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Work-Life Issues Nannies and Parents Should Discuss

When it comes to nannies and families, certain issues come up that are unique to working in a private home. Issues surrounding social media use, computer and phone use, personal errands, getting out of the house and meals are likely to be problematic if the topics aren’t addressed between a nanny and her employer up front.

At Morningside Nannies, we encourage our clients and nannies to have discussions about these five work-life related issues.

Social Media Use

For some nannies and parents, posting images on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter depicting their daily comings and goings is second nature. For others, they’ve been proactive and have purposely kept images of themselves, their children or their charges off of the Internet.

When it comes to sharing images and information on the Internet, not all parents and nannies feel the same way. What one person views as a checking-in with friends and family, another may view as a major safety violation.

It’s important for nannies and parents to discuss what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to sharing information and images on the Internet. Some parents are fine if the nanny talks about the child by first initial only and only posts images where you can’t see the child’s face, others won’t allow any sharing of images and information and still others give the nanny free reign so share whatever she feels appropriate because social media gives them a way to keep up with their nanny and child’s daily adventures while they’re away.

Phone and Computer Use

With technology that can keep you constantly connected, it’s no surprise that most nannies will have smart phones, iPods or other pocket-sized devices. While most nannies understand that personal calls should be kept to a minimum during working hours, what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to being online or on the phone is something that nannies and parents must hammer out.

Most parents recognize that nannies work long hours without lots of adult interaction, and as such, allow them to use the computer and phone during their downtime- when the children are napping or resting.

While most nannies realize the importance of not talking or texting when driving, it is always good to issue a reminder that when at playground, on a play date or otherwise interacting with the children, the children need their caregiver’s undivided and uninterrupted attention.

Since some parents enjoy getting regular texts and images from their nannies and others don’t, it’s important for parents to clarify expectations with regards to their nanny’s phone and computer use. To do so parents and nannies should have a conversation about what each feels is appropriate and come to an agreement about talking, texting and web surfing during working hours.

Personal Errands

It’s no secret that nanny’s work bankers and doctors hours. For many nannies, it’s impossible to get to the bank, the post office or make a doctor’s appointment outside of her working hours.

While some parents prefer the nanny take the day off to do her errands and schedule her appointments, others prefer the nanny take their child along with her to complete her errands, if she is willing, instead.

If a nanny is out doing errands for the family, some parents won’t mind if the nanny makes a stop to deposit money in the bank or pick up a coffee from Starbucks while others would consider such acts a major violation of trust.

It’s important for parents and nannies to fully discuss what’s allowed and what’s not when it comes to running personal errands on the job.

Getting Out of the House

Most nannies expect that they’ll be allowed to transport the children to and from activities and outings. Nannies who have taken a position and learn that their employer’s had different expectations, may become a bit disspointed.

Some parents are comfortable with their nanny driving their children anywhere and everywhere, others have rules that allow non-highway driving only. Still others may only allow the nanny to transport the children if absolutely necessary.

Having a discussion about transporting the children is essential to ensure both parents and nannies are on the same page. In addition to transportation rules, if the nanny is driving her vehicle it is essential that the nanny confirms her automobile policy covers transporting children for work and if it doesn’t the necessary policy changes are made. If the nanny is using her vehicle, she should also be reimbursed in accordance with the IRS mileage reimbursement rate. If the nanny will be using a family provided vehicle, the parents should ensure the nanny is listed as an additional driver.

Most parents understand that it is healthy for both the nanny and child to attend play groups, age-appropriate outings and activities together. Interacting with peers provides for opportunities for social growth and development. Discussing the parameters of how interactions can take place can ensure that the nanny and child form healthy bonds with their peers.


It’s no surprise that nannies eat a meal or two on the job given the number of hours they work each day. But when it comes to eating the family’s food, it’s different strokes for different folks.

Many parents have no issue with the nanny preparing and sharing meals with the children. Others prefer their nanny to bring their own food to work with them. Still others set aside a special place in the fridge and pantry for the nanny to stockpile her staples. But even the most casual parent who gives the nanny open access to the fridge may have specialty foods that are off limits to everyone else.

Discussing expectations when it comes to eating on the job is important. Even employers of live-in nannies who provide room and board as part of their nanny’s compensation package should discuss food rules with their nanny. Some parents just have the nanny pick up what she wants to eat when doin the grocery shopping for the kids, others prefer the nanny to leave a list and still others simply provide a cash fund each week the nanny can use towards meals.

Determining what the expectations are of each party can prevent negative issues from arising in theworking relationship. Adding an addendum to the written work agreement outliting the resolutions you’ve come to can ensure that everyone undrerstands the mutally agreed upon expectations.



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Morningside Nannies 22136 Westheimer Pkwy #704
Katy, TX 77450
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(713) 526-3989
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Morningside Nannies was far more professional and focused than the other agencies. They listened to my request and responded promptly. I feel very fortunate to have such superb childcare and appreciate the luxury of returning to work with-out worry.
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