Can you imagine your boss going on vacation and telling you that you will have an unpaid week off? Neither can we, which is why it makes complete sense that in the household staffing industry, nannies (as well as other positions) are guaranteed their working hours, even when you do not need care. That said, there are ways for your nanny to help out with tasks that will be beneficial to your family.
We have come up with a list of possible ideas, but we encourage you to go through all of these with your nanny to see what would be both helpful for you, and reasonable for them, to complete (not all nannies are good with organization, cooking, pets, etc.). These duties should fall within the normal working hours, so if any of the items below require an after-hour schedule (e.g., housesitting, pet care), it should be discussed in advance whether further compensation should be provided (e.g, miles for coming to the home additional times per day to care for pets, overnights, etc.).
- Check mail and bring in packages
- Organize kids’ closets, drawers, playrooms, bedrooms, bookshelves, etc.
- Weed out clothes that kids have grown out of for donations or switch out seasonal clothing
- Water plants
- Pet care
Note: Some are specific as we know nannies have completed them as special projects; many nannies would prefer not to do housekeeping-related tasks, but there are some nannies that are comfortable in that arena.
- Check for broken toys, dead batteries (and replace) or outgrown toys
- Organize children’s artwork
- Meet with contractors/vendors
- Prepare food/meals for freezer
- Check household supplies and make a list of what they are low on or missing
- Organize closets/drawers
- Run errands
- Pick up groceries just before you return
- Car maintenance (oil change, car wash, etc.)
- Garbage cans emptied on correct day and then moved back
- Clean out refrigerator and pantry
- Dust closets and shelves
- Baby proofing (gates, door handles, etc.)
Again, there should be no expectation that your nanny will be willing to do any and everything you desire, so it is important to communicate what is going to be most appropriate for both of you. Often the duties assigned don’t necessarily cover the full hours that a nanny was scheduled to work, but those guaranteed hours need to be compensated regardless. Please reach out if you have any questions!