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November 25th, 2020

What does a Nanny do? List of of activities that are usually required from a nanny and a list of what’s not

Typically, we define a nanny as a professional individual whom a family employs to take attentive care of their adorable children in the luxuries of their own home, but never did we know beyond those weekly or hourly service is a loving person who also gets to motivate, inspire and nurture their little ones. In most households, it is of utmost importance for each member of the family to be a "team player”. Thus a nanny is not only a childcarer but also an extra pair of hands to busy mothers and fathers and anyone in the family home, but aside from that, a co-pilot to every single parent in the household. A nanny is a true gem, a blessed addition to the family based on their high quality work shown afar their service.

As United Kingdom’s leading nanny, childcare and domestic placement provider, Little Ones has been keeping up in integrating qualified professionals in every family home. In more than 15 years of service we have handled different client’s requests and need to find a qualified candidate for them. The duties of a nanny can significantly vary from household to household, depending on their arrangement with the family. We have noted down the itemized list that is usually required by a family to their childcarer and at the same time a record of what’s not.

Activities nannies must do at home

Our professional and responsible nannies are not only responsible in providing quality child care to the family’s beloved children, they are also extremely reliable in terms of keeping the family home clean and to a high standard. Many parents expect their nannies to perform household chores whenever the children are at nursery or reception. Aside from babysitting and occasional overnight stays most parents also required their nannies to tend light housekeeping duties related or not to the children. These tasks include:


Most parents are still away when children head home from school and they would really appreciate nannies who can prepare simple yet healthy meals for their little ones. Either it is breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, a competent and confident cook is highly desired by most parents. Some nannies are also expected to prepare food for the whole family or sometimes, just a large portion of what they cook for the children. A nanny who could follow recipes, prepare a specific diet plan for the children, or at most cook a specific cuisine that the whole family loves is a great asset in a household.

Restocking the home

Grocery shopping is also part of the nannies responsibility at home. Filling in used supplies such as kitchen additives, cleaning materials, children’s essentials in school. The ideal nanny will be enthusiastic to grocery shop, either online or physical store basis.

Pet care duties

Many households own friendly dogs, cats and any other animals who can stay in the family home on which they consider as an extended member of the kin, hence pet care duties are also expected in the nanny’s daily tasks. Families prefer a nanny who is comfortable to work around animals to handle feeding, walking, and healthcare for their furry members on a daily basis or care for them temporarily whilst the family are travelling.

Maintaining a clean and safe environment for the children

It is very important that the nanny can also keep a clean and safe environment for the children. During playtime, the nannies must ensure that all the equipment and materials are safe to use and in terms of emergency, first aid is must. A valid first aid qualification is an essential requirement before a nanny is placed. For nannies who drive it is important that they have a safe driving record and well trained in terms of maintaining the car as they transport the children to school and afterschool activities. Keep in mind that children’s safety is the most important duty of a nanny.

Activities nannies can do with the little ones

Of course, it is the nannies’ responsibility to provide quality indoor and outdoor activities that can stimulate the children’s interest. Excessive use of gadgets or resorting to it as a form of recreation for the little ones is a big no for most parents. They want their children to be socially engaged and intellectually stimulated whenever they are in care of their nannies. There are a lot of certain activities, simple plays and fun for all ages projects or affairs to ensure that the children are academically and socially stimulated throughout the day. Here are some of the ideas:

Teach the children how to speak new languages. Before hiring a nanny, some parents require a bilingual nanny to help their children become fluent in a second language. Nannies can arrange simple plays and tutorials to expose the children to as much of the language as possible. Aside from grammar and vocabulary exercises, nannies can also impart the culture alongside the language thus children can easily understand the meaning behind it. Languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, Dutch, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Swedish, Finnish, Danish – and of course, English are often requested.

Association through local community, play groups and clubs. Many families who just moved from one borough to another find playgroups and club activities as a big help to make the transition smoothly and help the children integrate into the local community. Parents prefer outdoorsy and active nannies who live in the area either walking or cycling distance to make sure that they are familiar with the locality to organise or supervise creative and social play with other toddlers and schoolers. Driving is a must to easily drive the children to / from nursery / activities.

