Today we interview Miss Angela Johnson, aka @ask.the.nanny! She is a bonafide and certified Newborn Care Specialist (NCS).
She’s been in the nanny industry for several years specializing in newborn care. This woman is a WEALTH of knowledge and has skills to pay the bills! But even with all that, she decided to get some additional training to become officially certified as an NCS.
We talk about what being an NCS actually is, including:
- What are NCS services?
- Does an NCS need to be certified?
- What is the schedule like?
- What is in the contract?
We also discuss the benefits of having a professional certification!
What are Newborn Care Specialists? What do they do?
A Newborn Care Specialist is the person that’s there from the time of the delivery. While most get booked at the beginning of the third trimester, they typically start when the new baby arrives.
They take care of all things baby. Some examples are:
- Diaper changes
- Sleep training – this one is a big deal for anyone who values sleeping through the night!
- Baby laundry
They also guide new parents through the transition from adult to parent. They answer questions and make recommendations of products, education methods, and parenting styles from their extensive knowledge and experience.
Are Newborn Care Specialists Certified?
The short answer is: Yes. As Angela explains, being a newborn nanny lends itself to performing a lot of the tasks of an NCS. However, there are certification courses that you should take in order to properly qualify as an NCS.
Being a Newborn Care Specialist means dealing with all of the fear, excitement, and hormones of a new parent. The extra level of worry is often subsided with a piece of paper that reassures them that you, as a professional NCS, know what you’re doing – a certification.
Most certification courses don’t teach you things that you, as a nanny with years of experience, may not already know. However, they give you the terminology you need to explain things to the parents. And, more importantly, you gain confidence by having an expert in the field confirm that the methods you’ve been using for years, are the best.
Having a Newborn Care Specialist Certification will also help set you apart from the competition. That formal education proven by that little piece of paper will show that you are on the next level of professionalism.
Just like trust and consistency are vital in training babies, so it is in the relationship between a NCS and family. That trust starts with the certification and builds with the performance and positive results of the NCS.
What is an NCS Schedule?
Like many Nanny style careers, the schedule depends on what the family needs. That being said, unlike most nannies, Newborn Care Specialists have the right to set their schedule and stick to it. They need to be aware of their limits and set boundaries accordingly.
On average, an NCS will work 8-24 hour shifts, but by law, are required to take at least a 4 hour break in between for sleep. While it’s important to meet the needs of the families, as an NCS, or a nanny in any field for that matter, it’s important to know your limits. When we work beyond our limits, we stop providing the best service.
Especially with COVID, Newborn Care Specialists need to quarantine for two weeks before starting work with a new client. Newborns and new moms have lowered immune systems, so as an outsider coming in to care for them, it’s vital to come as healthy as possible.
Pro Tip: When caring for children, don’t wear heavy perfumes, or scented lotions, deodorants, or makeup.
Signing New Clients as an NCS
All caregivers need to be thorough and upfront in the interview with their expectations, but as an NCS, this conversation will end with a signed contract and deposit.
Because Newborn Care Specialists get booked so far in advance and quarantine before starting with a new client, it’s important for them to set expectations and boundaries. This starts with the interview and contract.
Newborn Care Specialist Contracts & Taxes
While most nannies are employees, Newborn Care Specialists are independent contractors (not to be confused with ‘filing as a sole proprietor, you have your own business, nanny’). This is because they come in and call all the shots. The most noteworthy is, having someone come in and cover for them without any repercussions.
If you are unsure about how to file your taxes as a nanny, sign-up for a mentoring session.
With that being said, an NCS is unlike any other contract I’ve ever made. But, after hearing from Angela in this interview and collaborating with her for weeks, we did it! We produced a Downloadable Newborn Care Specialist Contract. You can get yours with my Employee Nanny and Sole Proprietor Contracts.
Contracts, Certifications, Taxes – Oh My!
Despite all the logistics of the paperwork side of things, we can confidently say that Newborn Care Specialists are rockstars in the childcare industry. If you are a nanny considering an NCS certification, take to heart that you will serve a meaningful role in the hearts and homes of these new families. What a rewarding career!
Rest, nurture, grow, repeat.