Nanny’s First Day

by Martha Scully

Now that you’ve hired your nanny, it is time to prepare for their first day.  There are some things we get busy with and forget to think about, so make yourself a list and share it with your new caregiver.


Contact information

  • Know your nanny’s cell number, and let them know if they are required to answer your phone at home and where to leave message for you. 
  • Provide your nanny with alternative contact numbers for the case of an emergency or if you can not be reached by cell.  Place a written list somewhere in the home that can be referred to in an emergency.
  • Note your preferences.  Is the most effective communication method a phone call, an email, or a text?
  • Arrange a regular time to talk with your caregiver about the children, when you can express any concerns either of you may have.


Job Details

  • There should be a clear contract in place between you and your caregiver by now, with details you have both agreed to. Is the nanny expected to do the dishes or the laundry, or any other chores not directly relating to the children?
  • How much are you paying your nanny and when do you pay them?
  • A work schedule should be in place.  If the nanny will be working on an as-needed basis, be clear how and when you will be arranging the schedule with them.


In the Home

  • Show your new nanny all the appliances in the home and how to use them, as well as how to open any doors or gates that may be child-proofed. 
  • Provide your nanny with the keys or access codes to your home, your car (if they will be driving it), and the shed/ garage.
  • Tour the neighbourhood and tell your nanny where it is safe for them to take the children and who you do and don’t feel comfortable letting your child play with.  Are they allowed to play unsupervised?
  • If you have a family meeting place or code word, let them know.
  • If they are responsible to care for your pet(s) while you are away from the home, take them through the feeding/ walking routine and the rules for the pet.



  • If your nanny will be driving your car, go for a test-drive around the neighbourhood so they can get a feel for the vehicle.  Show them where the lights and wind-shield wipers are, and how to work the AC or the GPS if you have one.
  • Show them where you keep your car insurance, and be sure it covers them to drive your car.
  • Instruct how to secure car-seats in the vehicle and how to use them safely. 
  • Show them exactly how to get to your child’s school/ daycare centre, or other community events your child takes part in, and approximately how long it takes to get there in traffic.




  • Take your nanny through your children’s daily/ weekly routines and write it down for both of you to reference.  When does your child nap, eat, do homework, chores, etc?
  • If your child is still potty training, provide clear instructions how you are going about it.  Show them where clean underwear is if the child is to have an accident.
  • If changing diapers, show the caregiver where the diapers/ creams/ wipes, etc are, and how often to change them.
  • Note any rules you may have regarding electronics or toys, such as when and for how long you allow your children to watch TV or use the computer.
  • If regular maintenance people come to your home such as a gardener or pool cleaner, let your nanny know so that they are not worried or confused.


Introduce Your Nanny

  • Let your friends, family, and neighbours, as well as your children’s teachers, know that you have hired a nanny who will be taking care of your children.  Most schools do not let your child go home with someone other than a parent unless you have notified them.
About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.