How to Write a Nanny Job Description

Writing a thoughtful, detailed job description is the first step toward finding the right caregiver for your family. And it’s not just about the type of caregiver you’re looking for, but also why someone would want to work for your family. (Remember, it’s a two-way street!) Here’s how to cover all the bases in a nanny job description and connect with the best candidates.

Explain the Arrangement

Start up front with your needs: “Seeking fulltime nanny, 5 days a week from 8-6 for a four month old,” so that people scouring through posts on a listserv will know the basics right off the bat.

Be specific (Really Specific)

Every family has different childcare needs, schedules, logistics, and expectations. Determine all of the responsibilities that your ideal caregiver would take on during a typical day. Aside from lovingly and safely caring for your baby, what else is important to you? Create a thorough list to communicate your expectations from the get-go.

Here are some things to consider including in your job description. They’ll evolve as your baby grows—so think long-term, not just the stage you’re in now.

  • Experience: Do you want a nanny with “x” years of experience, or expertise with certain ages or childcare arrangements (twins, siblings, nanny shares, etc.)? Is she a pro with routines and creating a consistent, structured environment?

  • Activities: Although your baby may barely be able to hold his head up, soon enough he’ll be ready for story time, the park, play dates, and more. Is your nanny active? Is she attuned to development and when to introduce new skills and activities? Is she familiar with the area and proactive about being on the go?

  • Transportation: Speaking of going places, you need to be clear about how you want them to get there. Will your nanny use public transportation with your child if you live in a city? Or if you live in an area that requires your nanny to have a car, you’ll want to check her driving record, ensure her car is safe, and that she knows how to properly use your car seat. Note these kinds of things in the job description so you don’t fall in love with a nanny during the interview that can’t meet those needs.

  • Meal Preparation: Would you like your nanny to prepare meals (from pureed veggies all the way through real food when he’s a toddler)?

  • Certifications: Do you want your nanny to be certified in CPR or have any other specific qualifications and training?

  • Language: Would you like your baby to learn another language? If your caregiver speaks Spanish or French, is it important that they speak that with your baby?

  • Light Housekeeping: Aside form childcare, will the nanny be responsible for keeping the baby’s play area clean, washing bottles, and doing laundry? Are there other household chores you could use help with?

  • Pet Care: If you have a pet, will you expect the nanny to handle your “fur baby” too?

  • Flexibility: Depending on your job, do you need your nanny to stay late on short notice, overnight, and/or babysit on occasional weekends?

  • Preferred Payment: Many families use payroll systems. Be up front about how you would like to handle the financial logistics.  

Outline your Ideal Candidate’s Qualities

Each caregiver has their own unique personality and way of interacting with children. Describe the qualities of a person you want spending day in and day out with your baby. Here’s some inspiration: compassionate, loving, gentle, calm, cool under pressure, reliable, responsible, dependable, punctual, and nurturing.

Sell Yourself

You can make your job description stand out by giving a clear sense of who you are and what you value (and you can do this without betraying any personal details).

- What types of activities do you enjoy? Are you a voracious reader with a well-stocked library? Are you global travelers who care deeply about introducing your child to different cultures?

- How do you see your nanny fitting into your life?  Will you treat her as a respected professional colleague and partner? Do you want her to feel like part of your family?  There's no right answer to this question, but it's an opportunity to spotlight how great it will be to work for you.

- Is there anything remarkable about your home that a caregiver would enjoy? Quick walk to parks and playgrounds? Spacious and bright? Tons of indoor play space? A big yard? Don't worry about sounding like a real estate broker: a nanny will be spending most of her week hanging out in and around your home, so this can be a powerful recruiting tool.

Sharing this type of information gets the right applicants excited about potentially working together.

You'll find more about finding the right childcare in Here's the Plan, the pregnancy and parenting guide for your professional life.