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The Job Description of a Nanny

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A nanny holds a specialized childcare job. Some live with the family for whom they work, while others commute to their job. Traveling nannies accompany a family on trips so the parents can enjoy their children yet have alone-time. Newborn nannies serve a family for a short time, but other nannies might work for the family until the children no longer need their services.


Above all, the nanny is responsible for the safety of the children under her care. She creates nurturing activities to stimulate their development, and often develops lessons similar to those taught in a daycare or preschool. Responsibilities also include planning healthy meals and snacks for the children, as well as bathing them and changing diapers of infants. When children are old enough, she potty trains them. When they reach school age, she drives them to and from school, and to after-school activities.


Parents set specific qualifications for their children’s nanny. Vocational training in early childcare or a degree in early childhood education makes the nanny more employable. A nanny should have certification in CPR and first aid. A valid driver’s license and safe driving history is required if she is going to transport the children. If no automobile is provided, she needs a reliable car and insurance. Nannies should be proficient in English, and a valid work permit if she is not a U.S. citizen. The job is physically demanding, so the nanny should be able to lift a young child and participate in their activities.

Additional Responsibilities

A nanny may have additional responsibilities including light housework throughout the entire home, and family errands including grocery shopping. These tasks are negotiable between the parents and nanny, and should be discussed prior to employment. Parents should also specify the nanny's hours as they negotiate a contract.


The average salary for full-time, live-in nannies was $652 in 2011, according to the International Nanny Association. Full-time nannies living outside the employer’s home averaged $705 a week. Some employers offer additional benefits to their full-time nannies including health insurance, vacation and sick leave.