Everything Your Nanny Needs to Know

Everything Your Nanny Needs To Know: Make Sure This Info Is Close At Hand

You’ve hired a new nanny – that’s exciting! Before they begin their first day, there are some important details you need to collect to pass along, far beyond the obvious ones, like your office numbers and school addresses.

In this article, we outline the content any complete nanny prep kit should contain. Some items are indeed obvious (like their own set of house keys) while others may not spring to mind immediately during the excitement of preparing the family for the nanny’s arrival. Collect all this in one easy-to-access binder or kit and your nanny’s first day won’t be filled with unwelcome surprises.

1. House keys, but also codes for alarms, garage doors, and other mechanisms.

It’s easy to forget how much technology helps our homes function, but your nanny must be able to access everything if they are to do their job well. Go through your home top to bottom, and try to think of everything that requires information to access, like smart technology that allows them to turn the furnace down when out and about, or lets them turn on lights when the sun begins setting. These are the details that are easily forgotten about because they are so second nature to a family.

2. Contact numbers for doctors, schools, sports coaches and music teachers.

In other words, everyone who is in touch with your children in any way needs to be reachable by the nanny. Parents of friends, community centers, and any other organization or house where your children spend time must be included in your nanny’s prep kit. Not just the children’s doctors; if you’ve got pets, don’t forget to include the vet’s number and address of their clinic! And if you’ve got teenagers who have their own cell phones and social media accounts, the nanny needs those numbers and email addresses, too

3. Dietary needs, allergies, and any other info they need to feed the children.

If one of your children is vegan while another is on a high-protein meat diet, your nanny needs to know all this in advance. If there is a grocery store you prefer shopping at and you’ve got a favorite butcher, make sure they know where those places are located. Any details they need to feed the children well and smoothly should be in their nanny kit. (Make sure they are thoroughly schooled on all the kitchen appliances, too, so the first time they make a meal, they can operate everything easily.)  

4. Who should they expect at the door unexpectedly?

For example, a nanny would not be prepared if a parade of utility workers and package delivery people all showed up on their first day on the job, if the employer hadn’t discussed this prior. Naturally, your nanny needs to be informed of any and all individuals who may come to the door, so they aren’t calling you frequently to confirm who these strangers are.  It’s better to explain who may likely appear, so your nanny knows when you’re expecting an Amazon delivery, for example

5. Be sure the nanny kit contains the rules of the house.

If you expect the nanny to enforce your rules, they need to know what those rules are, right? So if one child is supposed to do homework before any video games are allowed, write that down. Same goes for friends of your children – who’s allowed in the house after school? Who isn’t? You know these things by heart, but remember – your nanny is new to the inner workings of the family and how it runs. To do the job well, your nanny needs as much information as you can provide!

6. Put a copy of their employment contract in their kit, along with other important documents.

For example, if your new nanny is using your vehicle, include a copy of the auto insurance with their name of it, and any other papers that they may need one day, like medical insurance papers, if you’re providing that as one of their benefits.

7. Write down your guidelines governing screen time and computer access.

At some point or another, most children begin vying for greater access to the Internet. It’s vital that you give your nanny clear, concise rules about this, because leaving it to them isn’t fair to anyone. Putting these rules in a “daily schedule” outline is the most efficient way to communicate just what is, and what is not, allowed when it comes to screen time. And speaking of screen time – if you are uncomfortable with others posting pictures of your children on their social media accounts, tell your nanny. They may want to include the children in a post about the new job along with a photo, but if you would prefer that didn’t occur, explain it at the outset.

8. Give your live-in nanny a lock and key for their bedroom, or at least offer.

Many nannies are fine with just closing the door on their room when they want privacy, while others prefer locking the door behind them. Ask your nanny which camp they’re in, and go along with their wishes. The nanny is in your home, but has a room of their own and should feel at home, and privacy is important to everyone!

Making sure your nanny kit contains these important items, along with any others you may think of, is vital for ensuring your new nanny gets off on the right foot, and that they are comfortable in their new role. With a complete nanny kit, your expectations have been clearly communicated. Everything from knowing how to operate the washing machine to opening the garage door is crucial to making their job run efficiently, and that keeps everyone in the family happy and on the same path to success with this key new member of the household!