Setting Boundaries: Essential Rules for Nannies

|

Jan 30, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential rules for nannies

Setting Boundaries: Essential Rules for Nannies

|

Jan 30, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Setting Boundaries: Essential Rules for Nannies

|

Jan 30, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential rules for nannies

Setting Boundaries: Essential Rules for Nannies

|

Jan 30, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

essential rules for nannies

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

When you find the right nanny, it’s important to set boundaries and rules for them to follow for a healthy relationship dynamic. But what makes rules for nannies effective, and why do you need them? 

We’ll explain why establishing nanny rules early helps maintain the structure of your household. We’ll also share advice on what to consider when creating these boundaries.


Key Takeaways

  • Rules set boundaries for the nanny's involvement in household activities and maintain strict rules for the children while the parents are away.


  • Nanny rules should be clear and address as many questions and concerns as possible. They should clarify things such as whether to allow visitors or not and ensure the kids stick to their bedtime routine.


  • Parents looking for a nanny should have a checklist of basic things to address before the initial hiring. The checklist should include things like addressing each other's schedule and clarifying any health concerns about the children.


Why Are Nanny Rules Essential?

why are nanny rules essential

Nanny rules are important to ensure they operate and run the household based on the principles you provide for them. They also set boundaries and limitations for the nanny so they can maintain strict household rules and routines for the children to follow in your absence.

The rules replicate the same limitations you adhere your children to. The goal is to continue to enforce the same rules your children know. The nanny should ensure they obey them and do what they’re supposed to.

They also set restrictions on the nanny. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with your nanny being in a certain room, you need to make that a rule. You can also set limits and restrictions on thermostats, food access and visitors.

Failing to establish rules for your nanny can lead to many problems. For starters, the children may run rampant and essentially take over the household. Not having established rules could also harm the children, for example, if the nanny doesn’t know about dietary restrictions or allergies.

Establishing nanny rules will help your children stay disciplined and keep the household intact as it was before you left the house.

What Kind of Rules Should a Nanny Implement?

rules should a nanny implement

The nanny should implement rules primarily based on how you run your household. 

Their nature depends on how relaxed you are when it comes to enforcing household principles and your comfort with the nanny. 

Candi Vajana, Founder of The Experienced Nanny, advises:

“The most important advice when setting rules to implement is to start writing what is important to the family before they hire a nanny. This will give you an idea of the type of candidate they are looking for. Once they have the rules written down, you can start working on the job description for the nanny. During the interview process, the parents should have questions specifically based on the rules to see how the nanny feels about them and how he/she responds.”

Below are some common nanny rules you can put into place.

Visitor Rules

Are you okay with visitors coming to your home while you’re gone? Regardless of the answer, you must define this rule for your nanny to avoid causing any issues or conflicts.

It's common for your children to want to have friends over while you are gone. If you’re not okay with that, the nanny will prohibit your children from inviting any visitors over.

Visitor rules also apply to the nanny. You can either give them permission or restrict their ability to have visitors at the house.

Determining visitor rules is up to your preferences. Some nannies may wish to have permission to have visitors, especially if they have to stay at your home for a long period of time. Ultimately,  do what you feel is reasonable.

Phone Rules

Like visitor rules, you can impose phone rules on your children and your nanny, depending on the scenario.

Parents may offer a long-term nanny a dedicated mobile phone. Establish specific usage rules if you provide your nanny with one.


If you're on a limited data plan, inform your nanny only to use what is necessary, such as in the event of an emergency. You could also establish that if they go over, you expect them to pay for their own usage if you believe that’s fair.

When it comes to your children, enforce any prior limits to phone usage you had before. Your nanny can limit general screen time and the amount of data they use.

Dietary Rules

Enforcing dietary rules is very important, especially if you have kids with allergies to certain foods. 

You must inform your nanny about any allergies your children have. With that information provided, your nanny should be able to protect your kids from accidentally eating foods that would otherwise harm them.

Outside of allergies, encourage maintaining good eating rules. If your children are on specific diets, your nanny can prepare meals for them in line with their diet so they get the proper nutrition.

Discipline Rules

Discipline techniques are highly conflicting among individuals, which is why you and your nanny must discuss the proper uses of discipline and what is deemed acceptable by both parties.

Discipline is one area where you and your nanny will likely argue and debate during the initial interview. Some nannies believe children should be disciplined in one way, while parents might think the opposite.

While nannies can provide suggestions, ultimately, they have to follow your guidance on how you want them to discipline your children. Ensuring you and your nanny agree on the use of discipline techniques can help avoid future conflict and maintain consistency with your kids’ understanding of the rules.

Communication Rules

Communication is important, which is why it’s essential to establish communication rules with your nanny.