Picnic at a local park or in the backyard. This is an enjoyable activity especially when the children love being outdoors. Nannies and children can pack meals, have an excursion and enjoy a scenic surrounding. They can also enjoy this activity in the backyard of the family home.

Taking the children to libraries and museums. Reading is a great activity for children to stimulate their imagination and develop their language skills whilst visiting museums is a perfect way to actively teach the children and help them to expand their interest from objects to diverse cultural and scientific knowledge. Most parents ask the nanny to take their children to both museums and libraries to challenge their little ones intellectually.

Doing arts, crafts and other recreational activities. Sewing, scrapbooking, photography, origami, painting, drawing, writing letters, and playing board games are some of the common learning activities that the children enjoy. It helps in the development of children’s creativity, patience, and ability to decide. Art also expands the children’s vocabulary as they learn to create objects on their way. Messy play is enjoyed by most children as they can mould and touch objects that improves their sensory skills. Planning age appropriate activities is very important for physical and mental development.

Assisting with homework. Providing daily educational support is one of the nanny’s important tasks. Many households seek for a highly experienced and qualified tutor, ideally with a teaching background and great understanding of the British curriculum. Excellent command in English is also essential to assist the children on their homework, other academic related activities and concentrate on their learning.

Activities parents require the nanny to do.

Hiring a nanny doesn’t mean that the children’s welfare is solely in charge with them. Parents and nannies work together to meet the child's emotional and physical needs and in some households, the nanny work closely together with the mother to take attentive care of the children. When both parents work full time and are barely at home, it is the nanny’s responsibility to track the children’s development and update it to the parents. Communication skills and good working relationships of nannies and parents are vital to ensure that the children are developing and reaching their milestones. Through this, nannies can assure the parents that they are proving the best care possible for their toddlers and schoolers.

Some parents are essentially looking for a nanny and at the same time someone who can do administrative tasks for them. Some PA duties include, booking appointments, running errands, planning holiday itineraries, organise weekly food shopping, liaise with schools and clubs and many more. Parents ensure that nanny/PA are well compensated as they receive additional tasks than a normal childcarer. This is also a great opportunity for nannies who are looking for growth and development in their work and exploring a diverse range of work responsibilities.

Activities that nannies are not required to do

Parents need to remember that being a nanny is a profession. Once hired, they are expected to provide the best care for their children and it’s the main focus of the role unless stated otherwise. Here are the activities that nannies are not required to do.

Deep cleaning. Maintaining the family home to a high standard of cleanliness is the prior duty of a housekeeper and not the nanny. Nannies are expected to help and have a muck in attitude in terms of housekeeping but carrying out all the general household chores is not essential for their role unless parents resort to hiring a nanny housekeeper.

Unreasonable requests from parents. Parents should be mindful that their nannies are humans and they have a long list of daily tasks from doing light housekeeping, as duties to keeping the children safe and happy, so before adding duties to their daily routine they must see that it is in the nanny’s capacity and good interest. Overnight stay and ad hoc babysitting hours is understandable as long as it is agreed in advance by both parties.

Caring for other children. It should be clear to the nanny how many children will be on their watch. Families have multiple children and some nannies are only required to oversee them but caring for other family’s children, let say the neighbour’s children who come for daily playdates is not the nanny’s responsibility otherwise both households should compensate the nanny accordingly.

Making house rules. It is always the parent’s task and the nanny should be subjective on it no matter what, provided that it’s for both party’s safeties. Communication is always the key.

Finding a suitable nanny that matches the family’s needs might take time. Parents need to have a full understanding of what should and what’s not to expect of their childcare. Nannies are part of the family and must be given the right amount of care too, in return they promise to give the best service and assurance that the children are in safe hands. To promote longevity, nanny should not be confused on what really their tasks are and let nannies do their job. Nannies are valued members of the household at all times.

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