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PARENTING: Will you please train my nanny / Au pair / babysitter, etc. on how to support my child's executive function skills? (2024)

As more parents recognize the significance of executive function skills—such as planning, prioritization, and self-regulation—over traditional academic success or a packed schedule, the demand for caregivers equipped to nurture these abilities has surged.

This article responds to that growing awareness, offering a comprehensive guide for training nannies, au pairs, and babysitters. It presents various budget-friendly options to ensure every family can support their child's development in these crucial areas.

What are executive function skills?

Executive function skills are the mental processes that enable us to:

  • Plan

  • Focus attention

  • Remember instructions

  • ...and juggle multiple tasks successfully.

Similar to an air traffic controller managing planes at an airport, these skills help us prioritize tasks, resist distractions, and control impulses.

Essential executive functions include working memory, inhibitory control (regulating our urges), cognitive inhibition (ignoring unrelated stimuli), attentional control, and cognitive flexibility (adjusting thinking based on the environment).

These skills are crucial for daily decision-making and behavior management, affecting our ability to achieve goals and interact socially. Developing and enhancing these skills is possible at any age through targeted strategies and practices.

For a deep dive on what executive function skills are, check out these two articles

How can I ensure my Au pair / babysitter / nanny is effectively supporting my child's executive function skills?

Exploring ways to enhance your child's executive function skills is crucial for their development. This guide outlines three options tailored to support these skills, ranked from least to most expensive.

Starting with targeted questions for potential caregivers, progressing through specialized training like the Semester Success Blueprint course, and culminating in an Executive Function Coaching certification, each step offers a unique level of investment in your child's ability to plan, prioritize, and self-regulate.

Choose the option that aligns with your family's needs and budget to best support your child's academic and personal growth and if you have any questions, post a comment below, or send an email to:

Option 1 (least expensive): Ask these questions before hiring a care giver

Before hiring a caregiver, asking targeted questions can be a straightforward and cost-effective method to ensure they are equipped to support your child's executive function skills.

This approach involves inquiring about their past experiences, strategies, and willingness to engage in activities that enhance planning, organization, time management, and self-regulation skills.

It also tests their adaptability and openness to feedback, crucial traits for fostering a supportive environment for your child's development.

Can you share your experience with supporting children's executive function skills, such as planning, organization, and time management?

What strategies or techniques have you used in the past to help children improve their planning, prioritization, and self-regulation skills?

How do you handle situations where a child is struggling with self-control or becoming easily distracted?

Can you give examples of activities you might plan that could help develop a child's executive function skills?

How open are you to receiving feedback and suggestions on ways to better support my child's executive function development?

Other no-cost ways to support your caregiver in increasing their expertise on EF skills include:

Option 2: Have your caregiver complete the Semester Success Blueprint course

Enrolling your caregiver in the Semester Success Blueprint course is a proactive step towards specialized training in supporting executive function skills.

This option provides structured learning, equipping caregivers with a solid foundation in strategies and techniques tailored for academic and personal success. It's a valuable investment in your child's future, ensuring their caregiver has the tools and knowledge to effectively guide them through their educational journey.

This course is a series of four main modules with bite-sized instructional videos meant to teach critical executive function skills which are not often taught in the school system. The modules are:

  1. How To Create Your ADHD-Friendly Student Dashboard

  2. Mastering Time Management with Google Calendar

  3. The Art and Science of Communicating with Your Teachers

  4. Breaking Mid-Terms & Finals Into Manageable Chunks

After each module, your caregiver will have an opportunity to reflect on what they learn and evaluate their mastery through a short quiz.

Take the free preview of the Semester Success Blueprint by clicking here.

Option 3: Have your caregiver complete the Executive Function Coaching certification course

For a comprehensive approach, having your caregiver complete an Executive Function Coaching certification offers an in-depth exploration of executive function skills and the most effective ways to support them.

This certification provides a robust framework for understanding, teaching, and implementing strategies that can significantly impact your child's ability to plan, prioritize, and self-regulate. It represents a higher level of commitment and professional development for caregivers dedicated to making a lasting difference in children's lives.

While some of the content in these classes is focused on business best practices, a significant portion is dedicated to methodologies and strategies that directly contribute to improving Executive Function skills in children.

The comprehensive approach of these courses ensures that caregivers are well-equipped with the necessary skills to effectively support your child's development in areas such as planning, organization, time management, and self-regulation.

Despite the business-oriented aspects, the core educational components are immensely beneficial for any caregiver aiming to enhance a child's EF skills. Investing in this training for your caregiver can therefore be seen as a valuable investment in your child's future, laying a solid foundation for their academic and personal success.

Learn more about the details of the Executive Function Certification program here.


As we've explored the essential role of executive function skills in a child's development and the various ways to support these abilities through caregiver training, it's clear that the right support can make a significant difference.

From asking insightful questions before hiring a caregiver to investing in comprehensive training programs, each option offers unique benefits to enhance your child's planning, organization, time management, and self-regulation skills.

If you're committed to fostering an environment that nurtures these critical skills in your child, staying informed is key.

to receive weekly tips on supporting executive function skills, ensuring you're equipped with the latest strategies and insights to aid your child's journey towards academic and personal growth.

How can I learn more about the executive function certification course?

The program is not available for purchase. It is run throughout the year as a live course and to get updates on when the next enrollment window will be opening, you can subscribe to this email list.

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About the author

Sean G. McCormick founded Executive Function Specialists, an online EF coaching business that guides students to overcome procrastination, disorganization, and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization, and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.

He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a coaching organization dedicated to supporting adults in enhancing their EF skills to create rewarding careers.

He founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains special education teachers, school psychologists, and other professionals to support students with ADHD and executive function challenges.

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