Before you leave the house, you must inform the nanny of your preferences. Letting them know can help define boundaries and have plans in place for emergency contacts.

The nanny may also want to set time restrictions on when you contact them, such as after hours at night when it's their downtime.

Car Rules

If you leave a vehicle at home with your nanny and kids, you should define whether or not your nanny can use it.

In some cases, the nanny may have access to a family car, especially if they’re long-term. This also requires you to include them on your insurance policy. If they’re short-term, typically, they drive their own vehicle and maintain their own expenses.

You should investigate a nanny who transports your kids in their own car to ensure they’re covered to have them under their insurance policy.

Rules for Out-of-Bound Areas and Objects

Leaving your home with rooms full of valuables can be nerve-wracking. You have the authority to inform your nanny to stay out of certain rooms and avoid handling certain items you feel should be left alone.

While negotiating a contract, avoid or limit access to certain activities, such as cleaning or maintaining those areas. You can also ask them to enforce boundaries while they watch your children.

Instruct them to avoid handling any items as you desire. When leaving their homes, people are typically concerned about valuable items and important documents.

Bedtime Rules

Do your kids have a set sleep schedule? If so, bring it up with your nanny so they can help keep your kids on track. Also, ensure the nanny's schedule accommodates it.

Typically, when the children go to bed, the nanny must ensure they don’t impose or interfere with their sleep schedule. In most cases, the nanny will try to wind down and go to bed shortly after your children in the evening or at least avoid being disruptive.


When caring for infants, rules for bedtimes for nannies can differ even further. Night nannies who watch babies late at night are typically required to sleep only when the infant falls asleep, as they need to provide care for them while they’re awake.

Discuss with your nanny how time schedules should be met and addressed.

Checklist for Parents Before Hiring a Nanny

checklist for parents before hiring a nanny

Before hiring a nanny and trusting them with the custody of your children, create a checklist of basic things to cover to avoid confusion or future conflicts. Below are some general thoughts to consider.

Exchange Contact Information

You and the nanny need to have a clear and direct communication path. As you interview, you will want to have their number to follow up with questions that may come later.

Be sure to establish an appropriate time for communication. You and the nanny may have different schedules, so accommodating each other can help better the flow of reaching out when needed.

Explain Housing Operations

Mention housing operations, such as running utilities, maintenance, and general responsibility for the household’s upkeep in detail with your nanny so they know what is necessary to keep things running.

Specify how you would like things to remain in your household. The more specific you like things to be, the more details you must provide.

Houses with smart home technology may or may not require training so the nanny knows how to use or maintain it. 

If there are any note-worthy concerns, such as known pipe leakage or a damaged appliance that works in a specific way, inform the nanny so there are no surprises.

Discuss Allergies, Medications and Disabilities

Your nanny must know any details of your children pertaining to their health and well-being. Address things like allergies, essential medication and known disabilities during the interview.

Failure to disclose any of these can lead to problems and potential harm to your children. If the nanny is unaware of any issues, they could cancel the contract and not be held accountable for accidental injury to the children.

Not every nanny is equipped to handle certain situations. However, fully disclosing these details can help you find the ideal candidate and build trust and openness.

Lifestyle and Routines

Nannies have a life outside of their work, which could impose challenges if it doesn’t fit in with what you ask and expect from them.

Try to explain to your nanny as best as you can what a typical day or week looks like. Explain your family’s lifestyle, routines, and activities and what areas they need the most assistance in.

You should expect your nanny to confirm if what you describe sounds achievable. They should also clarify if they have needs or potential schedule consults to be clear to make room for accommodations.

Save a Copy of the Nanny Contract

Once you find the right nanny for the job, you will both sign an agreement contract of terms, conditions and compensation rate. 

Keeping multiple copies is highly encouraged for documentation purposes. This ensures both parties stay true to their word and don’t violate any of the conditions outlined. Having a copy as a reference in case it gets lost prevents the frustrations of having to recreate it.

We recommend having both a physical and digital copy of the contract. If you need an online service to store all your essential documents such as a nanny contract, Trustworthy offers a platform to make managing all online documents simple and easily accessible. After uploading the contract to Trustworthy, you can share it with your nanny along with any other important family documents you see fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make changes to the nanny contract?

Changing an already established contract requires you to ask your nanny for permission. You both must agree to the new terms and conditions before they become settled. Make a new copy of the contract if you are doing so.

What should I do if my nanny calls during an emergency?

If your nanny calls because of an emergency, you’re obligated to respond to it as necessary. Try not to panic or place any immediate blame on the situation. In the future, try to create a list of emergency contacts and provide them to your nanny so they’re better prepared to handle those situations if they occur.

