Nanny Academy Training Modern Mary Poppins

First course of its kind to be certified by Education Department

By Lynn Berry and Hasani Gittens
|  Thursday, Oct 8, 2009  |  Updated 11:32 AM EDT
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Nanny School Rearing New Breed of Babysitter

NBC New York

Homecare hopefuls get lessons at the Nanny School

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Nanny School Rearing New Breed of Babysitter

Many nannies have little, if any, professional training when they start out, but one program aims to change that.
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Call it babysitter boot camp.

Nannies are often the first line of defense when it comes to child rearing for working families. But they often lack any professional child-care training.

“My biggest concern was really trusting the person I leave at home with my child all day,” said Holly Shapiro, a working mom who uses Absolute Best Care in Midtown, a nanny-placement agency that starting October 26, will start offering what they call “Nanny school.”

“Up until now, a nanny walks into a house, [they] play it by ear,” said Douglas Kozinn, owner of Absolute Best. “There is no training.”

The new Nanny School was designed by Saul and Monique Moskowitz, along with Kozinn, and the course is the only one of its kind to be certified by the New York State Board of Education.

The school will teach the ABC’s of basic child development, but also covers an extensive advanced checklist.

“Go over the day in the life, the schedule, the family values,” said Saul Moskowitz. “Based on those things, be able to create a plan to service the nanny according to the family’s needs.”

The school also aims to teach nannies to find out what foods their family likes, know their pet peeves, how to keep an environmentally friendly home and even how to make parents feel comfortable after a hard day at work.

It may sound like a nostalgic throwback to simpler times, but Kozinn says, “I don’t think we’re training a 1950’s housewife -- we’re training a 2010 nanny.”

Of course, getting some of the best care for your child doesn’t come cheap. The nanny academy costs nearly $4,000. But some parents say that’s a small price to pay for what really matters.

“I love the fact that all I need to do is love my child, and she manages from A to Z,” said Holly Shapiro. “So why wouldn’t I invest in her -- that’s like investing in my child."

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