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5 Things Parents Should Look for on Child Care Resumes

Finding the perfect babysitter or nanny starts with the right resume.

Finding the right person to care for your little one is a daunting task. You want someone with Mrs. Doubtfire’s nurturing nature and Mary Poppins’ sunny disposition. But that’s no easy feat.

After you’ve scoured the four corners of the Earth (and Google) for your perfect child care provider candidates, the question becomes: What does that person look like in the form of a child care resume? What are key phrases and experiences you should keep an eye out for? And most importantly, what are the red flags? Here are five things you should pay close attention to:

1. Age-appropriate experience

The needs of an infant vary wildly from that of a preschooler. You’ll want to look for someone who’s worked with children that are the age equivalent of yours. If their resume doesn’t clearly list the ages of the children they’ve worked with, scan the it for special skills that relate to age such as “changing diapers,” “potty training” or “teaching children how to write their name.”

2. Safety requirements

One of the first things families may look for on a child care resume is a CPR certification. You can verify their certification through the American Heart Association’s CPRVerify site (https://www.cprverify.org/). This online tool will help you quickly check on training completed by an authorized AHA instructor and can be conveniently done any time of day, 365 days a year. You’ll also want to scan the resume for skills in administering basic first aid and child-proofing the home. After all, safety first!

3. Technical skills

In some cases, you’ll want to be reassured that your child care provider can operate some of the basic appliances that are necessary in the maintenance and cleanliness of a household with a child. Remember: your babysitter or nanny isn’t a cleaning service—but knowing how to keep an orderly and germ-free environment will go a long way in preventing illnesses. No wants their child to get sick! Check the resume for mentions of “preparing food,” “dishwashers,” “washing machine” and “disinfecting toys or surfaces.”

4. References

A list of references is an excellent way to vouch for the candidate’s reliability and character. Checking references is a must during any babysitting hiring process. After all, finding a nanny or babysitter whose background aligns with your household’s responsibilities and values will make the transition all the easier. References are also a great way to gauge how responsible, caring and engaging a candidate is. Once you’ve narrowed down your child care search to a finalist, you may want to take the next step and invest in a background check.

5. Child care degree

While it’s not a necessity, a degree or certification specific to child care is an added advantage. You might want to also look for any experience with teaching, instructing or volunteering with kids.


Getting a degree does teach you a lot of information that you don't know just through experience. I'm currently in my third year working towards my Educational Studies degree, and the science behind how and why kids do things and the way they learn is something I would not have known simply from my nannying jobs. As the article stated, a degree is not completely necessary to care for children, but it does give you background and incite that is helpful.

I agree with Teri,there is no degree or certificate that compares to experience! Experience is the best teacher! Teresa Franklin

Lynne in Agawam, MA
Aug. 4, 2018

(My previous comment was in response to Terri's comment!) But this article is excellent and very helpful!

Lynne in Agawam, MA
Aug. 4, 2018

These are some of my exact same experiences as well, and I totally agree!!! I believe seasoned mothers have so much experience!! Amen!

This is just my own opinion, but after raising (along with my husband of over37 years) 4 sons. That are now adults (ages 36, 35, 34 & 31), two of them have sons of their own ( ages 10 & 11). All four are responsible & contributing members to their communities. And as far as we know have stayed out of trouble (a parent never knows 100% of what goes on in their adult child's life). Back to my original point, I did the majority of the child raising when then boys were little & dad was working swing shift to keep a roof over our head & food on the table. The birthdate of out first son to the birthdate to our fourth son is 4 years 8 months 16 days. ( and I had a miscarriage between sons 3 & 4) I also worked for 25+ years in our previous church nursery with infants & toddlers (primarily infants). What I'm saying is no amount of school or any piece of paper could have taught me what going through four full term pregnancies - having a miscarriage - in less than five years and proceeding to raise four boys was even going to come close to. They were always considered very well behaved ---even when I was mortified by their behavior. PLUS, the experience I gained helping care for at least three or four groups of babies go through our church nursery in 25+ yrs. I took care of friends children, then watched those children marry, and took care of THEIR babies in the nursery. What school can give me one iota of the experience that I gained through all of,those years and all of those precious babies??????? None, as far as I'm concerned.

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