Have you been planning to hire a nanny for a while? Or have you had a sudden burst of inspiration after another week of frantic kindy or school pickups, rushed meals, and barely-there sleep? Either way there are plenty of reasons why finding and hiring a nanny is a wonderful idea for your beautiful family.
But before you rush into hiring a nanny, it’s essential to know what the job generally involves, and what scope the role could have if you find the perfect fit for you. Lets get started.
What’s ‘normal’ when thinking about nanny services?
A nanny is generally hired to look after your children, keep them safe, and to provide fun and educational activities on a daily basis.
It’s fairly standard for nanny services to include some or all of the following tasks:
- General childcare and, if negotiated beforehand, school drop-offs and pick-ups
- Taking your children to appointments or other activities as organised
- Preparing a variety of healthy meals for your children
- Tidying up play areas
- Occasionally, only if agreed beforehand, tidying up of children’s bedrooms and/or bathroom
Having the right expectations
As fabulous as it sounds, a broader range of household chores is not normally in a nanny job’s general scope. So it’s unrealistic to expect your nanny to also do things like: the grocery shopping, cook family meals every night, or general housework.
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 tasks that aren’t directly related to childcare in the job. Also, consider how the quality of your nanny’s care for your children might be affected if they have a number of other less relevant tasks to perform.
Is the job of a nanny negotiable?
The short answer is ‘yes’. The key when finding and hiring a nanny is to discuss the detail before hiring, making sure that both parties are clear on what’s expected of them and what the job is going to involve.
Then put everything into a contract. The nanny contract 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’, you’ll minimise misunderstandings. You’ll also have a better chance of finding the perfect caregiver.
Remember, your nanny should be reimbursed accordingly – especially if performing tasks other than essential childcare.
If there is something you absolutely, positively would like the nanny to do (like that load of washing mid-week that will change your life!), make sure your nanny is clear about this from Day 1.
Need help? We’ve put together our Top 5 Interview Tips to help you narrow down your search for the perfect nanny.
If you find a nanny who is happy to do non-standard nanny services, that’s great. But don’t be disappointed if they baulk at the idea of grocery shopping, or preparing 3-course dinners for the family!
Like any other vocation, a nanny is a professional, so caring for your children will be their primary specialty.
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. The right nanny will become a valuable addition to your family.