Nanny Etiquette: The Unspoken Rules


Maintaining a strong Parent/Nanny relationship is crucial for a smooth running household and the overall happiness of the family.  Many new parents are simply unaware of the “unspoken rules” of having a nanny and that is where we can help!

As a nanny myself there are a few things that are critical when it comes to nanny etiquette (pay, time-off, schedule changes etc.)

For example, many parents do not realize the nanny is supposed to be paid even on days that they don’t need us; ie. days that the children are sick or the parents have the day off work or they choose to take a vacation for even a full week!

It is wonderful to find little hints like this and can make all the difference in a nanny/family relationship.  I found some more helpful tips below for both a nanny and a parent to keep the relationship running as smooth as possible!


  • Do provide discipline without using physical punishment. Most parents won’t like the idea of anyone but them smacking their child, if they even approve of smacking at all.
  • Do assist with children’s learning by doing things like reading and allocating time for them to do their homework and following their interests.
  • Do tell the parents about any accidents (however minor) that occur, and likewise if the children are sick or distressed when they are with you, even if you are afraid of how the parents will react.
  • Communicate openly with the family.
  • Do respect the privacy of the family by not snooping or eavesdropping


  • Don’t go against the requests of the parents when it comes to feeding the children, even as a treat. And try and maintain a good diet in front of the children as much as possible.
  • Don’t use the television or DVD player as a babysitter and be sure to give the kids your full attention when they are awake.
  • Don’t ever consume alcohol or drugs while working or within 24 hours of needing to be at work.
  • Don’t ever swear or speak badly of the children’s parents in front of the children.
  • Don’t use money that is supposed to be spent on the children on yourself or for things other than what it is meant to be used for. It’s a fine line between that and stealing which is obviously a definite no.
  • Don’t ever impose your values (such as religion or whether Santa Claus is real) on the children you work with, especially if it is against the beliefs of the family.

Below are some tips for the parents in regard to nanny etiquette.  For more information, click on the links below!


  • Do pay your nanny on time as per the agreed terms.
  • Do return home on time and call ahead if you are going to be late.
  • Do be specific about the responsibilities of the job and the housekeeping duties and don’t change things without discussing them in detail with the nanny.


  • Don’t compare your nanny to previous nannies you’ve had.
  • Don’t feel insecure about your children bonding with the nanny.
  • Don’t be passive aggressive when there is a problem, communicate openly about it with the nanny to resolve the issue.

Best of luck to both families and nannies alike 🙂




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