Nanny Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Are you practicing proper nanny etiquette?

Having a nanny in the home crosses both professional and personal boundaries, making it difficult to know what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. It can be even more confusing for families with live-in nannies. While many situations are gray, there are some standards to nanny etiquette. These general rules must be considered when working with a nanny, both live-in and live-out:


  • Do pay your nanny on-time, every time. It’s important to always pay your nanny as per the agreed terms in your contract.
  • Do give tips. If your nanny goes above and beyond, offer her a tip. It shows her that you care about her and that you value her time.
  • Do call if you’ll be late. Just like you’d expect your nanny be on-time or call if she’ll be late, she expects the same. Give a quick phone call or text if you’ll be late returning home.
  • Do be specific. Be detailed and specific about job responsibilities. In the agreement there should be a list of requirements and job duties, be specific with the list. Detail each thing that should be done and how.
  • Do offer feedback. If you enjoy the way your nanny is handling your children, offer positive feedback. If there areas where your nanny needs improvement, let her know with gentle constructive criticism.
  • Do give notice of changes. If there is a change in your families schedule, let your nanny know as soon as possible. This lets her prepare for the new schedule and changes.


  • Don’t compare. Don’t ever compare your nanny to any previous childcare providers. It’s rude and shows that you gossip. Your nanny doesn’t want to hear you talk trash or praise a previous nanny.
  • Don’t be insecure. Your children will bond with your nanny, it’s just how it works. Don’t be insecure and rude because of this. You want a harmonious relationship between your family and nanny, and bonding is a part of it. Don’t worry, your children and nanny know who is truly boss.
  • Don’t beat around the bush. If there is a problem, communicate it openly with your nanny. Don’t take sneaky or passive aggressive approaches to the problem, it won’t solve anything.
  • Don’t change the agreed terms. You should have an agreement between you and your nanny. This agreement should include pay rate, pay days and job responsibilities. Don’t ever change this agreement without drawing up a new agreement.

These etiquette rules are a must for any household with a nanny. To have a trusting and positive relationship, everyone must act responsibly and show respect. These tips can help you to define the gray areas – and hopefully turn them black and white!