Is That in My Job Description?


You’re a nanny, right? What do you do everyday? What are you supposed to be doing? A common question that we often ask ourselves is, “Is that in my job description?” Most of the time we do what families ask of us, or else take it upon ourselves to go above and beyond. After all, we are caregivers, right? But, do you have a clear job description? Do you have an annual review? What do you do when your NK (nanny kid) naps? What do you do when NK starts school? Does the family you work for know the difference between a nanny, nanny manager, and a household manager? Do you have questions about the differences? Let’s dig a little deeper.


What defines the role?

While this is not easy to put into charts, seasoned professionals will tell you the truth. A household manager of 12 years says, “I’m not the nanny, but if the children are home sick and the nanny is tending to something, I step in and assume any role necessary, which can include putting all my tasks aside to make soup.“ A nanny of 20+ years says, “I don’t do the parents’ laundry regularly, but sometimes I will throw a couple of loads in when NK sleeps.”

You might be asking, “WHY??”

The simplest answer is that as private service professionals, we provide service. Not mediocre service, the highest caliber service we are capable of. The ultimate goal as a private service professional should be to make yourself IRREPLACABLE. Most of us are seeking the opportunity to have indefinite job security by devoting ourselves to the ever-changing needs of the family and willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure their lives continue without interruption.

Where can I find resources to identify these roles more clearly?

In a recent questionnaire, all results were in agreement that:

·         A nanny’s job is childcare and child-related duties.

·         The household manager’s job is everything related to running the home- no childcare.

·         No matter how clear each website, organization, or book states, each position is unique to the family and their hired professional.

A nanny manager is the area between nanny and household manager. It is typical to see these types of positions form when a child enters school. Many families continue to need the service of a nanny for supervising the child before and after school, and to be there for sick days or when school is not in session. However, most nannies prefer full-time hours to accommodate their own lifestyles. This is where the nanny manager compromise goes into effect.

The nanny part of the position is to focus primarily on the children when they are present. Their needs should have your undivided attention. The house manager part of the job commences when the children are at school. Any change in your current job description warrants a verbal discussion about the job expectations, a written update to the nanny/family agreement, and a compensation renegotiation.

All that is great, but I NEED a list.

I sent a questionnaire all over the world with the hope of compiling a once and for all resource. The truth is, there is no “one perfect description” and requested needs will vary. However, since it is so highly requested, below is a list of responsibilities you are likely to see in each description.

  • Complete care for the children
  • Pick up and drop off from activities
  • Plan play dates and other activities that support development
  • Laundry for the children including linens
  • Basic clean up (vacuum/sweep/wipe down) areas the child utilizes
  • Set a schedule for disinfecting toys
  • Children’s dishes
  • Organization children’s closet, toys, books
  • Keep track of clothing sizes and make suggestions when clothes no longer fit
  • Grocery shopping for children’s needs
  • Basic pet care, feeding, and letting outside
  • Assist with children’s studies
  • Assist with children’s hygiene
  • Prepare meals for children

House Manager Responsibilities

  • Organizing all areas of the home
  • Maintain list of grocery and supplies for the home
  • Shopping
  • Cooking meals/meal preparation
  • Managing vendors
  • Make beds
  • Manager family calendar(s)
  • Event planning
  • Tending to indoor plants/flowers
  • Light dusting and vacuuming
  • Caring for pets, including vet and grooming appointments
  • Wiping counters/floors
  • Emptying trash
  • Tending to dry cleaning
  • Car service and maintenance
  • Schedule appointments
  • Personal errands
  • Managing correspondence (Mail/email/filing)
  • Managing household staff

Nanny Manager

When child is present

·         Assist with homework

·         Meal prep for child/family

·         Assist with child hygiene routine

·         Manage and transport to activities

·         Focus on child

When child is not present

·         Family laundry

·         Load/empty dishwasher

·         Wipe down counters

·         Sweep floor

·         Empty trash

·         Organize communal parts of home

·         Grocery shop

·         Maintain stock of refrigerator, pantry, and supplies.

·         Meal prep/cooking



International Nanny Association-

Swiss Nanny Association-

Australian Home Child Care Association-

Domestic Estate Management Association-

Placement Solutions-