It’s becoming increasingly popular to need more from a Nanny than just childcare. Although it’s common for a nanny to provide some light housekeeping, like tidying up and cleaning dishes after a meal or cleaning up after the children, when the housekeeping needs extend beyond cleaning up after themselves and the children or become more extensive and time consuming, it starts to become clear that a family needs to hire a Nanny Housekeeper.
It’s important for a family to be realistic and recognize there will be a little give and take when it comes to splitting a caregiver’s time between childcare and housekeeping. Since the caregiver’s priority is always the children, it’s important that a family doesn’t overload the person with more housekeeping duties than they may be realistically able to perform in order to provide quality childcare.
Finding a Nanny Housekeeper is becoming easier also. Since more and more caregivers are offering these combined services, there are more caregivers from which to choose. We’ve found that many professional nannies may not be interested in the housekeeper portion of these positions. One recommendation we give to families searching for nannies willing to do EXTENSIVE housekeeping, is to seek out “Housekeepers/Maids” who also have childcare experience, as they may be more willing to take on childcare duties than a Nanny would be willing to take on extensive housekeeping duties.
To find the right balance between housekeeping and childcare, it’s important to look at your situation and your caregiver’s workload and schedule. For example, if your children are in school or napping for a significant portion of the day, then they can easily perform the extensive housekeeping duties during that down time, allowing them to focus on the children during childcare time. However, if the children are home all day, limit the housekeeping duties to light, manageable tasks such as laundry, vacuuming, making beds or changing bed linens, and loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc. as most can easily perform these duties while still providing quality care for the children.
In order to make a successful match when hiring a Nanny Housekeeper, it’s important to be extremely forthcoming and detailed about the position requirements and responsibilities from the start. Adding responsibilities after the Nanny Housekeeper has started is awkward, unfair and can cause resentment and a bad nanny-family match. To best communicate this information, families should create a Nanny Contract that thoroughly details all of the duties and responsibilities. The contract avoids any confusion and establishes a strong foundation based on communication.