Nanny first day checklist… and beyond

Learn why and how to onboard your new nanny seamlessly

This article is written for Koru Kids families, but there’s still a lot of useful content here for families that are starting with a nanny elsewhere. If you are searching for a nanny, you can start your search here.

Want this guide as a PDF? Click below.

đź’ˇ In a hurry? Click below for a skimmable table of contents.

Table of Contents

Why onboard your nanny?

Invest 30 minutes to prepare your nanny’s onboarding.

We promise it will be time well spent.

At Koru Kids, we’ve got you covered for finding a fantastic nanny, handling background checks and sorting your employer admin. But your family will have unique expectations about what you want from your nanny. Setting these out clearly to your nanny from day one is a game-changer for their success in the role.

Whether this is their first nanny job or they’re a seasoned pro, here’s why onboarding matters:

  • Unlock your nanny’s potential: Proper onboarding helps your nanny be their best selves from the get-go. This process can help them feel more invested in their role, leading to a job they love, do well at, and are excited about each day.
  • Consistency for your children: Children thrive on routine and consistency. By helping your new nanny maintain the rhythm of your kids’ lives, you’ll have a smoother transition and happier kids.
  • Peace of mind for you: A well-orchestrated onboarding process gives you confidence in your nanny’s capabilities. It allows you to comfortably pass the baton, knowing that your children are in competent, caring hands.

It’s a triple win – for your kids, for your nanny and for you.

Before your nanny starts

Sort your admin – if you haven’t already

  • Download the app and set up a Direct Debit so you can approve shifts and pay your nanny on time
  • Fill in the employer set up form and sign your nanny’s employment contract
  • Fill in the family guide – it contains crucial info about your family which we’ll share with your nanny.

Define your nanny’s duties

This makes sure you’re both on the same page about the expectations of the job.

Standard duties of a nanny

  • Keep the children safe from harm
  • Take the children to and from school/nursery as required
  • Plan activities or play games with the children
  • Clean and tidy any mess the nanny or the children make
  • Supervise homework
  • Cook (or reheat) nutritious meals for the children
  • Supervise bath and bedtime as required
  • Communicate with parents about all aspects of their children’s care
  • Relay important messages from school to the parents


Possible extra duties of a nanny. Agree any explicitly with your nanny ahead of their first day

  • Take the children to and from activities, playdates or on outings
  • Prepare school lunch or bag for the next day
  • Do laundry for the children or prepare school uniforms for the next day
  • Clean out lunchboxes or book bags
  • Do other light housework, such as putting away a shopping delivery or emptying the dishwasher
  • Care for the children when they are sick and give medicine with parental permission


Duties which are usually beyond the scope of a nanny role. Agree any explicitly with your nanny ahead of their first day. They may be happy to pick up extra tasks but equally please do be prepared for the answer to be no.

  • Clean the home, beyond mess they or the children have made
  • Cook dinner for the whole family
  • Do laundry, make beds or change sheets for the whole family
  • Supervise playdates at your house
  • Care for pets or dog walking
  • Tutor, beyond homework help
  • Run errands, such as picking up milk on the way home, or posting a letter


đź’ˇ Are there any other duties you have in mind? Discuss them with your nanny.

Plan your nanny’s schedule

Describe, in general, a typical shift. What’s important to you that your nanny does with your children? Jot down…

  • Do they need to help the children with homework?
  • Should they do structured activities? At home vs outside?
  • How much time for free play, screens, naps or relaxation?
  • What meals or snacks do they need to prepare?
  • Do they need to do bath & bedtime?


For each of your nanny’s shifts, is there anything specific your nanny needs to know or do? Jot down…

  • Where and at what time they need to pick up the kids
  • Anything specific they need to do on their shift with the children E.g. take them to an after school activity
  • Who they will do a handover with (e.g. which parent) at the end of a shift and at what time

Write down your home’s ground rules

What are the rules your household lives by? Every family has different rules in place that define what is acceptable and unacceptable.

Your nanny may have grown up in another country, another era, and in completely different life circumstances to you. What they think is normal might not be on the same page as you.

It’s important you’re clear about what they are so your nanny’s approach aligns with yours, and your children have consistency.

Jot your answers to the following questions down. It may seem like a lot but it will be really helpful for your nanny to be able to refer to them (and they won’t need to ask you lots of times for reminders!)


  • Sit at the table for eating?
  • Tidy up after themselves?
  • Please and thank you?


  • At what time is it done?
  • How much do you support them with their homework?


  • Is it allowed at all? If so, for how long and when?
  • Are all types of devices allowed? Or only a certain kind?


  • Are snacks OK? If so, when and what?
  • Is there a meal plan?
  • Are there any allergies?
  • Certain table manners?

Road Safety

  • How to cross the road? For example holding hands, keeping in sight, etc.?
  • Any rules about scooters/bikes?


  • Is there a routine?
  • What time?
  • Is any support needed?

Working from home

  • Is it okay to interrupt? Or ask for help?
  • Are mealtimes together?
  • Who’s in charge when you’re around?


  • Who to contact if a child is hurt?
  • What about minor home breakages?

Their first day

A bit of structure can make a first day feel less daunting and overwhelming for your nanny.

  1. Introduce your nanny to every member of the family. Don’t forget any pets as well!
  2. Talk through your nanny’s duties and schedule, and your house’s ground rules that you wrote in the previous section. Give your nanny a copy – it’s a lot to remember.
  3. Give a comprehensive tour of your home. Show your nanny how any appliances work that they might need to use (dishwasher, oven, hob etc).
  4. Let your nanny shadow you. This should include how you interact with your children, prepare their meals, manage their daily activities, etc. Encourage them to ask questions and engage with the kids during this time.
  5. Check your nanny’s admin. Ask them, have they signed their employment contract, done their first aid and nanny training, and their DBS? 
  6. Go through the first day checklist in the app together. This includes sharing emergency contact details and checking their Right to Work documents.
  7. Does your nanny have any questions for you?

