What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?

I feel frustrated if someone says I work as a babysitter or au pair. I used to, when I was a teenager. But now I have 2 university degrees, over 15 years experience in my industry, and a focused and specific knowledge about the care, education and development of young children. Surely it’s obvious that a job a teenager can do is not the same thing an educated professional does?

A child and her nanny

But it’s not obvious to many, causing confusion amongst both parents and carers. In-home private childcare is still a largely emergent market in Australia. Though countries like England have had nannies as well as babysitters for long enough to develop a clear sense of the different care they provide, in Australia we are still learning about how to best utilise all the options available for private childcare.

As with any industry, not knowing exactly what you want from an employee can lead to dissatisfaction all round. Parents can end up feeling unsure about what they can ask of their carers or what their responsibilities as employees are, and carers may feel conflicted about their role and what is expected from them.

If you want to hire someone to care for your children or want to work in the private childcare industry, arming yourself with the knowledge to find the right fit between family and carer should be your first step.

Click here to read my article,

‘What’s in a name?’

for simple and clear definitions of a babysitter, an au pair, a mother’s help, and a nanny.

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Check back at Babysitter Search for my monthly contributions to their blog, as well as other great articles and tips.

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