Nairobi News

LifeWhat's Hot

Do you trust your nanny?

Most city mothers have careers or businesses to run. This means they must enlist the services of a househelp.

Nannies can save the day and at the same time raise hell if they are treated badly or feel inadequately compensated.

There have been reports of nannies taking out their anger on children, beating them up with some even resorting to murder.

Many nannies are not trained in basic first aid skills. Others may have it all, but they could be a negative influence, as we have heard cases of nannies watching adult content with children or introducing them to sex.

While there may never be a perfect nanny, you can pick out one who has at least three or four qualities.

First, your nanny’s job description has to be clearly spelt out so that she knows exactly what you expect.

According to, a nanny is responsible for the complete care of their employer’s children.

Her  duties include tending to the child’s basic physical needs, meal planning and preparation, laundry and clothing care, play activities and outings, providing behavioural guidelines and disciplining when appropriate.

Substitute parent

“A nanny is not going to wave a magic wand and make everything perfect. She will not be a substitute parent,” says

You must do certain things  before allowing the nanny into your house. It is important to know where they come from, their past and their previous jobs, if any.

“Be clear about skills the nanny must have. Does she need to be able to swim, cook, and help with homecare for a premature infant? Should the nanny know first aid and CPR?” says

You should also consider salary, age and number of children and the hours the nanny will be alone with the children.

Even as you employ the nanny, be careful of the company they keep because whoever she hangs out with will affect the children’s behaviour.

It is also important for the nanny to go through courses in first aid. Children have died as a result of chocking under the watch of nannies who had no first aid information.

Sexual abuse

Many children have fallen victim of sexual abuse from nannies. While such things could go unnoticed, be advised to pay attention to tell-tale signs.

According to Dennis Amukumbwa, a counsellor, a child who has been abused sexually is most likely going to enact the experience with other children.

The child will begin to act aggressively towards others. The effects will resurface even in their future sexual relationships.

Teach your child to be assertive against strange behaviour such as being touched dishonourably by anyone, let alone the nanny.