Dear Manny Poppins:
" In your opinion, what is the most valuable tool for being a nanny? I want to increase my certifications and fill my portfolio, but I am not sure where to go with it.
Manny Poppin's Response:
Well, Anonymous, I feel that the most valuable tool for being a nanny is experience. A person can take every single class possible, have every single certificate possible and still not care about children or understand what to do to help them grow and develop.
A strong nanny will have the required certifications (CPR, BLS, etc.) as well as certifications based on their specialty (Newborn Care Specialist, Doula, etc.) but will keep their focus on those for a portfolio.
Of course keep taking classes, and going to training days and conferences-- but focus your portfolio only on what you want your potential employers to know about you and your experience- not things that are irrelevant or fillers.
That is not saying that a nanny with 1 year of actual experiences is not more than qualified— some people are just naturals! We all have to get our experience somehow, but in that case, having a portfolio full of certifications is going to make the family think that you are book smart—not experienced.
I hope that helps, and remember, a strong portfolio is one which highlights you, in as little time as possible.