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What should be included in a written job description?

"Begin by making a list of the duties you want done daily, every couple of days, weekly and monthly," recommends Annemarie Sansom of Night Nannies Australia. "Also write down your pet peeves, e.g. Crumbs on the kitchen counter. You should plan on sitting down with the nanny later and fine tuning the job description. You should never add work without discussion and compensation!"

The job description should be included into your Workplace Agreement and then the Nanny given the opportunity to review and add feedback or question items in the Agreement. Once you have both mutually agreed on the workplace conditions then you should both sign the Workplace Agreement and job description each keeping a copy for your own reference.

Suggestions to add into your Job Description/Workplace Agreement

  1. Work Schedule: Days and Hours
  2. Compensation: Salary in gross terms, understanding on payroll taxes, and overtime compensation. Bonus structure, if any, should be addressed also. Families who will require occasional overnight nanny services should negotiate and record the overnight compensation rate here.
  3. Holiday and Vacation Schedules: Nannies typically expect 2 weeks paid vacation, understanding that it often will be timed to coincide with family vacation schedules, and paid holidays. Sick day arrangements vary. In general, families offer nannies between 5 - 15 paid days off exclusive of paid Federal Holidays. Increasingly families are offering a flexible paid time off policy where benefit days may be used for sick, personal and/or vacation time. Many families agree to 'cash out' unused days at the end of a calendar year.
  4. Benefits, if any.
  5. Childcare Duties: Be specific!
  6. Housekeeping Duties: Be specific and realistic!
  7. Confidentiality Agreement: You probably are not a celebrity, but this is still a good idea.
  8. Termination agreement: How much notice do you require? How much notice or pay in lieu of notice will you provide the employee if terminated for your convenience (not cause)? Four weeks is nice to have, two weeks is realistic.

Live in nannies should also have a written agreement regarding the living arrangements. Items such as curfew [a touchy subject], phone bills, overnight guests, out of town guests, and privacy expectations [of both parties] should be articulated. If the family advanced the nanny airfare, a repayment or debt forgiveness schedule should be included.

A Draft Job Description might look something like this (and must be specific):

Meal Preparation: (e.g. heat meals as planned by Mother OR prepare healthy meals from fresh ingredients and plan a healthy menu appropriate for the child’s age and development) You can add prepare family meal if this was in your initial job brief or was discussed at interview.

General House hygiene - Clean up after all meal preparation, wipe down benches with…?, sweep kitchen floor, tidy after using any area in the home and maintain general tidiness and hygienic conditions such as: if necessary after children’s usage, vacuum floor. Wipe down bath after children have bathed. (add your own requirements as long as the role does not become a Housekeeper role unless you are hiring a Housekeeper)

Children’s Hygiene – Wash hands before each meal and after any toileting. Wash children’s faces as necessary throughout the day. Assist children with toileting OR younger children change Childs nappy regularly throughout the day, do not leave child in a wet nappy for more than an… (time frame) Dispose of soiled nappy in… Change nappy bin daily and dispose to main outside garbage bin here..? Dress child in clothing appropriate for the day’s activities.

Educational Activities – Plan weekly age appropriate and developmental activities to assist in the children’s development and growth. If resources needed parents will provide a monthly budget for purchasing craft and educational resources/activities> All receipts must be retained for petty cash purposes. Excursions or external activities if not already a weekly activity of Playgroup/Gymbaroo will need to be discussed with the parents and agreed prior to attending any external activity or other friend/Nanny/family home.

Nursery Duties: Change children’s bedding every ? days or weekly, wash children’s clothes weekly/daily and hang out /put in dryer and bring in. Iron …. Clothes weekly and hang in wardrobe. Vacuum Childs floor, tidy/sterilize toys weekly. Throw out any broken toys; arrange activities in Childs room as child developments to make the room and activities interesting and relevant.

Car – (if car provided) you may want to add a section here for maintaining petrol levels or cleanliness of car. Advising if there are any problems with the car etc.

Health of child – Check and maintain Childs immunization records, only give medication if requested by (parent) and medication form must be completed prior to administration of any medication. Advise (parents) of any possible signs of ill health. If the child has had an accident (Parents must be informed immediately).

Nanny log – Keep a daily communication log of children’s activities and notes of any developments, changes etc Read this log upon arrival to check for any notes from the (parents).

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