By: Olga Belykh of The Nanny Authority


As one of the country’s premier domestic staffing agencies, we are well-versed on the traits that constitute a great nanny. With an increasing number of parents working outside of the home, more and more families are looking to nannies to care for their children. There are no set requirements for nannies since each family has their own rules and guidelines to follow but parents often inquire about the importance of hiring a caretaker with a college degree and/or possessing a background in education. In response, we advise them to think carefully about their situation and budget. Stay-at-home guardians might need assistance with childcare, housekeeping, and light tutoring depending on the child’s age. Those employed outside the home might prefer a nanny to be able to identify and introduce early childhood learning concepts as well as recognize developmental milestones. Whatever the case might be, it is important to identify your needs early on.

Research suggests that parent engagement is crucial to a child’s educational growth. Children are likelier to possess stronger academic performances, better social skills, and higher self-esteem and confidence when their parents are actively involved. However, it can be difficult to carve out time during the day to focus on education related activities. As an alternative, parents should create and nurture a household that is conducive to learning. A nanny that possesses a college degree or a background in childhood education helps reassure parents that he or she is knowledgeable in cognitive and psycho-social development and better at engaging children in sensory play and STEM activities.

A nanny with a special education background may have specialized in a certain area of training or completed coursework to be able to assist children that have autism, and language or communication delays. However, he or she could have accumulated similar knowledge while working with special-needs children as a teacher’s assistant, a paraprofessional, or during their time in a family home. As a result of their practical hands-on experience, these qualified candidates can create and implement an Individualized Education Plan for each child. A caretaker with a special needs background will also be aware of disruptive environmental triggers such as loud noises, bright lights, and hot or cold temperatures, and will work to eliminate them whenever possible.

A nanny that doesn’t possess a degree but has various specialized skills and interests can help children attain an edge in a competitive world. Some of these specialized skills include speaking a foreign language, playing an instrument, or being skilled at sports-related pursuits such as swimming. Not all nannies need to speak a foreign language to have an impact on your child as even the act of reading for 20 minutes a day can have a lasting effect. Reading strengthens the brain, building early literacy skills and improving academic performance as well as future monetary earnings. According to a research study completed earlier this year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more education leads to better opportunities for employment and financial stability. What is important is that your caretaker exhibits a commitment to learning and encourages your children to pursue additional academic projects and interests. This ensures that your child’s education and schoolwork are on the right path for success, even while you’re away.

Ultimately there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to hiring an educated nanny as every family has different needs and priorities. Parents should keep in mind there is no substitute for a nanny that has a wealth of hands-on childcare experience. It is important to look to hire someone that best suits a family’s preferences and ensures the safety of the children when the parents are not around.

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