Should I expect the nanny to do the housework?

Nannies are specialized in primarily providing care to children, but in some cases, they may offer additional services such as house cleaning. Talk to your nanny and ask them if they will add that as a benefit. Be expected to pay your nanny a higher rate for any additional services they provide.

When you find the right nanny, it’s important to set boundaries and rules for them to follow for a healthy relationship dynamic. But what makes rules for nannies effective, and why do you need them? 

We’ll explain why establishing nanny rules early helps maintain the structure of your household. We’ll also share advice on what to consider when creating these boundaries.


Key Takeaways

  • Rules set boundaries for the nanny's involvement in household activities and maintain strict rules for the children while the parents are away.


  • Nanny rules should be clear and address as many questions and concerns as possible. They should clarify things such as whether to allow visitors or not and ensure the kids stick to their bedtime routine.


  • Parents looking for a nanny should have a checklist of basic things to address before the initial hiring. The checklist should include things like addressing each other's schedule and clarifying any health concerns about the children.


Why Are Nanny Rules Essential?

why are nanny rules essential

Nanny rules are important to ensure they operate and run the household based on the principles you provide for them. They also set boundaries and limitations for the nanny so they can maintain strict household rules and routines for the children to follow in your absence.

The rules replicate the same limitations you adhere your children to. The goal is to continue to enforce the same rules your children know. The nanny should ensure they obey them and do what they’re supposed to.

They also set restrictions on the nanny. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with your nanny being in a certain room, you need to make that a rule. You can also set limits and restrictions on thermostats, food access and visitors.

Failing to establish rules for your nanny can lead to many problems. For starters, the children may run rampant and essentially take over the household. Not having established rules could also harm the children, for example, if the nanny doesn’t know about dietary restrictions or allergies.

Establishing nanny rules will help your children stay disciplined and keep the household intact as it was before you left the house.

What Kind of Rules Should a Nanny Implement?

rules should a nanny implement

The nanny should implement rules primarily based on how you run your household. 

Their nature depends on how relaxed you are when it comes to enforcing household principles and your comfort with the nanny. 

Candi Vajana, Founder of The Experienced Nanny, advises:

“The most important advice when setting rules to implement is to start writing what is important to the family before they hire a nanny. This will give you an idea of the type of candidate they are looking for. Once they have the rules written down, you can start working on the job description for the nanny. During the interview process, the parents should have questions specifically based on the rules to see how the nanny feels about them and how he/she responds.”

Below are some common nanny rules you can put into place.

Visitor Rules

Are you okay with visitors coming to your home while you’re gone? Regardless of the answer, you must define this rule for your nanny to avoid causing any issues or conflicts.

It's common for your children to want to have friends over while you are gone. If you’re not okay with that, the nanny will prohibit your children from inviting any visitors over.

Visitor rules also apply to the nanny. You can either give them permission or restrict their ability to have visitors at the house.

Determining visitor rules is up to your preferences. Some nannies may wish to have permission to have visitors, especially if they have to stay at your home for a long period of time. Ultimately,  do what you feel is reasonable.

Phone Rules

Like visitor rules, you can impose phone rules on your children and your nanny, depending on the scenario.

Parents may offer a long-term nanny a dedicated mobile phone. Establish specific usage rules if you provide your nanny with one.


If you're on a limited data plan, inform your nanny only to use what is necessary, such as in the event of an emergency. You could also establish that if they go over, you expect them to pay for their own usage if you believe that’s fair.

When it comes to your children, enforce any prior limits to phone usage you had before. Your nanny can limit general screen time and the amount of data they use.

Dietary Rules

Enforcing dietary rules is very important, especially if you have kids with allergies to certain foods. 

You must inform your nanny about any allergies your children have. With that information provided, your nanny should be able to protect your kids from accidentally eating foods that would otherwise harm them.

Outside of allergies, encourage maintaining good eating rules. If your children are on specific diets, your nanny can prepare meals for them in line with their diet so they get the proper nutrition.

Discipline Rules

Discipline techniques are highly conflicting among individuals, which is why you and your nanny must discuss the proper uses of discipline and what is deemed acceptable by both parties.

Discipline is one area where you and your nanny will likely argue and debate during the initial interview. Some nannies believe children should be disciplined in one way, while parents might think the opposite.

While nannies can provide suggestions, ultimately, they have to follow your guidance on how you want them to discipline your children. Ensuring you and your nanny agree on the use of discipline techniques can help avoid future conflict and maintain consistency with your kids’ understanding of the rules.

Communication Rules

Communication is important, which is why it’s essential to establish communication rules with your nanny.

Before you leave the house, you must inform the nanny of your preferences. Letting them know can help define boundaries and have plans in place for emergency contacts.

