Due to the popularity of British nannies around the world it is often (incorrectly) assumed that there are numerous nanny schools competing for students in the United Kingdom. Perhaps surprisingly there are only two well known nanny schools in the UK: Norland College and Chiltern College, though Montessori Centre International also graduates child care professionals who go on to work as nannies. However, this does not mean that only graduates of these institutions may become nannies. There is no formal, legal requirement for a particular qualification in order to work as a nanny, so there are a number of different options and certifications that nannies may hold.
Norland CollegeNorland College shot to recent attention when it was featured in the television series "Nanny School" on the Discovery Home and Health network, but it is actually over 110 years old. The College is located in Bath and offers opportunities for both classroom learning and practical experience. The College offers students the opportunity to study for the Diploma of Higher Education in Early Childhood Studies as validated by Oxford Brookes University. This Diploma incorporates the NVQ Level 3 in Children's Care, Learning and Development and students study for the Norland Diploma in Childcare and Education (DCE) which results in the CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education. Studies are followed by a one year probationary period which, when successfully completed, ends in the Norland Diploma. This probationary year is fully paid, and arranged by the Norland Employment Agency.
Chiltern CollegeChiltern College is situated in Caversham in Reading and caters to both residential and non-residential students. These students either study a two year course for the CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education or for the NVQ Level 3 Early Years Care and Education while at the same time working towards the Chiltern Certificate which stresses practical applications. Motivated students can also undertake the one year International Postgraduate Diploma Course offered by the College. The College also offers a one year, part time Montessori teaching course.
Montessori Centre InternationalMontessori Centre International offers full time, part time and distance learning opportunities to interested students. The Centre stresses the Montessori approach to education in which teachers are trained to help children become self-educators. This approach engages the whole child and all aspects of his or her development, including social, intellectual, emotional and physical aspects. Successful graduates of the Centre can earn an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy as well as a number of more foundational certificates.
While Norland and Chiltern College are probably the premier nanny schools in the UK, Montessori Centre International also graduates a number of successful students who go on to work as nannies. Though there are no professional requirements for nannies, it is recommended that employers look for at least one type of educational or vocational qualification to ensure that a nanny is ready to be left unsupervised and responsible for children. Many nanny recruitment agencies will require a qualification of the nannies who they hope to place, but potential employers should always be aware to ask for - and check - any qualifications that a candidate holds. This is a normal precaution, and potential nannies should not be put out by this request.