National Nanny Standards

"I didn't know what I didn't know. Reviewing the standards helped me identify my strengths and gaps in my childcare knowledge."

Why Create Standards?

Being a nanny is a huge responsibility. Families trust nannies with the care and well-being of their most precious family members – their children.

The US Nanny Association’s National Nanny Standards provide a comprehensive approach to childcare and child development that enable nannies to successfully use and adapt caregiving techniques. The standards include diverse, proven methodologies and childcare skills that align with the differing needs of families, parenting customs and laws in the United States.

 

The US Nanny Association National Nanny Standards for childcare are based on the research of childcare educators and industry leaders. The National Nanny Standards align with national early childhood development post-secondary curricula, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessments, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). While there are no laws requiring nanny standards in the United States, industry standards and credentials recognize quality training and work experience.

 

 

The National Nanny Standards were established and approved by the Standards Advisory Team. The US Nanny Standards are reviewed and updated by the Standards Advisory Team. The Standards Advisory Team includes select members of the US Nanny Association Board of Directors and additional faculty, professional nannies, newborn care specialists, agency owners, nanny employers, and other childcare industry leaders.

US Nanny Association National Standards align with US laws, childcare standards, education requirements & cultural norms.

At the Library

"Published standards take the guesswork out of advancing from sitter to nanny to professional nanny. Knowing the standards align with teaching and other childcare degrees helps me invest in a career path."

The standards are divided into three categories - Nanny (N), Newborn and Infant (I) and Professional Nanny (P). These levels align with the skills valued by nanny agencies and employers. In the United States, some families maintain that the childcare provider’s primary role is to supervise children and ensure they are kept safe. These families hire sitters and entry-level nannies, often paying entry-level wages. Other families want to hire a fully trained childcare specialist or professional nanny. These families view childcare as a profession and expect training and additional qualifications for higher wages.

Each standard has an alpha-numeric reference number. The first number identifies the standard (#1-7). The second number denotes if the standard is for Nanny (N), Newborn and Infant (I) or Professional (P). The third number is the unique identifier. The National Standards are cumulative as the Newborn and Infant Standards include the Nanny Standards and the Professional Nanny Standards include the Nanny Standards.

Get a Nanny, Newborn and Infant or Professional Nanny and Childcare Provider Credential based on these National Standards

National Nanny Standards

The Nanny and Childcare Provider (NCP) Certification is designed for nannies and sitters seeking to establish and maintain a safe, clean, and healthy environment for children. Certified nannies usually seek part-time, full-time and /or summer or resort positions with families or employers. Certified nannies often are solely responsible for multiple children before and after school, during the week and for weekend care.

Nanny Standards

Standard #1. Commit to ethical behaviors and professionalism.


1.I.1 Newborn care specialists effectively work as part of a team that may include parents, doulas, lactation consultants and extended family members.

1.I.2 Newborn care specialists may provide recommendations to new parents and will adapt to and support the decisions of the parents.

1.I.3 Newborn care specialists will discuss safety concerns with parents and will report suspected abuse to local authorities.

1.I.4 Newborn care specialists working night shifts with sleeping parents will view their entire shift as work and will not have a full-time night job and a full-time day job at the same time.




Standard #2. Establish and maintain a safe environment.


2.I.1 Newborn care specialists know their limitations and when overwhelmed will let a baby cry safely in a crib rather than risk harm to the child such as shaken baby syndrome.

2.I.2 Newborn care specialists are aware of the dangers of animals to a newborn and infant and can provide recommendations to modify the home and/or baby room to ensure an infant’s safety.

2.I.3 Newborn care specialists know the challenges of and can safely care for multiples.

2.I.4 Newborn care specialists can explain Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and how to minimize the risk of SIDS with safe sleeping practices.

2.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the consequences of being distracted including the risk of forgetting a child in a hot car.

2.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the signs of postpartum depression (baby blues) and ways to support new moms, encourage them to get help when needed.




Standard #3. Promote child development and growth.


3.I.1 Newborn care specialists understand attachment theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Erikson), can define the four types of attachment (secure, resistant, avoidant and disorganized) and can apply techniques to encourage positive attachment with newborns and infants.

3.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand the term “fourth trimester” (the first 3 months of infancy) and the continued growth and development from the pregnancy as the infant’s body systems continue to develop and regulate function.




Standard #4. Promote physical, emotional, and social development.


4.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the physical limitations of newborns and how it impacts infant care including limited eyesight, body temperature regulation, neck muscle limitations and fluid swallowing volumes.