The nanny may also want to set time restrictions on when you contact them, such as after hours at night when it's their downtime.

Car Rules

If you leave a vehicle at home with your nanny and kids, you should define whether or not your nanny can use it.

In some cases, the nanny may have access to a family car, especially if they’re long-term. This also requires you to include them on your insurance policy. If they’re short-term, typically, they drive their own vehicle and maintain their own expenses.

You should investigate a nanny who transports your kids in their own car to ensure they’re covered to have them under their insurance policy.

Rules for Out-of-Bound Areas and Objects

Leaving your home with rooms full of valuables can be nerve-wracking. You have the authority to inform your nanny to stay out of certain rooms and avoid handling certain items you feel should be left alone.

While negotiating a contract, avoid or limit access to certain activities, such as cleaning or maintaining those areas. You can also ask them to enforce boundaries while they watch your children.

Instruct them to avoid handling any items as you desire. When leaving their homes, people are typically concerned about valuable items and important documents.

Bedtime Rules

Do your kids have a set sleep schedule? If so, bring it up with your nanny so they can help keep your kids on track. Also, ensure the nanny's schedule accommodates it.

Typically, when the children go to bed, the nanny must ensure they don’t impose or interfere with their sleep schedule. In most cases, the nanny will try to wind down and go to bed shortly after your children in the evening or at least avoid being disruptive.


When caring for infants, rules for bedtimes for nannies can differ even further. Night nannies who watch babies late at night are typically required to sleep only when the infant falls asleep, as they need to provide care for them while they’re awake.

Discuss with your nanny how time schedules should be met and addressed.

Checklist for Parents Before Hiring a Nanny

checklist for parents before hiring a nanny

Before hiring a nanny and trusting them with the custody of your children, create a checklist of basic things to cover to avoid confusion or future conflicts. Below are some general thoughts to consider.

Exchange Contact Information

You and the nanny need to have a clear and direct communication path. As you interview, you will want to have their number to follow up with questions that may come later.

Be sure to establish an appropriate time for communication. You and the nanny may have different schedules, so accommodating each other can help better the flow of reaching out when needed.

Explain Housing Operations

Mention housing operations, such as running utilities, maintenance, and general responsibility for the household’s upkeep in detail with your nanny so they know what is necessary to keep things running.

Specify how you would like things to remain in your household. The more specific you like things to be, the more details you must provide.

Houses with smart home technology may or may not require training so the nanny knows how to use or maintain it. 

If there are any note-worthy concerns, such as known pipe leakage or a damaged appliance that works in a specific way, inform the nanny so there are no surprises.

Discuss Allergies, Medications and Disabilities

Your nanny must know any details of your children pertaining to their health and well-being. Address things like allergies, essential medication and known disabilities during the interview.

Failure to disclose any of these can lead to problems and potential harm to your children. If the nanny is unaware of any issues, they could cancel the contract and not be held accountable for accidental injury to the children.

Not every nanny is equipped to handle certain situations. However, fully disclosing these details can help you find the ideal candidate and build trust and openness.

Lifestyle and Routines

Nannies have a life outside of their work, which could impose challenges if it doesn’t fit in with what you ask and expect from them.

Try to explain to your nanny as best as you can what a typical day or week looks like. Explain your family’s lifestyle, routines, and activities and what areas they need the most assistance in.

You should expect your nanny to confirm if what you describe sounds achievable. They should also clarify if they have needs or potential schedule consults to be clear to make room for accommodations.

Save a Copy of the Nanny Contract

Once you find the right nanny for the job, you will both sign an agreement contract of terms, conditions and compensation rate. 

Keeping multiple copies is highly encouraged for documentation purposes. This ensures both parties stay true to their word and don’t violate any of the conditions outlined. Having a copy as a reference in case it gets lost prevents the frustrations of having to recreate it.

We recommend having both a physical and digital copy of the contract. If you need an online service to store all your essential documents such as a nanny contract, Trustworthy offers a platform to make managing all online documents simple and easily accessible. After uploading the contract to Trustworthy, you can share it with your nanny along with any other important family documents you see fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make changes to the nanny contract?

Changing an already established contract requires you to ask your nanny for permission. You both must agree to the new terms and conditions before they become settled. Make a new copy of the contract if you are doing so.

What should I do if my nanny calls during an emergency?

If your nanny calls because of an emergency, you’re obligated to respond to it as necessary. Try not to panic or place any immediate blame on the situation. In the future, try to create a list of emergency contacts and provide them to your nanny so they’re better prepared to handle those situations if they occur.

Should I expect the nanny to do the housework?

