There are thousands of nannies looking for work across Canada. While there is no formal nanny training required to actually become nannies, there are number of specialised classes available which will turn you into a more professional and knowledgeable carer. Not only does being equipped with a host of these different qualifications set you apart from the rest, making you incredibly employable, but it will also entitle you to a significantly higher income.
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, there’s always more to learn about being a nanny. But with so many possibilities, where should you start?
Here we advise you on the 10 best types of nanny training courses that are bound to make you stand out from the crowd.
- CPR and First Aid
Many families won’t even consider a nanny who isn’t trained in CPR and first aid, so naturally these are two of the most important certifications. It might also be a good idea to take a CPR course specific to infants if you plan on caring for young children. You can sign up to CPR and First Aid training at various different sites, such as St. John’s Ambulance.
- Water-safety Certification
For children that spend a lot of time swimming – whether it’s in a pool or at the beach – taking a life guard course is a worthy investment. Most local pools should offer the possibility to train as a lifeguard, but you can search for places near you with the Life Saving Society.
- Newborn Care
Caring for a newborn generally requires specialised knowledge. A certification, therefore, in newborn care will reassure new parents that you are properly equipped and trained to take on their little one. Such courses can be found at your local hospital, parenting centre, community college or paediatrician’s office. Academies such as the Infant and Childcare Training Academy have a good reputation for offering newborn training.
- Driving License
Having a valid – and clean — driving license will open up a whole host of new doors which will make you that much more employable. This shows parents that you have the ability to run errands for the family while caring for the children, or take the children out to parks, museums and zoos.
You can find more information about the licence types and testing procedures relevant to each Canadian province on the Government of Canada website.
- Special Needs Care
If your charge is a special needs child, a course preparing you for the role of carer is important. There is lots of need-specific medical information to be aware of and general advice on caring for a child with special needs. If you have this knowledge, parents searching for care will be more inclined to hire you. Look for programs and workshops through local colleges and special needs organisations. The Finding Quality Childcare guide provides a variety of information and links to programs and training for carers of children with special needs.
- Foreign Language
At Care.com, we frequently hear that parents want carers who can help teach their children another language — it’s one of the most sought-after nanny skills. Families want their children exposed to a different language and culture at a young age. If you speak a language in addition to English, mention it in your nanny profile.
If you need to brush up, take some language course through nearby community colleges, adult education programs or online programs like Rosetta Stone.
- Nutrition and Cooking
With child obesity at an all time high, parents are becoming increasingly conscious that their children need to have the proper nutrition. Therefore, if you can bring any knowledge of nutrition or cooking to the table, you will automatically be a likely candidate. Parents want to know you can teach their children how to eat healthily.
You will be able to find a healthy cooking class near you to widen your expertise. Additionally, you could consider taking a nutrition course to prove you take nutrition seriously.
As well as nutrition, parents like to know that you can help their children stay active. You can pick up a recognised qualification in children’s fitness from places such as YMCA Fit which will teach you how to motivate children from ages five to 16 to get exercising.
- Professional Nanny Certification
Although it’s not required in order to become a nanny, you can also become a Certified Professional Nanny through nanny schools such as TLC Edmonton. It shows that you’ve successfully passed a rigorous training program about how to care for children. These courses are particularly good if you’re just starting out and need experience.
- Early Childhood Education
Learning more about children’s development and needs will help you understand your charges and make you a better nanny. If a carer doesn’t have a solid understanding of child development, they should get a basic certification that covers all aspects of working with children. There are a variety of programs offering such certification, depending on where you are in Canada.
Things to Remember
- Once you figure out what courses you’d like to enrol in, you could ask your employers if they would be willing to cover all or some of the fees — many employers recognise the benefit of nanny classes.
- Make sure you keep any certifications up to date – many of them will expire after a few or several years.
- Before diving into any programme, you should make sure that you have researched it properly. Find out about its reputation through references and recommendations, you should know what the course entails exactly, how it takes and how long the certification lasts for. Finally, evaluate the relevance of the programme to where you are in your life at the moment. Will it help you with your career now?
With the right nanny skills, coupled with your experience caring for children, you’ll find the perfect job in no time.