A Nanny for Your Child: The Complete Canadian Guide to Employing a Nanny / Housekeeper


120 pages
ISBN 0-88908-657-5
DDC 649'




Reviewed by Margaret E. Kidd

Margaret E. Kidd is a member of Toronto’s Child & Family Services
Review Board.


Now that the work force is requiring the services of more and more women, there is a pressing need for high quality, affordable child care. A caregiver who comes into the home eliminates the need for dressing and transporting a small child in all weathers, as well as providing an alternative to group care where the child is exposed to many childhood diseases before she or he has built up immunities.

This book is a well-organized gold mine of practical information pertinent to hiring a live-in or daily worker to care for children. Because of low pay and lonely conditions, there is little appeal to Canadians for these jobs. Here we find details regarding hiring staff from outside the country: procuring work permits, dealing with immigration regulations, and necessary reporting to government re unemployment insurance, Canada Pension Plans, and provincial health care plans. Belton even specifies different provincial minimum wage rates and working conditions.

I am particularly impressed with the suggestions re positive supervision and basic rules for good employer-employee relationships. Many nannies leave households because of the difficulty of getting along with the adults in the family, and / or the unthinking invasion of their privacy. It is a great help to be clean about the duties expected and the required standards of acceptable performance. Acknowledging good work as well as dealing with problems before they escalate into irreconcilable differences establishes a pleasant atmosphere in the home which is good for both children and adults.

The author gives lots of sample letters, job descriptions, advertisements, contracts, and tax consequences. She compares the advantages of using an agency with those of doing it yourself.

There is a list of probable duties concerning the care and supervision of children and light housekeeping tasks. I presume a nanny’s prime attention would be devoted to child care, but the list of housekeeping duties here would require more time than I would consider warranted if the children are to have any time!

Suggested interview questions are very helpful but to me they often imply that the nanny should concentrate on “keeping track of” the children (like a policeman) rather than on involving them in interesting and developmentally appropriate activities.

This book is full of suggestions. Any parent seeking to employ a nanny / housekeeper would find it invaluable.



Belton, Ellen Derrick, “A Nanny for Your Child: The Complete Canadian Guide to Employing a Nanny / Housekeeper,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/34329.