Full-Time Nanny Responsibilities

Typical Responsibilities of Full-Time Nannies

Nannies are hired by parents to provide care for their children in the family’s private home. In addition to keeping the children safe, nannies are charged with the responsibility of partnering with parents to meet the physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of the children. They are also responsible for all domestic tasks related to providing care for the child, including doing the children’s laundry.

While the responsibilities of a full-time nanny will vary from post to post, typical nanny responsibilities include:

  • Dressing the children
  • Bathing the children
  • Promoting and teaching good hygiene practices, including diapering
  • Preparing nutritious meals and snacks, including bottles and baby food
  • Doing the children’s laundry
  • Keeping the children’s areas neat and clean
  • Transporting children to and from activities and appointments
  • Providing age-appropriate activities
  • Hosting and/or attending play groups
  • Implementing and/or maintain the child’s routine
  • Putting children down for naps and/or bed
  • Reading to the children
  • Creating a safe environment for the children to freely explore
  • Creating a nurturing environment
  • Disciplining children when appropriate in a manner consistent with parents philosophy
  • Fostering independence, as age-appropriate
  • Supervising and assisting with homework
  • Modeling and teaching good manners
  • Modeling and teaching responsible citizenship
  • Provide basic first-aid, as required
  • Administer medications, as specially directed
  • Ensuring the children spend adequate time outdoors
  • Serving as a trusted companion to the children.

In addition to these typical responsibilities, depending on the family’s needs parents may have other responsibilities.  The nanny’s responsibilities should be clearly articulated and written in a family/nanny work agreement. Nannies who take on additional responsibilities that are not related to childcare generally command a higher hourly rate.

While vague terms like “light housekeeping” are used within the nanny industry, parents and nannies should instead agree on a specific list of responsibilities to avoid misunderstanding, confusion and unclear expectations.

10 Ways to Tell if a Full-Time Nanny is Responsible

Childcare specialists who work in a family’s private home must be responsible. Parents count on nannies to provide customized, individualized and personalized childcare so that they may fulfill their personal and professional commitments. During the screening process, parents should look for signs of responsibility.

These include:

  1. Preparedness during an interview. The nanny should come prepared and ready for your interview. If the nanny is on time, has answers prepared, and genuinely seems responsible, then there is a good chance that she’ll act that way on the job.
  2. Previous nanny positions. What sort of positions of responsibility has the nanny been in during her work history? A responsible nanny will usually have had lots of experience caring for children without supervision.
  3. A clean criminal background. While a clean criminal background check can’t guarantee your nanny has never acted irresponsibly, a tarnished one can point to problematic behaviors.
  4. A clean driving record. A responsible nanny will have a clean driving record that is free from reckless driving charges or accidents where she was at fault.
  5.  A quick response time. One of the marks of a responsible nanny or a responsible person in general is being able to respond quickly to requests. Does the nanny respond promptly to emails and phone calls?
  6. Examination of personal references. Before hiring a nanny, parents should inquire to past employers about the nanny’s level of responsibility. They should pay as much attention to what references do say as what they don’t.
  7. Safety consciousness. Does the nanny seem safety focused during the interview? Does she mention the importance of car seat safety and childproofing? Does she consider it her responsibility to help create a safe environment that promotes free exploration? Does she have current CPR and first aid certification?
  8. A responsible online presence. Do her social networking sites portray the same person you’ve been interviewing? Are the questionable photos or status updates on her page? 
  9.  Can answer situational questions. Ask situational questions, such as “How have you handled it when a child has got hurt in your care? or How did you handle it when you were too sick to work?” can provide insight into her level of responsibility.
  10. Follow through. Has the nanny fulfilled her commitments and obligations? Has she provided you with the information requested within the time frame she committed to?

As parents consider their nanny candidates, they should pay careful attention to the responsibility level of each candidate. Choosing a responsible nanny is essential to securing a successful nanny/family match.


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