What Does Certified Mean?


Certification provides independent verification of a certain level of expertise in a particular area. Basically, it means you have completed the steps required to receive a particular designation. But this basic definition comes with a weakness--in some cases, individuals can become "certified" simply by paying a particular membership fee or by attending the required seminar. Such certifications are meaningless and a waste of time and money.


Certifications that mean something are about achieving designations that demonstrate to your employer and/or clients that you are, indeed, an expert in a particular area or areas, and that a reputable, recognizable organization is willing to attest to that.


Such certifications typically arise from a scenario like this: a child care related organization, vendor, or consortium identifies a particular function that requires specific skills, knowledge, and expertise--for example, newborn care. They detail just what those skills are and which knowledge is critical. This information makes up the common body of knowledge (CBOK) related to the specialty.


The sponsoring organization also identifies a series of steps that will enable you to obtain the targeted level of acquired knowledge, and they implement methods of assessing your progress. Certification is conferred when a candidate can demonstrate they have obtained the specified abilities and knowledge.


With many certifications, the participant will also be granted a privileged relationship with the program's sponsor. The relationship can include priority support, early product updates, access to special forums, or other perks that will enable them to perform at a higher level.


  Certifications and educational training programs that we recognize

                                                                   and consider of value to care providers and families…


International Nanny Association (INA)



                INA Nanny Basic Skills Exam + INA Nanny Credential Exam

                The 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.


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 1 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.



Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA)



                NCSA-CNCS – NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist


Vocational schools and training facilities submit their curriculum and meet the standards of the NCSA. After the completion of any of one of the schools courses, successfully passing the NCSA's membership test and completing their internship hours; candidates can be eligible for certification through the NCSA. A candidate need not take a course to take the NCSA membership test; they may 'test out'. NCSA does not offer courses – it reviews and approves the curriculum offerings of vocational training schools. Visit the NCSA website for a listing of participating approved schools.


Doulas of North America (DONA)



                CD (DONA) - Certified Birth Doula

                PCD (DONA) - Cetfied Postpartum Doula


DONA International has the highest certification standards for doulas worldwide. When a doula proudly adds the letters CD(DONA) or PCD(DONA) after her name, it shows the world she has met all the requirements of our rigorous certification program.



Birth Arts International (BAI)

www.birtharts.com  online and distance learning course offerings


                BAICD - Certified Birth Arts International Doula

                BAIPPD - Certified Birth Arts International Postpartum Doula


Birth Arts International offers extensive doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, midwifery assistant and advanced doula trainings.



Alexandria School

www.alexandria-school.com  online and distance learning course offerings (on-site classes pending)


                New Born Care Specialist curriculum


The instructors at Alexandria School, along with founder Carolyn Stulberg, (BSN, CCE) and the school’s dedicated staff, are committed to educating and training nannies and newborn care specialists with a demanding, practical curriculum that will position graduates to be the best in the profession.



English Nanny & Governess School

www.nanny-governess.com on-site training and education


ENGS provides the following certifications:

American Red Cross: First Aid, CPR, AED, and EpiPen, and Poison Prevention, 

AAA Defensive Driving, NCSA Newborn Care Specialists, Infant Massage



Infant Care Training Academy (ICT)



                ICTNCS - Certified ICT Newborn Care Specialist



Norhtwest Nannies Inc.

www.nwnanny.com on-site 30 week nanny training program


                NCSA approved course of study for New Born Care Specialist candidates




  What do all of these different titles mean?

          – Definitions used in the US for In-Home Child Care (courtesy INA)


What is a nanny?


A nanny is a child care special­ist whose workplace is a family’s private home. A nanny is employed by a family to provide the highest level of customized child care and to give personalized attention to the family’s children. A nanny may be employed full time or part time, and the nanny may or may not live with the family. The nanny’s role is to provide support to the family by serving as a loving, nurturing and trustworthy companion to the children.


Ideally, a nanny will have specialized child care skills, a deep under­standing of children and a genuine love of caring for children. A nanny offers the family convenient and consistent high quality child care by meeting each child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs. In addition to traditional nannies who provide general child care, “specialty” nannies exist to meet the needs of families who desire a caregiver with expertise in a specific area.


Types of Nannies


Newborn Care Specialists

A newborn care specialist is a nanny who typically has specialized training and always has extensive experi­ence in newborn care or nursing. Newborn care specialists often provide 24-hour child care for families with newborns during the first weeks of a child’s life.


Sleep Trainers

A sleep trainer is a nanny who specializes in developing individual routines and systems for helping babies and children develop solid, healthy sleep habits.


Multiples Specialists

A multiples specialist is a nanny who has extensive experience caring for multiples and who works with families who have twins, triplets or higher order multiples.



A governess is an educationally qualified nanny employed by a family for the full- or part-time private home education or tutoring of the family’s children. A governess functions as an educator and is not usually employed to perform domestic tasks or to meet the physical needs of the family’s children.



A babysitter provides supervisory, custodial care of children on a full-time or part-time basis. Many babysitters have no special training and have limited child care experience.


Au Pairs

An au pair is a foreign national between the ages of 18-26 who enters the United States through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Au Pair Exchange Program, who Live-IN with  their host family to experience American life for up to 24 months (au pairs in good standing can apply to extend their initial 12-month visit an additional 6, 9 or 12 months). Au pairs participate in the life of the host family by providing limited child care services (maximum 10 hours per day, 45 hours per week) and are compensated for their work according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Au pairs may not be placed in homes with infants three months of age or younger, unless a parent or responsible adult will be in the home supervising the au pair. An au pair may not be placed in the home with a child two years of age or younger unless they have 200 or more hours of documented child care experience.

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