So What Exactly Does a Nanny Do?

The basic responsibilities of a nanny are pretty straightforward – quality childcare and child-related duties. But many families are expanding that basic description to include additional responsibilities to more fully meet their individual needs. Keep in mind when developing your job description that no one person can do it all. Make sure the things that are most important to you are at the top of your nanny’s responsibility list.

Quality Childcare: The Top Priority

A nanny’s primary responsibility is to provide consistent, quality childcare. The definition of that is different from one family to the next. Make sure to include your definition in your nanny contract.

Child-Related Duties

A nanny’s responsible for all the tasks related to the care of her charge. This includes things like child-related housekeeping tasks, children’s laundry, children’s meals, transportation, and homework help. Of course not all job descriptions include every child-related task. Yours will depend on your family’s particular needs.

Family-Related Duties

Although family-related duties are not part of the basic nanny position, many nannies take on additional responsibilities in exchange for additional salary and/or benefits. These duties can include family meals, family laundry, grocery shopping, and errands.

Upper level nannies often take on two additional types of responsibilities, child information management and household management.
These duties, along with the traditional nanny duties, have recently morphed into a new role in the private service field, the family manager.

Child Information Management

This is a group of child-related duties focused on managing the details of a child’s life rather than hands-on childcare. A nanny that provides CIM takes on the role of personal assistant for the tasks related to your child. The difference between CIM and simply having your nanny do some of these tasks is your participation. Like a good household manager, a good child information manager quickly learns the lay of the land and is able to anticipates and fill your needs with little or no direction from you. The details are (seemingly) magically taken care of. Upper-level nannies have been providing CIM for years. I’ve just given it a name and recognize it as a specialized skill set.

Child information management tasks include things like coordinating your child’s schedule, planning and coordinating child-related events, researching, recommending and registering your child for age-appropriate activities like classes, summer camps and sports, scheduling medical appointments, maintaining health records and much more.

Household Management

Some families who don’t need a full-time household manager still need household management help. A great solution is to hire a nanny that has the skill set to take on some or all of these duties. These tasks include things like shopping for household items, managing other household staff and scheduling and overseeing regular household maintenance and repairs.