Nannies are specialized in primarily providing care to children, but in some cases, they may offer additional services such as house cleaning. Talk to your nanny and ask them if they will add that as a benefit. Be expected to pay your nanny a higher rate for any additional services they provide.

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

When you find the right nanny, it’s important to set boundaries and rules for them to follow for a healthy relationship dynamic. But what makes rules for nannies effective, and why do you need them? 

We’ll explain why establishing nanny rules early helps maintain the structure of your household. We’ll also share advice on what to consider when creating these boundaries.


Key Takeaways

  • Rules set boundaries for the nanny's involvement in household activities and maintain strict rules for the children while the parents are away.


  • Nanny rules should be clear and address as many questions and concerns as possible. They should clarify things such as whether to allow visitors or not and ensure the kids stick to their bedtime routine.


  • Parents looking for a nanny should have a checklist of basic things to address before the initial hiring. The checklist should include things like addressing each other's schedule and clarifying any health concerns about the children.


Why Are Nanny Rules Essential?

why are nanny rules essential

Nanny rules are important to ensure they operate and run the household based on the principles you provide for them. They also set boundaries and limitations for the nanny so they can maintain strict household rules and routines for the children to follow in your absence.

The rules replicate the same limitations you adhere your children to. The goal is to continue to enforce the same rules your children know. The nanny should ensure they obey them and do what they’re supposed to.

They also set restrictions on the nanny. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with your nanny being in a certain room, you need to make that a rule. You can also set limits and restrictions on thermostats, food access and visitors.

Failing to establish rules for your nanny can lead to many problems. For starters, the children may run rampant and essentially take over the household. Not having established rules could also harm the children, for example, if the nanny doesn’t know about dietary restrictions or allergies.

Establishing nanny rules will help your children stay disciplined and keep the household intact as it was before you left the house.

What Kind of Rules Should a Nanny Implement?

rules should a nanny implement

The nanny should implement rules primarily based on how you run your household. 

Their nature depends on how relaxed you are when it comes to enforcing household principles and your comfort with the nanny. 

Candi Vajana, Founder of The Experienced Nanny, advises:

“The most important advice when setting rules to implement is to start writing what is important to the family before they hire a nanny. This will give you an idea of the type of candidate they are looking for. Once they have the rules written down, you can start working on the job description for the nanny. During the interview process, the parents should have questions specifically based on the rules to see how the nanny feels about them and how he/she responds.”

Below are some common nanny rules you can put into place.

Visitor Rules

Are you okay with visitors coming to your home while you’re gone? Regardless of the answer, you must define this rule for your nanny to avoid causing any issues or conflicts.

It's common for your children to want to have friends over while you are gone. If you’re not okay with that, the nanny will prohibit your children from inviting any visitors over.

Visitor rules also apply to the nanny. You can either give them permission or restrict their ability to have visitors at the house.

Determining visitor rules is up to your preferences. Some nannies may wish to have permission to have visitors, especially if they have to stay at your home for a long period of time. Ultimately,  do what you feel is reasonable.

Phone Rules

Like visitor rules, you can impose phone rules on your children and your nanny, depending on the scenario.

Parents may offer a long-term nanny a dedicated mobile phone. Establish specific usage rules if you provide your nanny with one.


If you're on a limited data plan, inform your nanny only to use what is necessary, such as in the event of an emergency. You could also establish that if they go over, you expect them to pay for their own usage if you believe that’s fair.

When it comes to your children, enforce any prior limits to phone usage you had before. Your nanny can limit general screen time and the amount of data they use.

Dietary Rules

Enforcing dietary rules is very important, especially if you have kids with allergies to certain foods. 

You must inform your nanny about any allergies your children have. With that information provided, your nanny should be able to protect your kids from accidentally eating foods that would otherwise harm them.

Outside of allergies, encourage maintaining good eating rules. If your children are on specific diets, your nanny can prepare meals for them in line with their diet so they get the proper nutrition.

Discipline Rules

Discipline techniques are highly conflicting among individuals, which is why you and your nanny must discuss the proper uses of discipline and what is deemed acceptable by both parties.

Discipline is one area where you and your nanny will likely argue and debate during the initial interview. Some nannies believe children should be disciplined in one way, while parents might think the opposite.

While nannies can provide suggestions, ultimately, they have to follow your guidance on how you want them to discipline your children. Ensuring you and your nanny agree on the use of discipline techniques can help avoid future conflict and maintain consistency with your kids’ understanding of the rules.

Communication Rules

Communication is important, which is why it’s essential to establish communication rules with your nanny.

Before you leave the house, you must inform the nanny of your preferences. Letting them know can help define boundaries and have plans in place for emergency contacts.

The nanny may also want to set time restrictions on when you contact them, such as after hours at night when it's their downtime.