4.I.2 Newborn care specialists know the reflexes of infants (root, suck, moro, tonic neck, grasp, stepping) and differentiate reflexes from infant developmental milestones to monitor the infant’s growth.

4.I.3 Newborn care specialists know infant physical milestones (roll over, sit upright, crawl, walk), sensory milestones (recognizes faces, turns head when called, copies expressions), and social-emotional milestones (smiling, eye contact, self-soothing, fear of strangers) and provide supportive activities for each milestone.

4.I.4 Newborn care specialists know and can track the emotional development milestones (primary emotions anger, joy, surprise, sadness and fear emerge between 2.5 and 7 months).

4.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the 5 stage of consciousness (deep sleep, light sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert and crying), can assess an infant’s current stage and adapt the environment as needed to care for the infant’s needs (ie creating a calm environment for a drowsy child to nap).

4.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the amount of sleep infants require and how to create a safe sleep space per the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

4.I.7 Newborn care specialists can manage common newborn and infant ailments including umbilical cord, circumcision, cradle cap, hair loss, teething, baby acne, colic, diarrhea, constipation, croup, and fevers.

4.I.8 Newborn care specialists know that infants react to the emotional state of their caregiver, and thus manage their emotional state when caring for a child. Newborn care specialists also know that infants have their own temperament and can adjust their care to the infant’s temperament.




Standard #5. Support cognitive development and academic advancement.


5. I.1 Newborn care specialists can identify and track cognitive milestones including intentionally dropping an object, object permanence, and stranger anxiety.

5.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand and effectively communicate the benefits of reading and speaking to newborns and infants for language and cognitive development and incorporate reading into their daily routine.

5.I.3 Newborn care specialists know and effectively communicate the benefits of playing different types of music when caring for newborns and infants and incorporate music into the daily routine.

5.I.4 Newborn care specialists know basic baby sign language, can communicate the benefits of baby sign language to parents, and if desired by the parents, are able to introduce signs to infants.




Standard #6. Promote nutrition, health and wellness.


6.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the signs of colic (unexpected, resists soothing, pain-like face, long lasting, common between 2 and 5 months and more likely in the late afternoon or evening) and the steps to take when managing colic.

6.I.2 Newborn care specialists know food safety (never microwave, storage temperatures, expiration dates, time out of refrigeration), safe feeding techniques (breastmilk, formula and introducing solids), how to transition from breastmilk to formula, and feeding guidelines (stomach capacity by age, bottle flow rate).

6.1.3 Newborn care specialists know the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for infant nutrition and the nutritional composition breast milk (colostrum, foremilk, hindmilk, transitional and mature) and common formulas (cow milk protein-based, soy-based and protein hydrolysate) and plan newborn feedings accordingly.

6.I.4 Newborn care specialists know the benefits of and how to implement baby led weaning.

6.I.5 Newborn care specialists effectively manage infant waste including disposable and cloth diapers, wiping front to back, cleaning up a blow out and identifying and treating diaper rash.

6.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the drowning risks and how to safely bath an infant and apply these techniques to ensure the child’s safety.

6.I.7 Newborn care specialists support preemies with at-home managed medical issues and implement immunocompromised precautions to avoid public places, limit visitors, and wear masks.

6.I.8 Newborn care specialists know the difference between chronological and corrected age and its importance to track preemie developmental milestones.

6.I.9 Newborn care specialists can identify and care for common medical and health issues such as cleft palate, tongue tied, reflux and pyloric stenosis, plagiocephay and brachycephaly and care for newborn skin ((lanugo, vernix, milia, pustular melanosis, erythema toxicum).

6.I.10 Newborn care specialists can provide recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment and soothing baby room with safely secured changing stations, infant safe equipment, and American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) approved soothing devices.




Standard #7. Establish positive relationships with children, family members, and employers.


7.I.1 Newborn care specialists discuss infant developmental milestone notification with the family and learn whether the family wants to be notified or not when an infant achieves a milestone. Newborn care specialists realize most parents want to experience their baby’s ‘first’ even if a childcare provider saw the milestone before the parents.

7.I.2 Newborn care specialists discuss positive discipline techniques with parents as the infant turns 4 months old and aligns with the parents on when and how the word “no” will be used.

7.I.3 Newborn care specialists provide daily activity tracking for parents including feedings (time, amount), sleep, medications and excretions.





