Nannies who want to take an online exam in childcare can consider the two exams offered by the International Nanny Association. These exams cover the knowledge and skills needed for success in this career.
International Nanny Association Exam Overview
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:
- Nanny agencies
- Nanny employers
- Industry service providers
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. Any aspiring nanny can take this test.
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
The INA Nanny Credential Exam has 100 multiple-choice questions and 1 open-response question that cover the areas of:
- Child development
- Learning environment
- Child guidance
- Family communication
- Health management skills
- Nanny personal qualities
- 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.
Nannies are childcare workers who provide in-home care for children. They may work for families with children of any age, in either the day or the night. General job duties include:
- Entertaining children and supervising their activities
- Preparing meals
- Cleaning up after the children
- Shopping for the family
- Transporting children to school and other activities
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 $22,930 for childcare workers as of May 2016, with most making between $17,190 and $31,710 a year. In January 2016, PayScale.com reported a median salary of $24,554 for nannies, with most making salaries between $18,901 and $41,700 a year.
Aspiring and experienced nannies can demonstrate their knowledge and skills by completing an online INA exam.