Exploring The Different Roles of Household Staff
Are you considering hiring a nanny but finding yourself daydreaming about the possibility of having someone who can help with additional household duties? Well, let me tell you, you're not alone, and the good news is that this dream can become a reality! So many types of childcare and household support are available to families today, including mothers’ helpers, nannies, family assistants, and household managers. While some of these positions may share similar duties, each has a unique set of responsibilities. Not to mention, there are different price points for each role, with the difference between a nanny and a household manager potentially costing thousands of dollars. So, let's dive in and explore each of these roles.
MOTHERS HELPER// Imagine having an eager and enthusiastic young person by your side, ready to lend a helping hand with whatever you need. That's the role of a mother's helper - a bright-eyed individual, typically aged 18 or younger, looking to gain childcare experience while still in high school. With a parent always available and at home, the mother's helper is prepared to dive right in and assist with simple tasks around the house - whether it's comforting a fussy baby, entertaining an energetic toddler, or even folding a pile of laundry. The expectations are pretty minimal.
NANNY// A nanny is a highly experienced childcare professional dedicated to providing exceptional care for children while performing all the necessary childcare duties. They will always go above and beyond to offer complete care for your children with love, nourishment, and guidance. With the children's health, education, and safety as a top priority, a nanny will support their physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual growth through a range of play activities. From preparing nutritious meals for the little ones to researching educational and fun activities, a nanny is always on top of things. They'll keep the diaper bag packed and ready to go and ensure the children's car seat, highchair, stroller, bedroom, playroom, and eating spaces are clean and tidy. Keep in mind - a nanny is not to be expected to clean up the messes of other care providers, including parents. When it comes to organization, a nanny will often create smart solutions for toys, art supplies, and clothing. Simply put, a nanny is the ultimate childcare partner - always ready to provide the best care possible for your little ones and ease the burden of childcare for parents.
FAMILY ASSISTANTS// Family assistants are generally what families are looking for. As families navigate the return to office life after the pandemic, the juggling act of managing children, work, home, and after-school activities can be overwhelming. While the hourly rate for a family assistant may be higher, many families find the extra support worth every penny. With a family assistant on board, you can rest assured that all the typical nanny duties will be taken care of, as well as additional tasks like family laundry, dishes, meal prep, organizing the pantry, fridge, and kitchen cupboards, especially that Tupperware drawer - you know, that one that can’t seem to stay organized. Family assistants will even take care of car maintenance. A family assistant can also be a pet caretaker, taking your furry friends to the vet, on walks, or to the dog park. If you're feeling overwhelmed and need an extra set of capable hands, a family assistant could be the solution you've been searching for. With their expertise and support, you can focus on what matters most - quality time with your family.
HOUSEHOLD MANAGERS// Household managers are responsible for overseeing and maintaining a household, which can include multiple estates or a single home. While they typically do not have children to care for, they manage the entire home, including other staff, vendors, and contractors.
FAMILY EVENTS// You can find a household manager preparing for family events and getting the home in tip-top shape for the holidays, including purchasing presents, whether it be for a birthday or a holiday, wrapping presents, sending out invitations, and often time party planning.
TRAVEL// A house manager will be the one to complete all the travel planning, including packing the entire family for the trip, booking flights and hotels, arranging pet care, arranging a car to shuttle the family to and from the airports, and making dinner reservations. Most household managers will accompany the family on travel and aid throughout the entirety of the trip.
CAR// They will take care of all car maintenance, from taking the car to be detailed and washed to oil changes and required yearly maintenance.
GUESTS// A house manager will make sure the guest suite has fresh linens, towels, and fresh flowers. They will stock the guest suite with fresh snacks, water, and a bottle of wine and ensure the guest bathroom is stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and razor. They will coordinate airport pick-up and drop-off of the arriving guests, coordinate hotel accommodation, if needed for the arriving guests, confirm the arrival of guests 1 week prior, and ask about any dietary needs, allergies, or food sensitivities.
HOME// Make beds and change sheets if needed, general tidying and organizing of home, sell used items on various platforms or take to donation, take items to storage units, monthly dishwasher filter cleaning, loading and unloading the family dishes, monthly cleaning of garbage disposal, monthly cleaning of washer and dryer, all family laundry, watering plants, keeping the fridge and freezer free of expired foods and keeping it well stocked, and discard children’s used toothbrushes every three months and replenish re just a few of the items, this list can be altered and extended based on your families needs.
PET CARE// Taking pets to the vet, groomers, playdates, boarding or daycare, and walks are all duties a house manager can complete.
SHELTER/EMERGENCY ROOM// They will ensure that the shelter unit is fully stocked, test batteries as needed, keep inventory and an updated list of when the items will expire, donate items that are about to expire, and replenish clothes for the season/growth of the children.
CONTRACTORS// Researching, getting quotes, arranging consultations, and paying invoices from contractors such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers, housekeepers, window washers, vent cleaners, pest control, holiday lights, carpet cleaners, and washer and dryer cleaners.
MISC// Paying bills, managing the family calendar, and creating family albums/books.
To excel in this role, a household manager must possess a unique skill set, including attention to detail, initiative, organization, and adaptability. Most must be willing and able to travel at a moment's notice. As you can see, they have a tall order to fill and then come with a unique skill set. Many of my clients will have a nanny and a household manager.
Hiring any of the above can be an excellent solution for busy families looking to ease the burden of childcare and household tasks. From mother's helpers to household managers, there are various positions available, each with unique responsibilities and price points. Whether you're looking for a little extra help with the children or require someone to manage your entire household, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs. My agency places nannies, family assistants, and household managers.
If you are still uncertain about what type of employee is the best fit for your family’s needs, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I would be delighted to provide guidance and help you determine which role best suits your family's unique needs.
The Nanny Consultant