Become a Certified Newborn Care Specialist

For families looking to hire an NCS, certification is a ‘one-stop’ verification that an NCS has all the requirements and is up to date with everything a family is looking for when hiring a newborn care specialist.

For all Certifications please review the options below and select which certification applications you require.  All certifications are paid for when you submit your application.

How to become a Certified Newborn Care Specialist:

  • 1 Choose an approved NCS courses and complete your training
  • 2 Complete the required working hours (vary by certification level)
  • 3 Submit all other requirements (see below) for your chosen certification level and pay the application fee.
  • 4 Successfully pass the NCSA certification exam
  • 5 Your file will be reviewed to confirm your eligibility for certification through the NCSA. Processing applications can take up to 4 weeks to allow for file verification.

NCSA-Approved NCS Training Courses

The NCSA is proud to connect you with the following approved educational providers. These training academies offer NCS courses that have met the high standard required by the NCSA and are approved for certification with the NCSA.

The NCSA is in no way affiliated with any of our approved training academies.

Choose your Certification Level and Apply Today!

NCSA Level 1 Foundational Certification

REQUIREMENTS

  • Establish Membership with NCSA.
  • Complete an NCSA approved Foundational NCS course.
  • Watch the Finding and Evaluating Academic Sources Video Lecture and write brief summary on your application. Questions on this will also be part of the exam.
  • Submit details of 2000 Verifiable hours caring for newborns 0-16 weeks (adjusted) as an NCS. Must include 100 hours of daytime care (between 8am-8pm) and 100 hours of overnight care (between 8pm-8am). Must include a minimum of 3 families, and one family that breast/chest-fed.
  • Successfully pass the NCSA Level 1 Exam - 100 question, multiple-choice, online proctored exam.
  • Read and Sign NCSA Code of Conduct, Scope of Practice and Grievance Policy and Procedure.
  • Submit proof of CPR Certification and sign document agreeing to keep current.
  • Submit proof of additional qualifications taught by an approved expert in courses listed below.
  • Submit Background check.

Additional Course Requirements

Basic Lactation Management
Lactation Education Resources
Basics of Lactation Management - $65
(or a similar course taught by a qualified expert)

Finding and Evaluating Academic Sources Video Lecture
Watch now.

Bonding and attachment (Infant Mental Health)
Foundations and Theoretical Perspectives in Infant & Child Early Mental HealthZero to Three - $30 (or a similar course taught by a qualified expert)

Perinatal Mood Disorders
Postpartum Support International PSI
Free Webinar on Maternal Mental Health
(or a similar course taught by a qualified expert)

BACKGROUND CHECKS

The NCSA recommends the use of SafetyPIN and/or Trustline for parents, agencies, and Newborn Care Specialists where applicable. Other forms of background checks are acceptable – but both Trustline and SafetyPIN not only conduct a thorough background criminal check – they do ongoing screening.

Each state has its own requirements for a background check. Please check with the state in which you live or will be working.

Other suitable companies to use for a background check include eNannySource, and GoodHireWatch to run a personal background check on yourself.

NCSA Level 2 Advanced Certification

REQUIREMENTS

  • Continued Membership in NCSA
  • Submit details of 4000 Verifiable hours caring for newborns 0-16 weeks (adjusted) as an NCS. Must include 250 hours of daytime care (between 8am-8pm), and 250 hours of overnight care (between 8pm-8am) with a minimum of six families, a minimum of one family who breast/chest-fed, and one family who bottle-fed formula
  • Must have worked with a minimum of one family with multiples
  • A minimum of one family with a moderately preterm baby born between 32 and 34 weeks of gestation
  • A minimum of three families who each experienced a different specific challenge such as tongue-tie, reflux, medical condition, single parent, surrogacy etc.
  • 30 hours of Continuing Education in at least 3 different subjects, taught by a qualified expert in such as Breastfeeding Lactation Certification (CLE CBE, CLC, etc), Bonding and attachment, Infant & Child Early Mental Health o Perinatal Mood Disorders, Sleep, Reflux, Child Passenger Safety, Oral Ties, Infant Development, Neuroscience, Infant Allergies, Infant Sensory Processing, Safety (safe sleep, infectious disease control)
  • Pass the NCSA Level 2 Exam- 100 question, multiple-choice, online proctored exam.

NCSA Level 3 Premier Certification

REQUIREMENTS

  • Continued Membership in NCSA
  • Provide details of 6000 verifiable hours caring for newborns 0-16 weeks (adjusted) as an NCS.
  • Must include 500 hours of daytime care (between 8am-8pm), and 500 hours of overnight care (between 8pm-8am)
  • A minimum of twelve families, including a minimum of six families who breast/chest-fed, six families who bottle-fed formula, and three families of multiples.
  • Two families with a moderately preterm baby born between 32 and 34 weeks gestation and one family with a very preterm baby, born at less than 32 weeks gestation.
  • Must have worked with six families who each experienced challenges.
  • 60 hours of Continuing Education in at least 6 different subjects. Training should be in-depth, 6+ hours long, certifications where available and taught by a qualified expert in such as Breastfeeding Lactation certification (CBE, CBS, CLC, IBCLC etc), Bonding and attachment, Infant & Child Early Mental Health (Endorsement), Perinatal Mood Disorders (PMH-C), Sleep, Infant Development, Reflux, Child Passenger Safety, Oral Ties, Infant Development, Neuroscience, Infant Allergies, Infant Sensory Processing, and Safety (safe sleep, CPR, risk management, infectious disease).
  • Show that you have given back to the NCS community through activities such as mentoring newer NCSs in our industry independently or through the NCSA mentorship program, giving your time working on an NCSA Committee, writing multiple educational blog posts, heading a support group for NCSs
  • Submit an article of around 2,500 words or a presentation of 30 minutes on a subject relating to newborn care which is evidence-based such as a discussion of current research where you analyze the findings. This can be written, video or a voice recording. We feel it is important as we advance as NCSs that we can express/reflect on our experience and knowledge and that sharing knowledge without fear of judgement is important for our industry and needs to become more normalized.
  • Pass the NCSA Level 3 Exam - 150 question, multiple-choice, online proctored exam.