These days, there’s plenty of disagreement about the value of a college degree. Some careers require a college education and specific degrees. Others require no formal education at all. To be employed as a nanny, a college degree can help give you an edge…but it’s not a requirement. Read on to see what level of Nanny education is most sought after, most common — how a degree may help you land your dream job, and how to show equally valuable skills and experience when you don’t have a degree.
What are the Typical Duties and Job Descriptions for Nannies?
The term nanny means different things to different families. Often no two families’ needs are the same. A nanny’s job description and daily duties vary greatly, even from day to day with the same family.
- Entertaining and occupying children
- Arranging daily activities
- Assisting with schoolwork and child education
- Preparing meals
- Light housework like washing dishes and folding laundry
- Transporting children to and from school, activities, or appointments
What Degrees are the Most Helpful for Nannies?
Being a nanny is a great career option that doesn’t require a degree, but many people would still like to obtain one for various reasons. Some people earn degrees before even considering working as a nanny. If you’re looking to earn a degree that will offer skills and knowledge that apply to nannying, consider the following fields of study for Nanny education:
- Psychology – Psychology is a huge field with many branches and specialties that help better people understand others. Whether it’s a degree in general psychology or a degree in childhood development, a psychological education means you probably have excellent insight into how to deal with people and children. It can be a great foundation for things that come up while nannying such as conflict resolution, personality development, confidence building, and interaction with kids in general.
- Early Childhood Education – A degree or concentration in early childhood education is incredibly valuable to anyone working as a nanny. This field of study focuses both on educating young children and understanding child development. It provides you with the knowledge necessary to best facilitate child learning. A degree in early childhood education is particularly appealing to families who are looking for help with schoolwork and planning educational activities.
- Project Management – Usually offered as a concentration under a broader business degree, project management is an excellent foundation for nannies. Families are often looking for a nanny who can help with household management, which can be quite a juggling act. With an education in project management, you’ll be well-equipped to handle things like meal planning, children’s school and activity schedules, and
Why Might a Family Want a Nanny with a Degree?
While it’s true you don’t necessarily need a degree to be a skilled and successful nanny, many families do prefer to hire a nanny with a college education. Having a degree helps you be a competitive candidate as many childcare workers have degrees of some kind. One popular career site reports 74% of personal nannies have education beyond a high school diploma. Here’s their breakdown:
Besides showing you have a specific knowledge base or skillset, having a degree (whether associate’s, bachelor’s, or higher) tells potential employers that you:
- Are hard-working – Getting a degree isn’t easy, and earning one shows you were willing to work hard for your future.
- Can commit to long-term goals – Whether it took two years or ten, whatever degree you earned (or plan to earn) isn’t the result of instant gratification. Commitment to future goals is a highly valuable trait to families seeking a long-term arrangement with a nanny.
- Are serious about nannying – Often times childcare is unfairly and incorrectly assumed to be a job for people who haven’t broken into their desired long-term career yet. If you have a degree and are actively seeking nanny work, this suggests to families you take nannying seriously.
How Can I Land a Nanny Job Without a Degree?
Although a college degree can be helpful, it is worth repeating that a degree is not required to have a successful career as a nanny. Many people have long-term nanny careers making competitive wages with only a high school diploma.
A specific degree tailored to a Nanny education is a way to tell potential families about your knowledge and strengths, but you can do the same without one if you know what families are looking for. Here’s what to focus on in your resume, profile, and interviews to help show you’re a great candidate:
- Your experience
Formal education is great, but nothing is as good as real-world experience. Highlighting all your relevant experience is important for families to understand how qualified you are. Draw from any experience you may have, no matter how long ago, to show you’re equipped for the job you’re seeking.
For example, if you grew up with younger siblings and had experience caring for babies as a young person, say so! Not only does this type of experience matter, but it also opens the door for more conversation with potential employers. Discussing little bits of experience throughout your life is a great way to elaborate on things like your knowledge, childcare philosophies, and work style.
- Thoughtful goals and objectives
Families love to know that you will take the job seriously. You can show your commitment to quality childcare by developing personal and professional goals, as well as general objectives you keep in mind while performing your nanny duties. Doing this shows families that you are invested in what you do and aren’t looking for nanny jobs just to pass time.
Mentioning work-related goals shows you will treat nannying like any other position and will be focused on setting and adhering to high standards and constant improvement.
- Reviews and recommendations
It’s nice to hear about your experience or see it on paper, but maybe the most valuable thing you can present as a nanny seeking employment is recommendations from past families. Positive reviews from former employers help give families peace of mind since it can be hard to trust a new person to care for their children.
It can be hard for families to know when to trust someone they’ve found online, and Perfectly Nanny offers an additional level of security and authenticity by showing honest reviews and recommendations from real families.
What Certifications are Available for Nannies?
In addition to painting a picture of your experience and qualifications, there are certifications that can boost your resume and help you to score your ideal nanny job. Certifications go a step further than simply explaining your skills and experience because they offer verification by a third party. Whether you have an advanced degree or didn’t complete high school, these certifications can make your profile and resume stand out:
- First Aid and CPR – These classes are offered by many institutions and organizations and are incredibly valuable for anyone working in childcare. The Red Cross is probably the most recognizable institution that awards certification, and they even offer super-affordable online courses specifically for child and baby first aid and CPR. One important note: the online-only classes are great add-ons to develop more specialized skills, but an in-person class must be completed for formal first aid and CPR certification through the Red Cross.
- Babysitting and Childcare – The Red Cross, as well as some local organizations, offers courses specifically for babysitting and childcare. They address general safety, emergency preparedness, and many other childcare-specific topics that may come up while nannying.
- Nanny Basic Skills Assessment – The International Nanny Association offers this assessment online to test your knowledge of a wide variety of topics related to childcare and the nanny profession. While passing this assessment doesn’t earn a formal certification, it’s a great way to stand out with validation from a well-known organization.
The bottom line is that having a college degree can be helpful, but it is absolutely not necessary for landing great nanny jobs and having a successful career as a nanny. Whether you hold advanced degrees or no degree at all, the most important thing is presenting your skills and experience in a way that shines. Sign up with Perfectly Nanny to put your best foot forward and connect with great families to find your dream job!
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