Newborn and Infant Care Standards

The Newborn and Infant Care Professional (NICP) Certification is those who care for preemies, newborns and infants to 12 months old. Newborn care specialists help families learn best practices and establish schedules. Many Newborn Care Specialists work overnight and/or as consultants to assist new parents. The Newborn and Infant Care Standards include all of the Nanny Standards and the Newborn and Infant Care Standards.

Newborn and Infant Care Standards

Standard #1. Commit to ethical behaviors and professionalism.


1.I.1 Newborn care specialists effectively work as part of a team that may include parents, doulas, lactation consultants and extended family members.

1.I.2 Newborn care specialists may provide recommendations to new parents and will adapt to and support the decisions of the parents.

1.I.3 Newborn care specialists will discuss safety concerns with parents and will report suspected abuse to local authorities.

1.I.4 Newborn care specialists working night shifts with sleeping parents will view their entire shift as work and will not have a full-time night job and a full-time day job at the same time.




Standard #2. Establish and maintain a safe environment.


2.I.1 Newborn care specialists know their limitations and when overwhelmed will let a baby cry safely in a crib rather than risk harm to the child such as shaken baby syndrome.

2.I.2 Newborn care specialists are aware of the dangers of animals to a newborn and infant and can provide recommendations to modify the home and/or baby room to ensure an infant’s safety.

2.I.3 Newborn care specialists know the challenges of and can safely care for multiples.

2.I.4 Newborn care specialists can explain Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and how to minimize the risk of SIDS with safe sleeping practices.

2.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the consequences of being distracted including the risk of forgetting a child in a hot car.

2.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the signs of postpartum depression (baby blues) and ways to support new moms, encourage them to get help when needed.




Standard #3. Promote child development and growth.


3.I.1 Newborn care specialists understand attachment theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Erikson), can define the four types of attachment (secure, resistant, avoidant and disorganized) and can apply techniques to encourage positive attachment with newborns and infants.

3.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand the term “fourth trimester” (the first 3 months of infancy) and the continued growth and development from the pregnancy as the infant’s body systems continue to develop and regulate function.




Standard #4. Promote physical, emotional, and social development.


4.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the physical limitations of newborns and how it impacts infant care including limited eyesight, body temperature regulation, neck muscle limitations and fluid swallowing volumes.

4.I.2 Newborn care specialists know the reflexes of infants (root, suck, moro, tonic neck, grasp, stepping) and differentiate reflexes from infant developmental milestones to monitor the infant’s growth.

4.I.3 Newborn care specialists know infant physical milestones (roll over, sit upright, crawl, walk), sensory milestones (recognizes faces, turns head when called, copies expressions), and social-emotional milestones (smiling, eye contact, self-soothing, fear of strangers) and provide supportive activities for each milestone.

4.I.4 Newborn care specialists know and can track the emotional development milestones (primary emotions anger, joy, surprise, sadness and fear emerge between 2.5 and 7 months).

4.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the 5 stage of consciousness (deep sleep, light sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert and crying), can assess an infant’s current stage and adapt the environment as needed to care for the infant’s needs (ie creating a calm environment for a drowsy child to nap).

4.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the amount of sleep infants require and how to create a safe sleep space per the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

4.I.7 Newborn care specialists can manage common newborn and infant ailments including umbilical cord, circumcision, cradle cap, hair loss, teething, baby acne, colic, diarrhea, constipation, croup, and fevers.

4.I.8 Newborn care specialists know that infants react to the emotional state of their caregiver, and thus manage their emotional state when caring for a child. Newborn care specialists also know that infants have their own temperament and can adjust their care to the infant’s temperament.




Standard #5. Support cognitive development and academic advancement.


5. I.1 Newborn care specialists can identify and track cognitive milestones including intentionally dropping an object, object permanence, and stranger anxiety.

5.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand and effectively communicate the benefits of reading and speaking to newborns and infants for language and cognitive development and incorporate reading into their daily routine.

5.I.3 Newborn care specialists know and effectively communicate the benefits of playing different types of music when caring for newborns and infants and incorporate music into the daily routine.

5.I.4 Newborn care specialists know basic baby sign language, can communicate the benefits of baby sign language to parents, and if desired by the parents, are able to introduce signs to infants.




Standard #6. Promote nutrition, health and wellness.


6.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the signs of colic (unexpected, resists soothing, pain-like face, long lasting, common between 2 and 5 months and more likely in the late afternoon or evening) and the steps to take when managing colic.

