Will My Nanny Take Care of The Kids and Clean The House? What About Laundry and Cooking? These are common questions from parents when hiring a nanny for the first time. That's why it’s important for you to know which duties are typically standard and which are considered additional work.
When hiring, it’s essential that you understand what to expect from a nanny. You must decide what duties are right for your family, which duties your nanny is comfortable with and how to compensate accordingly for any additional work before you even begin to interview nannies. All of this would be on top of the regular expectations of hiring a nanny as well.
This article will review the typical childcare and housekeeping duties you can expect from your nanny and which tasks should be considered additional.
We’ll also discuss how to handle asking for additional work, and how this should factor into your nanny’s compensation.
Typical Nanny Child Care Duties
There are certain childcare duties you should always expect from your nanny. These duties should always come first for your nanny, and they should be expressed clearly in the contract. These duties include:
Caring for newborns by changing diapers and giving bottles
Bathing the children
Helping children dress
Helping with brushing and flossing teeth
Teaching kids to read and write
Teaching children new skills like tying shoelaces or riding a bike
Helping toddlers learn language
Potty training toddlers
Playing games with children
Doing arts and crafts or helping children discover fun, new hobbies
Taking kids to the park, museum, zoo or aquarium
Taking children to school and activities like soccer or dance class
Helping children with homework
Caring for children when they’re sick, including giving medicine
Organizing play dates
Typical Nanny Housekeeping Duties
There are certain housekeeping tasks that are a standard part of a nanny’s job. Nannies typically complete any household chores that involve taking care of children. Here is a list of basic housekeeping duties you could reasonably expect from your nanny:
Emptying diaper pails or genies
Taking trash out of the child’s room
Making the child’s bed
Cleaning the child’s room
Organizing and cleaning out the child’s closet and room
Cleaning playroom including dusting, organizing, vacuuming, etc.
Cleaning and disinfecting toys
Doing the child’s laundry
Washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen after meals with kids
Picking up toys, books and clothes from around the house
Cleaning up the bathroom after attending to the children’s personal hygiene
Caring for the child’s pet, including feeding and cleaning up
Cleaning up messes made after arts and crafts activities
Preparing and cooking meals for the children
Preparing school lunches or snacks to eat during activities, trips or outings
Packing for the children when they go on trips
As the children get older, making sure they complete their chores
Preparing meals and snacks for the child’s friends when they visit
Cleaning up after the child’s friends when they visit
Additional Housekeeping Duties
There are additional housework and day-to-day activities your nanny may complete. However, these duties are in no way required of your nanny. It is up to her to agree to these additional duties and be compensated accordingly for them.
Here are some optional duties:
Making household beds
Doing all laundry
Making up beds and preparing fresh sheets for guests
Running errands for your family
Preparing and cooking meals and snacks for the entire family
Picking up after everyone
Organizing or cleaning rooms beyond the duties of caring for children
Buying supplies or clothes for the family
Cleaning the kitchen, organizing pantries, or emptying the dishwasher
Cleaning the bathroom on a weekly basis
House sitting or pet sitting
Sweeping and mopping floors
Bringing the household car to a mechanic
Caring for a sick family member
Cleaning up after and preparing meals for guests who aren’t children
Attending activities or trips that involve the entire family
Answering the phone, sending mail or faxing documents
How to Handle Additional Duties
Nannies are very helpful by nature. They enjoy caring for children and will go above and beyond to help out the whole family in order to look out for the best interest of the children.
However, if you don’t handle additional duties properly, your nanny may feel she isn’t getting enough compensation in return. It’s also possible that she may feel overwhelmed by the additional work and quit. Because of these risks, there are certain guidelines you should follow when you’re asking your nanny to complete additional work:
Decide the type of duties you wish your nanny to perform. For example, do you want her to also take on the duties of a housekeeper or a personal assistant? Also, she needs to be a caregiver for your children first and foremost. You need to be realistic about the number of additional house cleaning tasks you can ask for. You also need to consider how much time your nanny has to complete her work. If you have a newborn, for example, it’s unrealistic to expect her to do anything but care for your baby.
Once you’ve established realistic duties, you need to think about what’s fair for your nanny. If she is going to complete additional work, you must offer additional compensation. You can’t expect to have a housekeeper and a nanny in one if you’re only going to offer compensation fit for the nanny duties.
Lay everything out in a contract, especially the additional duties and compensation. Make a detailed list of all the responsibilities your nanny will have. Make the compensation clear in the contract. Your nanny should know exactly what’s expected of her so she can decide whether the compensation is fair and if she can take on the work.
Nannies who handle housekeeping and chores in addition to taking care of children are undeniably valuable and life-changing. However, you shouldn’t expect this from every nanny, child care alone is a full time and important job. Make sure your nanny is fully on board with every new assignment that you give her. When nannies become dissatisfied with their positions, it’s often because their employers’ expectations repeatedly change, sometimes arbitrarily.
Remember if you ask your nanny to perform additional duties outside of the typical childcare, meal prep for the children and light housekeeping you should include the additional duties in your nanny’s contract and absolutely compensate accordingly. Take care of your nanny for taking care of you.
Realizing that a lot of your "housekeeping" duties are being done by your nanny? Consider hiring a house cleaner! They can really breathe new life into your home and give you more time to spend with loved ones. We've done the hard work for you and created lists of best housekeepers in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver!
This article was previously published in July 2016 but has since been updated.
Looking for a Nanny?
Need a Nanny Job?
Looking for House Cleaning & Housekeepers?
Looking for Housekeeper & House Cleaning Jobs?