There are a lot of ways to prepare for a new job, but because yours is a unique position of employment, consider asking for information on neighbors, friends, or family in the area. These are people you can reach out to for help in the event that the parents are unavailable. Other elements to consider include:

Home Details

Security: Do you need information on Alarm, a doorman, or perhaps how to open close the door? These seemingly simple questions may be the difference between an easy day and a very stressful one.

Utilities: Make sure you have contact information for your family’s Cable TV provider, phone provider, internet provider, electricity provider, gas/oil provider, water provider, and trash/recycling service.

Animal care: If the family has a pet, make sure you get all information related to the care of pet, such as: Veterinarian, pet store, local animal hospital, groomer, location of dog run

Care and Retail: It’s a good idea to have names and addresses of any shops or businesses where you may need to run errands during the day: Dry cleaners, grocery store, deli, bakery, drug store/pharmacy, florist, Fedex or UPS, pet store, hardware store, clothing stores

Rules for the Job

Visitor policy: Some examples include:  “Can other nannies come over?” “Can the child’s friend come over for a playdate with/without his/her nanny?”

Specific rules for Live-Ins:  Questions to consider: “ When should I (the nanny go to my room? When is it best to pitch in and help out with the family? When is it best to leave the family alone? When/Where would you like me to eat my meals?”

Transportation Rules

There are questions like, “What should I bring when we go out?” that are common transportation-related queries. Others are more related to transportation methods:

By car:  Important questions include: “How does the car work? Who pays for gas? How is the carseat installed? How far can I take the car? Are there places you would rather I not drive in/to?”

By Bus/Subway: Relevant questions include: “Which lines and routes would you prefer I use, and at what times? Are there times of day that you would prefer that I not use public transportation, such as rush hour? How will we arrange metrocards/bus fares?”

By Taxi: Taxicab questions include: “In what situations is using a taxicab preferable to the bus/subway? What distance is permissible when using a cab? How will we arrange payment for cabs? Would you like me to save receipts? What safety rules/precautions should we review regarding taxicabs,i.e. Car seats, seat belts, etc.?”

By Foot/Stroller: These situations may seem innocuous, but having this information is crucial: “How far can we go from home on foot/with a stroller?: Are there certain streets/areas/neighborhoods that are off limits? Are the children allowed to ride bikes/scooters/roller blades on the street/sidewalk? In what areas is this allowed and in what areas is this forbidden?”