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Are you a parent seeking a nanny for your children or a childcare professional seeking your first nanny position? Oftentimes, both families and nannies who are new to the field are confused by what tasks a nanny can or should be accountable for. Of course, each nanny’s job description will vary based on the individual family’s needs and the age of the children under the nanny’s care. However, there are a few things that are common to almost every nanny position.

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Traditional nanny responsibilities center on childcare. The nanny functions as the primary authority figure while the parents are away or otherwise occupied; this usually means that the nanny is in charge of everything that corresponds to the care of the children. The kinds of tasks that a nanny will be expected to complete daily can include:

  • Creating a safe and stimulating environment for the children
  • Bathing and dressing
  • Changing diapers and potty-training, if age-appropriate
  • Children’s laundry
  • Planning meals, preparing food, and/or feeding the children
  • Arranging playmates and outings
  • Indoor and outdoor play
  • Educational activities and crafts
  • Carpooling or driving the children to school, activities, or playmates
  • Reading to the children
  • Help with homework
  • Organizing bedrooms/toys
  • Administering medicine with parents’ consent, if necessary
  • Maintaining logs for the parents
  • Light housekeeping



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Light housekeeping chores might include grocery shopping, family errands, emptying the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and keeping the kitchen and kids’ areas clean and tidy.

A nanny’s job is much more than the sum of her daily tasks, however! She needs to be able to tailor activities to each child’s interests, developmental abilities, and personality as well as communicate effectively with both the children and the parents. This requires a person with a high level of emotional intelligence.

A good nanny is reliable, trustworthy, and able to discipline the children according to the family’s preferred parenting style. She needs to be a person the parents feel entirely comfortable leaving their most precious assets with. She should also be nurturing, kind, active, creative, and interact well with children of all ages. It is neither an easy career nor one that is good for everyone—but many nannies describe it as the most rewarding work they’ve ever done! If you feel you would thrive in a position that requires the above-listed nanny responsibilities, perhaps this is the career for you.