Responsibilities of a Nanny

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Levy has taken care of our son since he was 4 weeks old (he is now 2 yrs. old). We have never stopped thanking our good fortune to have found her and had her take such an active part in our son's development. She is a loving, happy, sweet, thoughtful, punctual, hardworking, and trustworthy person. She is not just his guardian who protects him while we are gone, she is his energetic playmate, stimulating teacher, gourmet chef, and best friend. I honestly believe it is under her influence that my son is such a happy, cheerful child. She understands how to teach a child respect for others and is able to provide discipline in a loving, nurturing manner. She has never called in sick and worked long, hard hours through rain, sleet, or snow cheerfully because she made our child her top priority. Others have commented to me on many occasions how lucky I was to have found her. Anyone who employs Levy and treats her with respect will NOT be disappointed. We will miss her terribly and are very worried we will never find a nanny as dedicated as she is. We hope she will be a part of our family forever.

Melissa and Eric,Clark, NJ

The Responsibilities of a Nanny

The responsibilities of a nanny can vary widely from household to household, depending on their arrangement with the family. Even though there is a great range, there are many duties that nannies typically perform. Asking other people who employ a nanny and searching can provide you with a good idea of what is typical in the field these days.

A nanny's primary responsibility is to care for any children in the home, and the nanny may live in the same house as the family. All of the tasks that go along with daily childcare are taken care of by the nanny. This means that the nanny will prepare the children's meals and snacks, make sure they get ready for school, supervise their homework, provide interesting activities for them and enforce any rules that are outlined by the parents. Most nannies also do laundry for the kids and help make sure their rooms and play area are both tidy as well. Although these are not the only duties a nanny performs, most of these fall under the umbrella of what is usually expected of them.

There are many nannies that have the additional responsibility of caring for the entire household. This means grocery shopping, help preparing meals for the entire family and regular cleaning duties, such as doing the dishes and laundry. Some may even be open to driving the children to and from after-school activities, or picking them up from school. In truth, most household duties are things that a nanny can perform, but not all nannies are comfortable doing more than childcare. It is important to talk with potential candidates about what they are and are not willing to do before you hire them. Some good information about this subject is available at

Regardless of what duties a nanny begins performing in your home, as your household grows and changes you may find that you would like to add or drop some of the tasks that your nanny was originally assigned. Often, talking to the nanny is all that is needed to address the issue. If for some reason it looks as though you cannot come to an agreement that suits you both, it may be time to find another candidate for the position. Duties may also need to be adjusted for times such as summer vacation and other breaks from school. Be sure to outline these ahead of time as much as you possibly can to avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings with your nanny.

The age of your children will also help define the tasks your nanny will attend to. Young children will usually require all-day care, whereas children who are in school will not. Caring for infants may mean trips to the store for diapers, while older kids may need some help with school projects. If you can be clear about those things that you would like your nanny to handle, it will make for a smooth relationship overall. Thinking about those details ahead of time and developing a checklist can help you be clear about your expectations when you have a conversation with a nanny.

This type of communication is probably the single most important factor in any nanny/family relationship. Since the typical duties of a nanny are so situational, being specific in your wants and needs is crucial to making sure that the pairing is a good one from the beginning. Make sure you know what "reasonable expectations" are ahead of time, and if you need more information, do a little bit of research. has information that can be extremely helpful when trying to determine which responsibilities are common and which may be asking a bit more of your nanny. You will want to find someone who is looking to invest the same amount of time and effort that you are asking for.

Ultimately you will have to decide how comfortable you are with the nanny doing things such as driving your car and knowing your alarm code. If you want to build in a time period where the nanny has less insider access, feel free to do so; just be sure to discuss it in advance. After all, building trust works both ways.

Part-time nannies are available as well, and they can be the perfect choice for a household that needs some additional help but is not ready to take on a full-time person. Since there are fewer hours involved it is also less expensive overall, but the nanny will usually charge a higher hourly rate since the position has less security. Split-shift nannies are also available, and this can work well for parents who need someone before and after school but not during the day.

You may decide to employ a nanny only for after-school care and dinner, or for breakfasts and light cleaning. Think about what things you need the most help with and see if you can find a good match. There is such a variety of candidates out there that there is sure to be someone who is looking for a similar situation.

Finding a nanny that meets your needs can take a little bit of time, but it is well worth the search if you wind up with someone who can deliver what you are looking for. Since there are many different types of nannies out there, it pays to be clear about what you are looking for so that you can connect with someone who is a good fit for your household. Thinking things through on the front end, having a frank discussion with a potential nanny and utilizing resources such as can all contribute to finding the ideal person for your family.

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