When searching for a nanny, many parents are surprised to discover that housekeeping isn’t typically part of a nanny’s duties and responsibilities. While nannies are responsible for housekeeping tasks related to childcare, such as keeping the children’s areas neat and clean, doing the children’s laundry, and tidying up from the days messes, other housekeeping related tasks like doing the family’s laundry and vacuuming and mopping the floors aren’t a part of the nanny’s job description.
Fortunately for parents seeking a caregiver who wishes to take on additional housekeeping tasks, there is a specific type of nanny to fulfill that role. A nanny/housekeeper operates in the role of a traditional nanny while the children are in her care and as a housekeeper when the children are in school or are otherwise cared for. Many parents of school aged children opt for a nanny/housekeeper because in addition to taking on the housekeeping tasks, childcare is already arranged for those days when school is cancelled, the child is sick, or during summer and winter vacations.
When advertising for a nanny/housekeeper, parents must clearly state their expectations with regards to duties, roles and responsibilities. The more transparent parents are about their needs, the easier it will be to find a nanny/housekeeper candidate who is willing and able to meet them. When drafting a job description, parents should consider how much of the job is childcare and how much is housekeeping, and clearly estimate the percentage of each.
Nanny/housekeepers will typically perform all traditional housekeeping responsibilities. This includes cleaning the bathrooms, changing and washing the linens, cleaning the floors, thoroughly cleaning the kitchens, vacuuming, dusting and polishing the furniture, and doing the family’s laundry. Some nanny/housekeepers will even prepare meals for the family.
To avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications, parents should provide a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and have a mutually agreeable written work agreement. Instead of using vague terms like “light housekeeping” in the agreement, parents should clearly list out the specific housekeeping tasks that the nanny/housekeeper is responsible for and the frequency with which those tasks should be completed.
Since nanny/housekeepers take on additional duties, their compensation should reflect that. Nanny/housekeepers should also be instructed and reminded that the care of the children always takes precedence over housekeeping tasks, even if they are to go undone. Parents who employ nanny/housekeepers should ensure that there is adequate time allowed for her to complete her non-childcare related tasks.
10 Ways to Find a Nanny Who is a Housekeeper
If you have both children and a busy schedule, then you may find yourself in need of a little extra help around the house. For some parents, a caregiver who can take care of the kids and the home is a perfect combination. To locate a nanny/housekeeper, consider these tips.
- Use a nanny placement agency. A placement agency matches the skills and qualifications of nannies seeking employment with the needs of parents seeking household help. Clearly articulate your needs and you’ll be presented with prescreened applicants who can meet them.
- List with a domestic staffing agency. While many agencies specialize in placing all types of domestic help, not all do. List with a complete domestic staffing agency to find a qualified caregiver to meet your needs.
- Ask around. Use your personal and social network to let people know you’re looking for household help. You may be surprised at the number of quality leads you receive.
- Use an online nanny recruiting website. Create a family profile that highlights your care needs. Thousands of nannies seek employment via online sites.
- Check the classifieds. Consider reviewing advertisements in print and Internet classifieds, especially ones that cater to families.
- Place an ad in the newspaper. Place an advertisement in a print or on-line edition of a local newspaper advertising your position.
- Utilize bulletin boards. Check the bulletin board at the supermarket for advertisements from nanny/housekeepers seeking work. You may also wish to post a flyer advertising your job there too.
- Recruit at local colleges. Contact the career services department of your local college or university about posting a position. You may find an early childhood education major who is eager to gain more childcare experience.
- Reach out to a nanny group. Many local nanny groups have websites or Facebook pages where members can connect. Contact the group leader and ask if they can pass on your job listing.
- Browse online profiles. Many nanny job sites, like gonannies.com, offer parents free trial memberships so they can peruse profiles of caregivers seeking employment. With this type of try before you buy opportunity, parents only need to upgrade to a paying membership if they find a caregiver they wish to contact.
Regardless of how you find a nanny/housekeeper, you’ll want to gather as much information about a prospective employee as possible prior to offering her a position. Don’t skip performing both phone and in-person interviews, checking references, or conducting a background check. Instead be sure to gather as much information about as possible about a nanny/housekeeper so that you can make an educated and informed hiring decision.