Their first week

Check your nanny’s understanding

Do they know all of their duties, schedule and your home’s ground rules? Do you need to clarify or give any more information about any of them?

Talk about flexibility and other commitments

We’re all human and unfortunately, no one is 100% reliable (as much as we’d all like to be!)

Remember, a lot of people looking for part-time work have another big commitment in their lives, such as a degree, another job, or caring responsibilities. 

Have this conversation early so you and your nanny are on the same page about what else is going on in both of your lives, and what to do if either of your circumstances change.

We’ve made these multiple-choice, so it’s quick for you to fill in with your nanny. You can answer differently if you’d prefer.


  • What other commitments do you and your nanny have in your lives? 
  1. University
  2. Another job
  3. Family/caring responsibilities
  4. Other?

  • Does your nanny want extra shifts?
  1. Yes, if possible
  2. Prefers to stick to what has been agreed

  • Can your nanny be flexible if you want to change shifts?
  1. Yes
  2. No

What notice do you need to give to your nanny to change any shifts? You should still make sure to offer the hours in their contract each week.

  1. 1 week or less is okay
  2. 1-2 weeks
  3. 2-4 weeks
  4. 4+ weeks

What notice does your nanny need to give you if they can’t make a shift? 

  1. 1 week or less is okay
  2. 1-2 weeks
  3. 2-4 weeks
  4. 4+ weeks

How will it impact you if your nanny does cancel?

  1. It’s fine – I have back up and/or a flexible schedule
  2. It’s not ideal but I could likely move some things around
  3. It would be a stress – I have a tight and inflexible schedule
  4. Other?

What happens if you’re running late from work? What impact would that have on your nanny?

  1. They don’t mind staying late
  2. They can sometimes stay late but occasionally I have plans or responsibilities I can’t miss
  3. They don’t want to stay late but can in a pinch
  4. They really don’t want to work later than the agreed time


Who does the childcare if your nanny isn’t well?

  1. We have back up / alternative childcare in an emergency
  2. We’ll do it ourselves as we have a flexible schedule
  3. We’ll do it ourselves but we’ll have to take last minute leave – not ideal


Also discuss…

  • Do either of you have holidays coming up?
  • When will your nanny’s university timetable change, and when can they let you know?
  • Does your nanny have any exams or big assignments coming up?

Talk about communication styles

Good communication routes with your nanny is the foundation of a happy working relationship. Communication styles are also very personal, so chatting this through with your nanny is always a good idea.

Again, we’ve made these multiple-choice so it’s quick for you to fill in with your nanny. You can answer differently if you’d prefer.

How often do you want your nanny to contact you while they’re working?

  1. Not needed at all
  2. When they collect the kids
  3. Updates throughout the shift


What level of detail do you want?

  1. Just quick confirmation
  2. Details about what the nanny and kids are up to
  3. Photos or videos would be appreciated


How would you like your nanny to communicate with you while they’re working?

  1. Individual messages to one parent/carer
  2. Messages on a group chat with all parents/carers
  3. Phone calls
  4. Face to face


How frequently do you want to be contacted when your nanny is off duty? Excluding emergencies

  1. Whenever you have a work related question (weekdays & weekends)
  2. Weekdays only
  3. Weekdays only, and not early mornings or late evenings


How frequently does your nanny want to be contacted when they’re off duty? Excluding emergencies

  1. Whenever you have a work related question (weekdays & weekends)
  2. Weekdays only
  3. Weekdays only, and not early mornings or late evenings

Share your parenting strategies

What top tips can you share with your nanny to help support your children? Parenting is a unique journey, and you’ll have your own strategies.


What should your nanny do when your child:

    • Is sad, angry, or scared?
    • Doesn’t want to do something?
    • Is missing you and/or pushing your nanny away?
    • Anything else?

What are your children really ‘into’ at the moment?
Like sports, games, hobbies, books, TV shows etc.

Are there any qualities or skills that you’re particularly working on with your children at the moment?
Like honesty, determination, sports, maths, spirituality, gratitude etc.

Their first month

Build the habits of your working relationship. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it may take a bit of time for your nanny to fully settle in. We recommend:

Daily check-ins. Cover what they did that day, any support your nanny needs, and mention any praise or gratitude for things they’ve done. We suggest asking:

    • “How did today go?”
    • “Is there anything that you were unsure of?”
    • Is there anything that would help you in your next shift?


Monthly catch ups. Time to jointly reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Don’t be shy in revisiting parts of the onboarding if they’re not consistent with the duties, schedule or ground rules. It’s useful to schedule these in advance so that they’re not missed or misinterpreted as criticism.

Regular feedback. It’s a gift, and you shouldn’t wait for a monthly check in to give it. Get niggles and praise out in the open using our feedback tool regularly. We’ll email this to you after you start working together. It’s a two way street and you should give your nanny the chance to give you feedback too.

And beyond…

This onboarding process should set your nanny on the right track. Keep giving constructive feedback, and keep praising and showing gratitude for the great things your nanny does.

If something’s not working, talk to us. You can find many different ways to contact us here. We’d be happy to offer our support and coaching to you and your nanny.

We hope this guide was helpful. We also have the guide as a downloadable PDF right here.

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