Car Rules

If you leave a vehicle at home with your nanny and kids, you should define whether or not your nanny can use it.

In some cases, the nanny may have access to a family car, especially if they’re long-term. This also requires you to include them on your insurance policy. If they’re short-term, typically, they drive their own vehicle and maintain their own expenses.

You should investigate a nanny who transports your kids in their own car to ensure they’re covered to have them under their insurance policy.

Rules for Out-of-Bound Areas and Objects

Leaving your home with rooms full of valuables can be nerve-wracking. You have the authority to inform your nanny to stay out of certain rooms and avoid handling certain items you feel should be left alone.

While negotiating a contract, avoid or limit access to certain activities, such as cleaning or maintaining those areas. You can also ask them to enforce boundaries while they watch your children.

Instruct them to avoid handling any items as you desire. When leaving their homes, people are typically concerned about valuable items and important documents.

Bedtime Rules

Do your kids have a set sleep schedule? If so, bring it up with your nanny so they can help keep your kids on track. Also, ensure the nanny's schedule accommodates it.

Typically, when the children go to bed, the nanny must ensure they don’t impose or interfere with their sleep schedule. In most cases, the nanny will try to wind down and go to bed shortly after your children in the evening or at least avoid being disruptive.


When caring for infants, rules for bedtimes for nannies can differ even further. Night nannies who watch babies late at night are typically required to sleep only when the infant falls asleep, as they need to provide care for them while they’re awake.

Discuss with your nanny how time schedules should be met and addressed.

Checklist for Parents Before Hiring a Nanny

checklist for parents before hiring a nanny

Before hiring a nanny and trusting them with the custody of your children, create a checklist of basic things to cover to avoid confusion or future conflicts. Below are some general thoughts to consider.

Exchange Contact Information

You and the nanny need to have a clear and direct communication path. As you interview, you will want to have their number to follow up with questions that may come later.

Be sure to establish an appropriate time for communication. You and the nanny may have different schedules, so accommodating each other can help better the flow of reaching out when needed.

Explain Housing Operations

Mention housing operations, such as running utilities, maintenance, and general responsibility for the household’s upkeep in detail with your nanny so they know what is necessary to keep things running.

Specify how you would like things to remain in your household. The more specific you like things to be, the more details you must provide.

Houses with smart home technology may or may not require training so the nanny knows how to use or maintain it. 

If there are any note-worthy concerns, such as known pipe leakage or a damaged appliance that works in a specific way, inform the nanny so there are no surprises.

Discuss Allergies, Medications and Disabilities

Your nanny must know any details of your children pertaining to their health and well-being. Address things like allergies, essential medication and known disabilities during the interview.

Failure to disclose any of these can lead to problems and potential harm to your children. If the nanny is unaware of any issues, they could cancel the contract and not be held accountable for accidental injury to the children.

Not every nanny is equipped to handle certain situations. However, fully disclosing these details can help you find the ideal candidate and build trust and openness.

Lifestyle and Routines

Nannies have a life outside of their work, which could impose challenges if it doesn’t fit in with what you ask and expect from them.

Try to explain to your nanny as best as you can what a typical day or week looks like. Explain your family’s lifestyle, routines, and activities and what areas they need the most assistance in.

You should expect your nanny to confirm if what you describe sounds achievable. They should also clarify if they have needs or potential schedule consults to be clear to make room for accommodations.

Save a Copy of the Nanny Contract

Once you find the right nanny for the job, you will both sign an agreement contract of terms, conditions and compensation rate. 

Keeping multiple copies is highly encouraged for documentation purposes. This ensures both parties stay true to their word and don’t violate any of the conditions outlined. Having a copy as a reference in case it gets lost prevents the frustrations of having to recreate it.

We recommend having both a physical and digital copy of the contract. If you need an online service to store all your essential documents such as a nanny contract, Trustworthy offers a platform to make managing all online documents simple and easily accessible. After uploading the contract to Trustworthy, you can share it with your nanny along with any other important family documents you see fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make changes to the nanny contract?

Changing an already established contract requires you to ask your nanny for permission. You both must agree to the new terms and conditions before they become settled. Make a new copy of the contract if you are doing so.

What should I do if my nanny calls during an emergency?

If your nanny calls because of an emergency, you’re obligated to respond to it as necessary. Try not to panic or place any immediate blame on the situation. In the future, try to create a list of emergency contacts and provide them to your nanny so they’re better prepared to handle those situations if they occur.

Should I expect the nanny to do the housework?

Nannies are specialized in primarily providing care to children, but in some cases, they may offer additional services such as house cleaning. Talk to your nanny and ask them if they will add that as a benefit. Be expected to pay your nanny a higher rate for any additional services they provide.

