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Employing a nanny for the first time

Having a nanny can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your children, and choosing the right one to fit in with your family is very important.

Who to employ

You will need someone you can rely on to cope with any situation so for your first nanny, someone with experience is the best option. They may require a larger salary than someone with little or no experience but it will be worth the investment since they should be able to work autonomously.


Information on interviewing Nannies, reference checking and making an offer


With good communication all your worries about letting someone new look after your child will disappear.

It’s a good idea to have a certain time each week or fortnight where you and your nanny can talk in private. Being in a relaxed atmosphere always helps. Discuss what your child has been doing and good nannies will love telling you what funny things your child has said and done, the progress they have made and any worries they have. This will also give you the opportunity to catch up on the things you have missed whilst being at work.

Raise any issues or things that have been bothering you, and try to convey this in a positive way and avoid heavy criticism.

Always thank your nanny for doing the little things, like taking out the bins, putting the bottles in the bottle bank, or tidying the child’s bedroom after a very messy weekend, as it makes them feel appreciated and they are more likely to keep on doing a good job. If your nanny has helped with a child’s party or worked extra hard it is always nice to give them a small bonus just to say thank you.

Information to leave your nanny

It is a good idea to leave your nanny a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses, even if you’re in the house most of the day. This list should include:

  • The child’s doctor and dentist
  • The child’s school, their teacher’s name and class
  • Their activity classes
  • The local hospital
  • The local police station
  • Your direct line work number
  • Local friends and family
  • The vets number if you have any animals

It is also a good idea to write down:

  • School times
  • Activity times
  • If the children have any allergies
  • The child’s favourite foods and what you allow them to eat

The nanny’s first day

It is best if you can stay with your nanny for the first day or part of the day, this way the child can become used to them while you are around.

  • Introduce the nanny to the child’s teacher, your local friends and neighbours.
  • Show them how to work the washing machine, tumble dryer, dish washer, oven, microwave.
  • Show them where the first aid box is.
  • Show them where the gas, water and electric cut-offs are for emergencies and also when the meter reader’s call.
  • Discuss the child’s routine, bed times, feeding, activities, and bathing.
  • Go through the duties you wish them to do according to what was decided in interview, and when you want them to baby-sit.
  • House rules, alarm passcodes etc.

Try to:

  • Leave your nanny a kitty so they can pay for playgroups, activities and extra food and top this up frequently.
  • Discuss problems straight away. Don’t let it carry on for a long period as it will be harder for them to change.
  • Set suitable standards and ensure that these are met.
  • Let them know if any repair people are expected, what they are going to do and what time they are coming.
  • Remember that your nanny has her own life, don’t expect them to baby-sit at a few hours notice.
  • Pay them on time and review their salary on a regular basis.
  • Appreciate your nanny, remember a good nanny is hard to find.

Try not to:

  • Ring every few hours to check how everything is going, as they will feel you don’t trust them.
  • Assume they will know what you want doing and how to do it.
  • Be late home, or if you are going to be, ring and let them know.
  • Worry that your child will get more attached to your nanny than to you. Children always know who their parents are and if your child likes being with the nanny be reassured that they are happy with the situation.

If you need further information please email [email protected] or please call any member of our Household Team on 020 7471 6000