confidently answer yes. Prospective nannies who aren’t certified are going to be overlooked and may find it impossible to secure a position. Parents want to know their nanny is prepared for almost any situation, and these classes go a long way in building parental confidence.
Newborn and Infant Care
Care for a child varies by age, but the care of a newborn requires special training. An infant care class teaches nannies tips, tricks, and care for this age. This type of course teaches the importance of supporting baby’s neck, how to feed and change an infant, and signs and symptoms that one should watch for when a newborn is in their care. This type of course will teach Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) prevention tips that nannies can pass along to parents, as well as the proper way to put a newborn in a car seat.
While most parents are a bit nervous about leaving their kiddos in the care of others, many parents of newborns will not even consider leaving their child with someone who hasn’t been properly trained in this area. A nanny who has taken this type of class has a leg up on the competition with those who have infants and those planning to expand their family.
According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are obese. These children consume a high amount of calories, yet their bodies are starving for nutrients. Take a nutrition class that teaches the foods needed to stay healthy, and the foods that people should limit or avoid.
A good basic class will cover topics applicable for all ages, so that a nanny will have a better understanding of portion sizes and daily value nutrients for themselves and the children they care for.Some nannies are responsible for preparing meals for the family, and this course will teach them how to serve a well-balanced meal that is both delicious and nutritious.
A caregiver who has taken a literary or early learning course is icing on the cake for parents. Those with the skills to teach will be given higher priority over those who just plan to “babysit.” Get ahead of the competition by learning teaching skills that you can use on the job. The children you care for will learn
through fun activities and games, and blossom academically. These courses cover all age groups, from nurturing baby’s growing brain to getting kiddos prepared for reading in school. These types of courses look fabulous on resumes and are a great topic to bring up during interviews.
A Basic Nanny Certification Course
First time caregivers, as well as seasoned nannies, should consider a basic nanny certification course. This class is an investment in yourself that can help you understand this career path, and protect your bottom line. Learn what is expected of a nanny, how to write a winning resume, what to expect in interviews, and how to negotiate pay.Smart nannies start a new job with a written contract between themselves and their employers.
Hours, days off, salary, how often you will be paid, taxes, and deductions should be written out so that everyone is on the same page. If you will be living with a family, things like meals and lodging should be in the contract, as these are taxable benefits. Check with the IRS beforehand to see set maximums and minimums allowed that an employer may charge a household employee for meals and housing. Even if the employer does not charge for room and board, these benefits must be reported to the IRS. Having this written out in the contract protects everyone involved, and makes sure that the IRS won’t be sending out a notice claiming you owe back taxes and penalties.
Deborah Shure is the owner and founder of NannyTax, the premier nanny payroll service in Canada. With over 25 years of combined financial experience, Deborah and her team are the most trusted source of nanny payroll information. When she isn’t busy providing “nanny tax frustration relief”, Deborah is spending time with her 3 kids doing all the things that supermoms do!