6.I.2 Newborn care specialists know food safety (never microwave, storage temperatures, expiration dates, time out of refrigeration), safe feeding techniques (breastmilk, formula and introducing solids), how to transition from breastmilk to formula, and feeding guidelines (stomach capacity by age, bottle flow rate).

6.1.3 Newborn care specialists know the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for infant nutrition and the nutritional composition breast milk (colostrum, foremilk, hindmilk, transitional and mature) and common formulas (cow milk protein-based, soy-based and protein hydrolysate) and plan newborn feedings accordingly.

6.I.4 Newborn care specialists know the benefits of and how to implement baby led weaning.

6.I.5 Newborn care specialists effectively manage infant waste including disposable and cloth diapers, wiping front to back, cleaning up a blow out and identifying and treating diaper rash.

6.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the drowning risks and how to safely bath an infant and apply these techniques to ensure the child’s safety.

6.I.7 Newborn care specialists support preemies with at-home managed medical issues and implement immunocompromised precautions to avoid public places, limit visitors, and wear masks.

6.I.8 Newborn care specialists know the difference between chronological and corrected age and its importance to track preemie developmental milestones.

6.I.9 Newborn care specialists can identify and care for common medical and health issues such as cleft palate, tongue tied, reflux and pyloric stenosis, plagiocephay and brachycephaly and care for newborn skin ((lanugo, vernix, milia, pustular melanosis, erythema toxicum).

6.I.10 Newborn care specialists can provide recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment and soothing baby room with safely secured changing stations, infant safe equipment, and American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) approved soothing devices.




Standard #7. Establish positive relationships with children, family members, and employers.


7.I.1 Newborn care specialists discuss infant developmental milestone notification with the family and learn whether the family wants to be notified or not when an infant achieves a milestone. Newborn care specialists realize most parents want to experience their baby’s ‘first’ even if a childcare provider saw the milestone before the parents.

7.I.2 Newborn care specialists discuss positive discipline techniques with parents as the infant turns 4 months old and aligns with the parents on when and how the word “no” will be used.

7.I.3 Newborn care specialists provide daily activity tracking for parents including feedings (time, amount), sleep, medications and excretions.





Professional Nanny Standards

The Professional Nanny and Childcare Provider (PNCP) Certification is designed for those who have invested in their education and have gained comprehensive knowledge that includes newborn care, advanced child development, nutrition, health, fitness and more. The Professional Nanny Standards define the advanced knowledge and skills to provide care for the whole child. The Professional Nanny Standards include the Nanny Standards and Professional Nanny Standards.

Professional Nanny Standards

Standard #1. Commit to ethical behaviors and professionalism.


1.I.1 Newborn care specialists effectively work as part of a team that may include parents, doulas, lactation consultants and extended family members.

1.I.2 Newborn care specialists may provide recommendations to new parents and will adapt to and support the decisions of the parents.

1.I.3 Newborn care specialists will discuss safety concerns with parents and will report suspected abuse to local authorities.

1.I.4 Newborn care specialists working night shifts with sleeping parents will view their entire shift as work and will not have a full-time night job and a full-time day job at the same time.




Standard #2. Establish and maintain a safe environment.


2.I.1 Newborn care specialists know their limitations and when overwhelmed will let a baby cry safely in a crib rather than risk harm to the child such as shaken baby syndrome.

2.I.2 Newborn care specialists are aware of the dangers of animals to a newborn and infant and can provide recommendations to modify the home and/or baby room to ensure an infant’s safety.

2.I.3 Newborn care specialists know the challenges of and can safely care for multiples.

2.I.4 Newborn care specialists can explain Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and how to minimize the risk of SIDS with safe sleeping practices.

2.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the consequences of being distracted including the risk of forgetting a child in a hot car.

2.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the signs of postpartum depression (baby blues) and ways to support new moms, encourage them to get help when needed.




Standard #3. Promote child development and growth.


3.I.1 Newborn care specialists understand attachment theory (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Erikson), can define the four types of attachment (secure, resistant, avoidant and disorganized) and can apply techniques to encourage positive attachment with newborns and infants.

3.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand the term “fourth trimester” (the first 3 months of infancy) and the continued growth and development from the pregnancy as the infant’s body systems continue to develop and regulate function.




Standard #4. Promote physical, emotional, and social development.


4.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the physical limitations of newborns and how it impacts infant care including limited eyesight, body temperature regulation, neck muscle limitations and fluid swallowing volumes.

