For centuries, professional nannies have given peace of mind to busy parents by providing care and support for the most important people in their lives – their children. The role of the nanny has become so synonymous with domestic household staff in general, however, that some people have developed the wrong impression of what a nanny should be expected to do once they start working for a family.

In this short guide, we list a few things which no nanny should have to do (unless, of course, it has been agreed beforehand that this will be a part of their duties). Taking a quick look at the points below could save you a great deal of embarrassment, if you are looking to hire a nanny but are not entirely sure what tasks usually fall under their job description.

Extra household chores
Just because you have hired a nanny, it doesn’t mean that they have to be Mrs Doubtfire! Unless it was specifically agreed before he or she started their role, a nanny cannot be expected to perform general household chores (and yes, this includes cooking for the parents). Remember that a nanny’s job is to make sure your children are safe and happy – not to be a cleaner.

Anything they have not been trained for
Many of us have had our views of nannies informed by films and television programmes. The truth is that nannies are not superhuman creatures who instinctively know how to do anything and everything. Being a nanny is a profession and, like any other professional, they cannot be expected to carry out tasks for which they have not received official training.

Unpaid overtime
If you are in the position of being able to hire a nanny, the chances are that you will know all too well how demanding modern life can be and how we often have to put in more hours than we would necessarily like to at work. Whilst virtually all nannies will understand that they will need to do the same from time to time, you cannot take this as a given – always remember that no-one should be expected to work any longer than they have been contracted to. If you really need your nanny to put in extra hours at short notice, offer to pay them for doing so.

Additional ad hoc tasks
This final point is linked to the first one, but it is very important to keep in mind. If your household suddenly becomes busier and you find that you need help with other tasks such as food shopping and keeping your diary up to date, don’t just expect your nanny to take them on automatically. As previously mentioned, no-one has an obligation to complete more jobs than were initially made clear to them when their role began. If you would like your nanny to lend their assistance in other areas, then there is only way to find out if they will – ask them politely!

This article was written by Thom Sanders on behalf of Beauchamp Partners – a specialist London-based nanny agency who have been providing the highest quality childcare to clients for over thirty years.