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When you find the right nanny, it’s important to set boundaries and rules for them to follow for a healthy relationship dynamic. But what makes rules for nannies effective, and why do you need them? 

We’ll explain why establishing nanny rules early helps maintain the structure of your household. We’ll also share advice on what to consider when creating these boundaries.


Key Takeaways

  • Rules set boundaries for the nanny's involvement in household activities and maintain strict rules for the children while the parents are away.


  • Nanny rules should be clear and address as many questions and concerns as possible. They should clarify things such as whether to allow visitors or not and ensure the kids stick to their bedtime routine.


  • Parents looking for a nanny should have a checklist of basic things to address before the initial hiring. The checklist should include things like addressing each other's schedule and clarifying any health concerns about the children.


Why Are Nanny Rules Essential?

why are nanny rules essential

Nanny rules are important to ensure they operate and run the household based on the principles you provide for them. They also set boundaries and limitations for the nanny so they can maintain strict household rules and routines for the children to follow in your absence.

The rules replicate the same limitations you adhere your children to. The goal is to continue to enforce the same rules your children know. The nanny should ensure they obey them and do what they’re supposed to.

They also set restrictions on the nanny. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with your nanny being in a certain room, you need to make that a rule. You can also set limits and restrictions on thermostats, food access and visitors.

Failing to establish rules for your nanny can lead to many problems. For starters, the children may run rampant and essentially take over the household. Not having established rules could also harm the children, for example, if the nanny doesn’t know about dietary restrictions or allergies.

Establishing nanny rules will help your children stay disciplined and keep the household intact as it was before you left the house.

What Kind of Rules Should a Nanny Implement?

rules should a nanny implement

The nanny should implement rules primarily based on how you run your household. 

Their nature depends on how relaxed you are when it comes to enforcing household principles and your comfort with the nanny. 

Candi Vajana, Founder of The Experienced Nanny, advises:

“The most important advice when setting rules to implement is to start writing what is important to the family before they hire a nanny. This will give you an idea of the type of candidate they are looking for. Once they have the rules written down, you can start working on the job description for the nanny. During the interview process, the parents should have questions specifically based on the rules to see how the nanny feels about them and how he/she responds.”

Below are some common nanny rules you can put into place.

Visitor Rules

Are you okay with visitors coming to your home while you’re gone? Regardless of the answer, you must define this rule for your nanny to avoid causing any issues or conflicts.

It's common for your children to want to have friends over while you are gone. If you’re not okay with that, the nanny will prohibit your children from inviting any visitors over.

Visitor rules also apply to the nanny. You can either give them permission or restrict their ability to have visitors at the house.

Determining visitor rules is up to your preferences. Some nannies may wish to have permission to have visitors, especially if they have to stay at your home for a long period of time. Ultimately,  do what you feel is reasonable.

Phone Rules

Like visitor rules, you can impose phone rules on your children and your nanny, depending on the scenario.

Parents may offer a long-term nanny a dedicated mobile phone. Establish specific usage rules if you provide your nanny with one.


If you're on a limited data plan, inform your nanny only to use what is necessary, such as in the event of an emergency. You could also establish that if they go over, you expect them to pay for their own usage if you believe that’s fair.

When it comes to your children, enforce any prior limits to phone usage you had before. Your nanny can limit general screen time and the amount of data they use.

Dietary Rules

Enforcing dietary rules is very important, especially if you have kids with allergies to certain foods. 

You must inform your nanny about any allergies your children have. With that information provided, your nanny should be able to protect your kids from accidentally eating foods that would otherwise harm them.

Outside of allergies, encourage maintaining good eating rules. If your children are on specific diets, your nanny can prepare meals for them in line with their diet so they get the proper nutrition.

Discipline Rules

Discipline techniques are highly conflicting among individuals, which is why you and your nanny must discuss the proper uses of discipline and what is deemed acceptable by both parties.

Discipline is one area where you and your nanny will likely argue and debate during the initial interview. Some nannies believe children should be disciplined in one way, while parents might think the opposite.

While nannies can provide suggestions, ultimately, they have to follow your guidance on how you want them to discipline your children. Ensuring you and your nanny agree on the use of discipline techniques can help avoid future conflict and maintain consistency with your kids’ understanding of the rules.

Communication Rules

Communication is important, which is why it’s essential to establish communication rules with your nanny.

Before you leave the house, you must inform the nanny of your preferences. Letting them know can help define boundaries and have plans in place for emergency contacts.

The nanny may also want to set time restrictions on when you contact them, such as after hours at night when it's their downtime.

Car Rules

If you leave a vehicle at home with your nanny and kids, you should define whether or not your nanny can use it.

