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What should you expect from your nanny?

When hiring a nanny, it is important to be clear about what your expectations are regarding her regular and occasional. Expectations, especially when it comes to job duties, can be a tricky if you don’t communicate what they are. Family and nanny relationships are unique, and neither of you know the experience and expectations of the other. Don't assume! So, figure out exactly what you need to convey to your nanny from the very start. Here are some tips on what you should expect from your nanny.

#1: Childcare duties:

Most nannies have a set of typical childcare duties. Childcare is her primary responsibility and should be prioritized over all others. These childcare duties usually include maintaining a safe and nurturing environment,  playing with the kids, fixing their meals while you are away, and coming up with fun, educational activities to keep them engaged. Developmentally appropriate activities include establishing or maintaining good sleep schedules and habits, skills development such as shape and color recognition, puzzles, etc., working alongside the parents with the introduction of foods, potty training and the like. Their primary goal is to attend to the children’s physical, educational, and emotional development. This should always be the priority.

#2: Household duties:

Your nanny will be in your home for extended periods during the week. Appropriate housekeeping duties should revolve around her childcare responsibilities. She will need to take care of the children’s messes that they leave behind, and this generally includes  wiping down the kitchen after use, loading the dishes used in the dishwasher, washing their clothing or bedding and keeping toys and play areas clean and safe. Express to your nanny that you would like her to help with these items, but that she is expected to leave the home in the condition she found it. Any other deep cleaning around the home should be outsourced to a weekly or biweekly cleaning service.

Document Your Expectations:

The best way to communicate your specific expectations for your nanny is to have a clear discussion with her at the beginning of her employment. In addition, create a written work agreement that outlines her job description in detail. The work agreement should memorialize, in addition to duties, schedule, compensation, benefits, paid time off, vacation time, guaranteed hours, confidentiality agreement, and a termination agreement. Clear communication on ALL of these topics is, hands down, the best way to avoid conflict and unnecessary stress or confusion in the work relationship. This should be signed by both you as the employer and your nanny as the employee.

The outline of duties in the work agreement  will eliminate any confusion or frustration down the road on what things are expected of her. If for some reason, you want to add more things to her job, make sure you talk about this with her and adjust the written work agreement so things are clear.

Posted with permission from Home Work Solutions (

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