Expectations and Nanny Responsibilities

Great Expectations: Nanny Responsibilities and Rate

The outcomes desired by both a nanny and a family employing a nanny are the same. Both desire a strong, peaceful, cohesive working relationship and to have the best possible care for the child or children. For the best chance of meeting these goals, there must be quite a bit of up-front communication. Nanny responsibilities can vary vastly between employers. Both parties should clearly understand the job description and expectations.

Rates and job expectations can widely vary from employer to employer. It is unwise for either party to assume any unspoken understanding of duties or roles. Without thorough discussion, it is likely that the employer will become disappointed in the nanny’s performance, or the nanny may feel taken advantage of if expectations suddenly become more than what was discussed.

This article breaks down some common job responsibilities of a babysitter, a nanny, and a household manager. There could be some overlap between job descriptions. But the most basic definition is that a babysitter has less experience and does just the very basic care. A nanny is more experienced, has chosen child care as their profession, and takes on more responsibility. A household manager does all the above and additional tasks to childcare.

Expectations and nanny responsibilities should be discussed and rate negotiated depending on the type of position and duties required. To ensure understanding, all of this should be outlined in a contract. Find free contract templates Via The Village.

If you participate in a nanny share, be sure to adjust expectations based on the consideration that there will be multiple children present. Child care is priority over other nanny responsibilities.


Expected of all care providers

Infant care (feeding, diapering, naptime)

Mealtime (simple meal prep)

Meal/snack cleanup

Assisting with dressing and general hygiene

Interaction and play

Reading books

Arts and crafts

Taking to parks and playgrounds as permitted

Leaving the home in at least the same condition it was upon arrival


In addition to responsibilities listed above

Bathing children

Potty training

Cooking for children (beyond simple meal prep)

Transporting children to school and activities

Organizing children’s play dates

Language development

Teaching letters, numbers, colors

Fostering good manners

Assisting with homework

Special outings (museums, zoo, etc.)

Doing children’s laundry

Making children’s beds

Tidying up children’s rooms and bathrooms

Running and emptying the dishwasher


In addition to responsibilities listed above

Shopping (for household, groceries, children’s needs, etc.)

Running errands

Packing and unpacking for family trips

Making all beds of household

Doing laundry for whole household

Dropping off/picking up dry-cleaning

Watering plants

Feeding pets, walking dogs


Childcare should be the primary role of any childcare provider. At all times, the safety and well-being of children should supercede any household tasks. Be mindful that adding duties may be more or less feasible, depending on the personalities and ages of the children. Some children are very content to play by themselves while others require constant attention.

Be sure to put your agreement in writing. Via The Village provides contract templates. Communication should be ongoing, but scheduling a periodic review every three months gives a good opportunity for parents and providers to reexamine this topic.