The International Nanny Association (INA) offers two online exams in childcare for in-home childcare workers through its website, www.nanny.org. INA is a nonprofit organization that has been around since 1985, serving the needs of childcare workers and others within the industry as well as providing resources and information. Its members include nannies, nanny agencies, nanny employers, industry service providers and educators.
The first online exam offered is the INA Nanny Basic Skills Exam, which is used to demonstrate that an individual has a basic level of knowledge in childcare. The other exam is the INA Nanny Credential Exam, which is proctored and covers skills that an experienced childcare worker would possess. Each of these exams has its own requirements and exam topics. The organization sets the pass score at 70% for both exams, and individuals receive a certificate upon passing. Those passing the INA Nanny Credential Exam also get their names added to the organization's list of credentialed nannies.
The INA Nanny Basic Skills Exam does not have any experience requirements or require a proctor. On the other hand, the INA recommends that one has at least 2,000 hours as an in-home nanny before taking the INA Nanny Credential Exam. In addition to this, the test taker must be certified in infant or child CPR and first aid. In addition to having a photo ID, the applicant must also find a proctor who administers the online exam. Both exams have an associated fee.
Each exam has a different number of questions and topics. The INA Nanny Basic Skills Exam has 40 questions that cover the areas of child development, health, professionalism, safety and nutrition. The INA Nanny Credential Exam has 100 multiple-choice questions and 1 open-response question that cover the areas of professionalism, child development, safety, learning environment, child guidance, family communication, nutrition, health management skills, nanny personal qualities and diversity awareness.
The basic understanding of these concepts demonstrates the test-taker's knowledge of healthy environments for children, the characteristics of a health care provider and the ability to communicate with children in order to help them develop and keep them safe. An exam booklet is provided through the INA website. This booklet provides sample questions concerning the child's physical development, the nutrients that should be included on a child's daily menu and when attention deficit disorder is most commonly diagnosed, as a few examples.
Retaking the Exam
If the nanny doesn't pass the INA Nanny Credential Exam, he or she may retake it after six months. The INA recommends that the nanny enrolls in a nanny education program and attends childcare conferences and workshops, which detail childcare education. The INA Nanny Basic Skills Exam cannot be retaken.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), childcare workers, including nannies, babysitters and other childcare professionals, can expect about average employment growth of 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Working parents will continue to need these professionals to care for their children, and high turnover leads to even more job openings. Formal education can be helpful for better job prospects.
Salaries for childcare workers depend on one's job title and place of employment. The BLS reported an average annual wage of $21,170 for childcare workers as of May 2014, with most making between $16,570 and $30,080 a year. In January 2016, PayScale.com reported a median salary of $25,692 for nannies, with most making salaries between $18,591 and $41,130 a year.