Recommended Practices for Educators


Definitions of Educator Categories

INA has established the definitions of educator categories for the in-home child care industry. These include:


INA defines a nanny school as an educational program with a curriculum that adheres to the registration requirements set forth by the state in which it is based. A nanny school provides education that will lead to a “career” as a nanny. These programs are reviewed by state agencies on a regularly scheduled basis.

Training Programs

INA defines a training program as an educational program that is not required to be registered by the state in which it operates. These programs are often composed of a set of independent lectures that result in providing students with a specific skill set used in the nanny profession.


INA defines workshops as short educational seminars that concentrate on a defined area of learning related to the nanny profession. These sessions can help to improve the individuals’ abilities and skill sets.


Recommended Practices for Educators

INA recommends that any person who is establishing a school, training program or workshop for the education of nannies or specialty nannies follow the recommended guidelines in each of the following categories as they pertain to that educational program:

Conducting of Business

  • All educational programs should be registered with and obey the rules and regulations of their appropriate state board of education.
  • All educational programs should be ethical and truthful when speaking and sharing programming information with potential students, students, families and other individuals.
  • All educational programs should acquire state licensing and/or registration to conduct an educational program.
  • All educational programs should comply with state and local governing laws.  

Educational Curriculum for Schools

INA encourages schools to provide a curriculum that covers but is not limited to the following areas:

  • Child Growth & Development pertaining to infants, children and adolescents
  • Health and Safety
  • Creative Play
  • Nutrition
  • Household Management
  • Professionalism
  • Communication
  • Practicum or Practical Application of the skills/training provided within a private or public sector.

Curriculum hours

INA does not recommend a set number of curriculum and training hours, but instead defers to the specific guidelines set forth by the licensing and/or registration body in the state where each school is based. INA suggests that schools contact their local governing body for the contact and training hours required for operating an educational program.

Physical Space

INA recommends school provide:

  • A lending library/media center
  • A working kitchen for nutrition and household management curriculum
  • Enough space for each student to sit comfortably at a desk


INA recommends that:

  • Graduation requirements be clearly communicated 
  • Graduation requirements be strictly adhered to 

Job Placement & Recruitment

INA recommends the following when placing graduates for positions:

    • That no “guarantee” of placement is made to a student upon recruitment.
    • That schools be truthful and honest about potential placement and jobs available.
    • That each school make available updated placement lists no older than 3 months.


Recommended Educational Competencies for Nannies 

INA has developed recommended educational competencies for nannies. These include:
Competency Related to Meeting the Developmental Needs of Children

  • Observe and assess behavior of children.
  • Plan and implement consistent daily routines.
  • Create an environment to foster trust, self-esteem and independence in children.
  • Utilize age appropriate behavior management techniques in interaction with children.
  • Plan and implement developmentally appropriate play and learning activities for children in the home and in the community.
  • Choose and care for developmentally appropriate play materials and equipment.

Competencies Related to Interaction with Parents/Employers, Family Dynamics

  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Keep a daily journal or logbook.
  • Articulate a personal philosophy of child care.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the employing family
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of parent/employer’s philosophy of childrearing and recognize the special role a nanny assumes in becoming a part of the childrearing “team.”
  • Recognize the ultimate authority of parents in making decisions regarding the welfare and care of the child.
  • Respond to family requests in a timely manner.

Competencies Related to Professionalism, Personal Development and Social Skills

  • Present a professional attitude and appearance.
  • Use good judgment.
  • Utilize appropriate language and manners.
  • Demonstrate initiative in daily planning and performance of tasks and an ability to work unsupervised.
  • Participate in career related professional organizations.
  • Participate in social, cultural and educational activities to enhance personal growth and to maintain and improve competency.

Competencies Related to Physical Care of Children

  • Perform tasks related to the physical care of children.
  • Maintain appropriate hygienic standards for children regarding bathing, hand washing and care of hair and teeth.
  • Feed, change and bathe infants.
  • Prepare infant feedings and care for feeding equipment.
  • Select clothing appropriate to the child’s physical/social activities.
  • Plan and supervise rest, bed and nap times.
  • Plan and prepare nutritionally balanced meals and snacks.
  • Care for the mildly ill child.
  • Recognize symptoms of common childhood illnesses.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Perform appropriate first aid techniques.
  • Handle emergency situations.
  • Observe appropriate safety precautions.
  • Maintain up-to-date first aid and CPR certification.

Competencies Related to Domestic Tasks and Care of the Child’s Environment

  • Perform domestic tasks related to care and maintenance of the child’s areas of the home such as the bedroom, playroom, bathroom and outside play area.
  • Launder and make simple repairs to child’s clothing.
  • Observe safety precautions appropriate in a private home.


Nanny School, Training Program and Workshop Checklist
for the Prospective Student

When considering a school, training program or workshop, a prospective student is advised to evaluate the program keeping in mind the following things according to the program:

  • Length of program and number of classroom hours plus field work hours
  • Course materials and textbooks
  • Instructors’ credentials and qualifications
  • Program costs
  • Job placement services and costs
  • Type of classroom facilities
  • Type of field work requirements
  • Living accommodations during training
  • Food services available
  • Geographic location
  • Placement rate for graduates
  • Length of program’s existence
  • Transportation needs
  • Size of classes
  • Curriculum
  • Student screening
  • Status and abiding of state and locality of the licensing/registration requirements for an educational school/training program/workshop