Originally posted here.
In addition to classes related to early childhood education and care, nannies can benefit from expanding their knowledge base by taking safety related courses, as well as increase their marketability and make themselves more attractive to potential families.
CPR and First Aid
Every nanny should have current CPR and first aid training and should update their training every two years at a minimum, or as often as called for from the organization that issued the certification. While it can be tempting to simply take an online certification course or refresher, there’s no replacement for a hands-on class where techniques can be practiced and trained instructors can answer questions. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer CPR and first aid trainings throughout the country.
Child Abuse Prevention
Nannies have an obligation to report abuse, and according to the International Nanny Association are mandated to do so. Sometimes the line between bad parenting and abuse is a fine one. Nannies who understand the laws surrounding child abuse, know what constitutes abuse and what does not, and are able to identify signs of abuse and how to protect the child from abuse are empowered to act appropriately when child safety concerns arise.
Self defense classes not only prepare a nanny to physically defend herself should the need arise, they also teach and empower her not to be a victim. Knowing how to assess any environment and situation she finds herself in, with or without her charges, is a valuable skill that most potential employers would appreciate their nanny having.
A majority of nannies are charged with transporting children to and from different activities and appointments, so it only makes sense that a qualified nanny with defensive driving training would be a desirable caregiver. In a defensive driving course, nannies not only enhance their driving skills, they learn crash prevention techniques, the importance of safe driving, and how to identify driving risks. Nannies come away from defensive driving training with practical skills and information they are able to put to use to increase the safety of themselves and their charges.
For nannies who work for celebrity families or families where there is an elevated concern about the safety of the family’s children due to the nature of the parents work, status or wealth, a nanny who can double as a personal body guard will be highly sought after. Knowing how to ensure the safety of those entrusted to her, whether as a formal body guard or not, is an extremely attractive trait for a caregiver to have.
Families who live on or near beaches or lakes, have swimming pools or spas, or travel frequently and enjoy water activities should require their nanny to have water safety or life guard training. The International Nanny Association recommends that nannies only take a child swimming if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.
Child Passenger Safety
While not every nanny needs to become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, those who do tend to gain a new respect in households where child passenger safety is considered a high priority. As Child Passenger Safety Technicians, nannies not only learn how to choose and use an appropriate car seat for the children in their care, they also learn how to install them and how to teach parents to properly install them. Since it is estimated that 80-90% of car seats are installed incorrectly, a nanny who knows how to properly install and use car seats will be highly valued.
In the United States, the in-home childcare industry is highly unregulated. In fact, an individual is not required to take any specific coursework to become employed as a nanny. That said, many nannies opt to enroll in various classes to continue their education and to expand their knowledge base. Those who take safety related courses open the door to new job opportunities and become marketable to those parents who require specialized safety training.
Before enrolling in any course, nannies should carefully evaluate the credentials of the trainer, the curriculum or course agenda, the cost, the reputation of the trainer or training program, the weight the certification holds and the individual or training programs affiliation with any professional associations or governing bodies that regulate the type of training being offered.