Nanny Services : Just What Is Involved ?

Whether you’ve been planning to hire a nanny for a while, or have had a sudden burst of inspiration after yet another blurred week of frantic pickups, rushed meals, and barely-there sleep, there are plenty of reasons why it can be a great idea.


Before you get a little too carried away with fantasies of nanny services meeting all-round life saviours however, it’s essential to know just what nannies do, what they can do if asked ever so nicely, and yep, what really is just a little too far beyond the pale!


So what’s the usual about nanny services ?

A nanny is hired to look after your children, keep them safe and to provide fun and educational activities on a daily basis (and no, that doesn’t mean plonking them in front of the TV for hours on end or chatting to friends on the phone all day!).


It’s fairly standard for nanny services to include childcare and if negotiated beforehand school drop-offs and pick-ups, and for a nanny to take your child or children to appointments or other activities as organised. And nannies will generally prepare meals for your children, and clean up play areas and sometimes ( if agreed beforehand ) bedrooms and bathrooms.


And what’s not ?

Well, if you’re expecting your nanny to also do the grocery shopping, cook family meals every night, and have your house sparkling when you walk in the door, then unfortunately no, that’s not in the standard book of nanny services (as fabulous as that sounds ! ). Some or all of these things can be negotiated with the nanny at the interview stage but expect to pay a higher hourly rate to include these extras.


Are there options ?

Of course. The key when you hire a nanny is to discuss the detail before hiring, and put everything into a contract. This will outline how many children the nanny is going to look after and their ages, include basics such as hours and wages, and provide a full job description of exactly what is included and expected by both parties.


Obviously day-to-day activities will vary to a degree, but so long as they – and you – have a clear idea of what’s usual, than it’s going to be much easier all round. Remember too that your nanny should be reimbursed accordingly.


If there is something you absolutely, positively would like the nanny to do (a load of washing mid-week will change your life!), than yes, it does come down to asking them from day one. And when we say day one, we mean the interview, and not after you’ve hired them.


If you find a nanny who is happy to do non-standard nanny services, then that’s great. However don’t be disappointed, or even surprised, if some will baulk at the idea of grocery shopping, or preparing three-course dinners for the family. Like every other vocation, a nanny is a professional, and in this case, a professional child carer.


A final word about nanny services

Above all, clear communication is vital at all stages of the nanny experience. Treat your nanny with respect, and they are much more likely to return the favour, and become a valuable addition to the family.