In some cases, the nanny may have access to a family car, especially if they’re long-term. This also requires you to include them on your insurance policy. If they’re short-term, typically, they drive their own vehicle and maintain their own expenses.

You should investigate a nanny who transports your kids in their own car to ensure they’re covered to have them under their insurance policy.

Rules for Out-of-Bound Areas and Objects

Leaving your home with rooms full of valuables can be nerve-wracking. You have the authority to inform your nanny to stay out of certain rooms and avoid handling certain items you feel should be left alone.

While negotiating a contract, avoid or limit access to certain activities, such as cleaning or maintaining those areas. You can also ask them to enforce boundaries while they watch your children.

Instruct them to avoid handling any items as you desire. When leaving their homes, people are typically concerned about valuable items and important documents.

Bedtime Rules

Do your kids have a set sleep schedule? If so, bring it up with your nanny so they can help keep your kids on track. Also, ensure the nanny's schedule accommodates it.

Typically, when the children go to bed, the nanny must ensure they don’t impose or interfere with their sleep schedule. In most cases, the nanny will try to wind down and go to bed shortly after your children in the evening or at least avoid being disruptive.


When caring for infants, rules for bedtimes for nannies can differ even further. Night nannies who watch babies late at night are typically required to sleep only when the infant falls asleep, as they need to provide care for them while they’re awake.

Discuss with your nanny how time schedules should be met and addressed.

Checklist for Parents Before Hiring a Nanny

checklist for parents before hiring a nanny

Before hiring a nanny and trusting them with the custody of your children, create a checklist of basic things to cover to avoid confusion or future conflicts. Below are some general thoughts to consider.

Exchange Contact Information

You and the nanny need to have a clear and direct communication path. As you interview, you will want to have their number to follow up with questions that may come later.

Be sure to establish an appropriate time for communication. You and the nanny may have different schedules, so accommodating each other can help better the flow of reaching out when needed.

Explain Housing Operations

Mention housing operations, such as running utilities, maintenance, and general responsibility for the household’s upkeep in detail with your nanny so they know what is necessary to keep things running.

Specify how you would like things to remain in your household. The more specific you like things to be, the more details you must provide.

Houses with smart home technology may or may not require training so the nanny knows how to use or maintain it. 

If there are any note-worthy concerns, such as known pipe leakage or a damaged appliance that works in a specific way, inform the nanny so there are no surprises.

Discuss Allergies, Medications and Disabilities

Your nanny must know any details of your children pertaining to their health and well-being. Address things like allergies, essential medication and known disabilities during the interview.

Failure to disclose any of these can lead to problems and potential harm to your children. If the nanny is unaware of any issues, they could cancel the contract and not be held accountable for accidental injury to the children.

Not every nanny is equipped to handle certain situations. However, fully disclosing these details can help you find the ideal candidate and build trust and openness.

Lifestyle and Routines

Nannies have a life outside of their work, which could impose challenges if it doesn’t fit in with what you ask and expect from them.

Try to explain to your nanny as best as you can what a typical day or week looks like. Explain your family’s lifestyle, routines, and activities and what areas they need the most assistance in.

You should expect your nanny to confirm if what you describe sounds achievable. They should also clarify if they have needs or potential schedule consults to be clear to make room for accommodations.

Save a Copy of the Nanny Contract

Once you find the right nanny for the job, you will both sign an agreement contract of terms, conditions and compensation rate. 

Keeping multiple copies is highly encouraged for documentation purposes. This ensures both parties stay true to their word and don’t violate any of the conditions outlined. Having a copy as a reference in case it gets lost prevents the frustrations of having to recreate it.

We recommend having both a physical and digital copy of the contract. If you need an online service to store all your essential documents such as a nanny contract, Trustworthy offers a platform to make managing all online documents simple and easily accessible. After uploading the contract to Trustworthy, you can share it with your nanny along with any other important family documents you see fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make changes to the nanny contract?

Changing an already established contract requires you to ask your nanny for permission. You both must agree to the new terms and conditions before they become settled. Make a new copy of the contract if you are doing so.

What should I do if my nanny calls during an emergency?

If your nanny calls because of an emergency, you’re obligated to respond to it as necessary. Try not to panic or place any immediate blame on the situation. In the future, try to create a list of emergency contacts and provide them to your nanny so they’re better prepared to handle those situations if they occur.

Should I expect the nanny to do the housework?

Nannies are specialized in primarily providing care to children, but in some cases, they may offer additional services such as house cleaning. Talk to your nanny and ask them if they will add that as a benefit. Be expected to pay your nanny a higher rate for any additional services they provide.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try Trustworthy today.

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