How Much Does Your Nanny Do?

Updated on March 27, 2013
N.L. asks from Tampa, FL
15 answers

We've been sending our girls to daycare, but we're considering getting a full time nanny instead. We're just not sure what responsibilities she/he should have. We, of course, assume watching the girls, feeding them lunch, taking them to any activities, and cleaning up after them. Does your nanny (or did you as a nanny) do any "extras"? Laundry? Meal prep? Housekeeping?

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So What Happened?

We're definitely going to have a contract. And of course, some discussion with our potential nanny. I was just curious as to the "average" responsibilities. I've heard of nannies doing some of the "extras" and some that only do the childcare.

Oh, and my kids are 1.5 and 3.5 yrs old.

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answers from Washington DC on

It depends how much you pay. My neighbors in Texas paid @ $45K a year for their nanny from 12-7, and their kids were in school and didn't get home until 3:30 pm. She did light housekeeping in as much as cleaning up after the kids, dishes used while there, etc. She made dinner every night, did the kids laundry, drove them to various activities, homework, etc. She also had to take care of their dog, let her out, feed him and occasionally walk her.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I worked as a nanny for a number of years. I made sure that my responsibilities (which we mutually agreed on) were in the contract, so that we both had something to refer back to in case of misunderstandings.

Because my background is in early childhood ed, people were hiring me primarily to care for the kids. This meant that I would ensure we had age-appropriate projects, outings and activities. I also wrote into my contract that we had a maximum of 1 hour of tv daily unless the child/ren were sick. They were getting what they were paying for.:)

Household tasks I was responsible for: any of the messes I made with the kids would be cleaned. (Clean-up after arts/crafts). I did all the kid-related dishes;prepped/cleaned up after meals. Swept the kitchen at least once a day, because they're messy eaters. Spot cleaned drips and drops from eating. Ensured kids got their snacks and meals at their usual times. Kept to the family schedule. Helped kids with making their beds/picking up their rooms. Organized the playroom/art shelves. Would fold/put away kids laundry with the kids helping. Helped kids with gardening tasks (when appropriate) and took them out to the park, library, playtimes, etc.

All of the families had a separate housekeepers who would come once a week to do floors/deep clean the bathroom. I worked to ensure that the kids' rooms were picked up for this, their floors were clear for vacuuming, and the kids were out of the housekeepers way.

Most of the moms did not have me do any meal prep, however, they might call and ask me to set out a healthy snack for the kids if they were running late, or ask me to pull something out of the freezer to defrost. There were other times, too, if the kids were older, that we would make dinner as an activity for the day, something like a pasta dish or shepherd's pie, but again, that was a bonus. I also, nearly always did the breakfast dishes; it gave me a break from one-on-one interaction (and the kids need these sorts of times, they don't need me to be an entertainment machine, so I'd set them up with playdough and do the dishes while they played). Besides, those dishes would have just gotten in my way. That said, I never wrote it into my contract, because sometimes kids get sick or we have an extra-busy day and my first priority was always the children. Dishes can wait!

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answers from Houston on

She cleans all over, but only deep if we want her to. She washes all the dishes. She changes our sheets and does laundry. She declutters. She will do meal prep if we ask, but I prefer to do my own cooking. Of course, she does prepare meals for my son. She walks him to the park or through the neighborhood, no driving.

Think about what you need around the house and let him/her help you. In your interviews, ask them hwo they see their role as nanny. Mine told us that she would be an extension of me. She came when my son was almost 3 months old, and she saw her job as tending to him personally but also teaching him to play independently while other work is being done. Or helping with the other work. This was to make my time easier at home, so I can get stuff done with him there. He has alleriges, so she watches him throughout the day for itching and runny nose/eyes and any other reaction to something. She helps him figure out what he enjoys eating and offers him something every hour or two, since he doesn't place priority on eating.

Your children are older, but I think that you should focus on who they are and what specific things they need that might not be addressed in a mass-care environment. Then, what do YOU need, as a wife and mother, as a family. Make lists. I really enjoy cooking for my family, so I don't ask her to cook, except whatever she wants to do for him during the day. However, I hate doing laundry. Since she doesn't, I let her have it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I am a nanny and have had some families ask for additional house keeping chores to be done (Sweeping, vacuuming,and dish washing) while others prefer me to just focus on the kids. It's up to you

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

We had a fantastic nanny for several years when my girls were younger. When I was interviewing, I found that nannies who were willing to do housekeeping didn't have as much experience with kids. They were former house cleaners who now watched kids too, or people just getting into this profession. The nannies who were really experienced and wowed me with their ideas for activities and enrichment for my girls didn't want to vacuum and dust. And it makes sense, right? If you're really good at one thing (caring for children) you don't have to agree to more menial tasks.