4.I.2 Newborn care specialists know the reflexes of infants (root, suck, moro, tonic neck, grasp, stepping) and differentiate reflexes from infant developmental milestones to monitor the infant’s growth.

4.I.3 Newborn care specialists know infant physical milestones (roll over, sit upright, crawl, walk), sensory milestones (recognizes faces, turns head when called, copies expressions), and social-emotional milestones (smiling, eye contact, self-soothing, fear of strangers) and provide supportive activities for each milestone.

4.I.4 Newborn care specialists know and can track the emotional development milestones (primary emotions anger, joy, surprise, sadness and fear emerge between 2.5 and 7 months).

4.I.5 Newborn care specialists are aware of the 5 stage of consciousness (deep sleep, light sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert and crying), can assess an infant’s current stage and adapt the environment as needed to care for the infant’s needs (ie creating a calm environment for a drowsy child to nap).

4.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the amount of sleep infants require and how to create a safe sleep space per the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

4.I.7 Newborn care specialists can manage common newborn and infant ailments including umbilical cord, circumcision, cradle cap, hair loss, teething, baby acne, colic, diarrhea, constipation, croup, and fevers.

4.I.8 Newborn care specialists know that infants react to the emotional state of their caregiver, and thus manage their emotional state when caring for a child. Newborn care specialists also know that infants have their own temperament and can adjust their care to the infant’s temperament.




Standard #5. Support cognitive development and academic advancement.


5. I.1 Newborn care specialists can identify and track cognitive milestones including intentionally dropping an object, object permanence, and stranger anxiety.

5.I.2 Newborn care specialists understand and effectively communicate the benefits of reading and speaking to newborns and infants for language and cognitive development and incorporate reading into their daily routine.

5.I.3 Newborn care specialists know and effectively communicate the benefits of playing different types of music when caring for newborns and infants and incorporate music into the daily routine.

5.I.4 Newborn care specialists know basic baby sign language, can communicate the benefits of baby sign language to parents, and if desired by the parents, are able to introduce signs to infants.




Standard #6. Promote nutrition, health and wellness.


6.I.1 Newborn care specialists know the signs of colic (unexpected, resists soothing, pain-like face, long lasting, common between 2 and 5 months and more likely in the late afternoon or evening) and the steps to take when managing colic.

6.I.2 Newborn care specialists know food safety (never microwave, storage temperatures, expiration dates, time out of refrigeration), safe feeding techniques (breastmilk, formula and introducing solids), how to transition from breastmilk to formula, and feeding guidelines (stomach capacity by age, bottle flow rate).

6.1.3 Newborn care specialists know the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for infant nutrition and the nutritional composition breast milk (colostrum, foremilk, hindmilk, transitional and mature) and common formulas (cow milk protein-based, soy-based and protein hydrolysate) and plan newborn feedings accordingly.

6.I.4 Newborn care specialists know the benefits of and how to implement baby led weaning.

6.I.5 Newborn care specialists effectively manage infant waste including disposable and cloth diapers, wiping front to back, cleaning up a blow out and identifying and treating diaper rash.

6.I.6 Newborn care specialists know the drowning risks and how to safely bath an infant and apply these techniques to ensure the child’s safety.

6.I.7 Newborn care specialists support preemies with at-home managed medical issues and implement immunocompromised precautions to avoid public places, limit visitors, and wear masks.

6.I.8 Newborn care specialists know the difference between chronological and corrected age and its importance to track preemie developmental milestones.

6.I.9 Newborn care specialists can identify and care for common medical and health issues such as cleft palate, tongue tied, reflux and pyloric stenosis, plagiocephay and brachycephaly and care for newborn skin ((lanugo, vernix, milia, pustular melanosis, erythema toxicum).

6.I.10 Newborn care specialists can provide recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment and soothing baby room with safely secured changing stations, infant safe equipment, and American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) approved soothing devices.




Standard #7. Establish positive relationships with children, family members, and employers.


7.I.1 Newborn care specialists discuss infant developmental milestone notification with the family and learn whether the family wants to be notified or not when an infant achieves a milestone. Newborn care specialists realize most parents want to experience their baby’s ‘first’ even if a childcare provider saw the milestone before the parents.

7.I.2 Newborn care specialists discuss positive discipline techniques with parents as the infant turns 4 months old and aligns with the parents on when and how the word “no” will be used.

7.I.3 Newborn care specialists provide daily activity tracking for parents including feedings (time, amount), sleep, medications and excretions.