We did ask our nanny to clean up whatever messes happened while she was in charge. So some days that meant she did vacuum, but she didn't clean my house - just the Cheerios that spilled. And when my girls were really little and took long naps, our nanny did their laundry. As they got older and we did the entire family's laundry together, we dropped that task. She was also in charge of all meals while she was there, which meant she sometimes did the breakfast dishes, prepped, cooked and cleaned up from lunch, and snacks.

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answers from Seattle on

They're not housekeepers. They're nannies. If you're looking for a professional nanny, it's doubtful they're going to be very open to housekeeping. Restrict their duties to taking care of the kids. Household duties might include cooking for and cleaning up after the kiddos or doing the kiddos laundry. Not general housework, though.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have asked my nanny to do things related to the kids: come up with fun activities, prepare and feed lunch, taking them fun places.

I never asked a nanny to do laundry, dinner prep, or housekeeping (other than have the kids pick up whatever toys they get out).

And, since I had a no TV rule for the nanny and kids during the day, she didn't have any down time for that stuff anyway. She spent the day doing stuff with the kids.

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answers from Chicago on

I am a nanny. I do the following.
Make breakfast
get kids dressed, teeth brushed and out the door to school
put away breakfast stuff and dishes to dish washer
Snacks after school supervise homework
take them to sports, dance etc
start supper which my boss has prepped
Help the kids remember the days chores

I do not do house work and or laundry

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answers from Chicago on

Ours does the kids' laundry, empties our dishwasher, and cleans up after the kids.
Occasionally, she'll sweep or vacuum.

We pay her $650/week for 2 kids, in cash. She handles her taxes.

If you'd like, I'm happy to share a copy of our nanny contract that we used for her, which clearly outlines expectations. Just PM me with your email and I will forward it along.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Our first nanny did pretty much everything. Our house was spotless, laundry, and of course the child care part. She also took the kids on field trips and was generally a totally awesome nanny. We paid top dollar though, and she had previously been our house cleaner, so she just kept cleaning after she was "converted" to our nanny full time. I had a 3 year old and a baby, and she stayed with us until my youngest was 3. Good luck finding someone like that. ;) In fact, she has been nannying for the same family since leaving us (my youngest is now 7).

A couple years ago, we hired an "after school" nanny. She would pick my kids up from school, take to/from swim practice, help with homework (although minimally), and in the 1 year she was with us, she cooked about 3 meals. She was reliable, kept the house tidy (didn't do any real cleaning, just kept it from getting worse), and my kids enjoyed the time they spent with her (occasional field trips, board games, etc). I think we paid her $10/hr, and this was only a year and half ago.

So, it just depends on what you want/need, and making your expectations as clear as possible.

Oh, and we found our last nanny by placing an ad on Craigslist. We interviewed 3 ladies in person. We had more qualified candidates than we knew what to do with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Draw up a contract stating exactly what you want a nanny to do. That way when you interview people, you can weed out the people who aren't interested in doing the extras.

I am a nanny. These are my agreed upon responsinilities:
Child care
Cleaning up after the kids/Myself
Feeding the kids
Driving to/from activities
Kids laundry
Make dinner once per week
Grocery shopping/errands as needed

If there is a nanny agency in your area, they'd be a great resource. I use an agency for finding my jobs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I took a quick look and it looks like your kids are about 1 and 4? How much a nanny does depends on ages of the children in my opinion as well as how many kids of course. With 2 kids and the ages I'm assuming yours are, I think laundry and presenting you with a house as clean as you left it when she arrived is about as much as I would expect. Grocery shopping too potentially as a way for them to get out of the house. A 4 year old likely either doesn't nap or doesn't nap much so not much free time unless your child is independent or you are ok with some TV. IMO, how much she does kind of depends on how much attention you want her to pay to the kids. Realistically, she can't cook and clean and really play with the kids all at the same time. If you want her to teach your oldest to go play alone for an hour though while the younger one naps, then you could expect cooking for instance during that hour - though a nanny deserves some break too. So I think it kind of depends. Our nanny does so a fair amount of meal prep, walks the dog etc but our kids are in school most of the time... Our former nanny did a fair amount of cleaning too but again, kids are older and in school. When they were younger, it was mainly laundry and cleaning up after them.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I was paid by the hour to watch the kids. Then on top of that I was paid extra per hour for laundry or cleaning the kitchen or anything. Each and every task I was asked to do besides watching the kids was an extra charge.

They are there to watch the kids and interact with them, not do your laundry or clean your house. That's what you'd hire a cleaning lady to come in a couple of times per week to do.


answers from Washington DC on

our nanny (who ended up being our Evil Stepmother whom we loved) got us up for school, breakfasts, took care of the babies during the day, did our laundry, cleaned or supervised our cleaning up, and our cooking. she wasn't required to cook for my dad, or do his laundry, or do any housework beyond 'kid stuff' but she did. silly woman.
:) khairete



answers from Chicago on

A nanny takes care if all aspects of THE KIDS. Remember that any task she has that isn't about the kids takes time AWAY from the kids.

If you want a chef or a housekeeper get a chef or a housekeeper.

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