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January 14, 2022

What is the Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter?

If you’re looking for childcare solutions, you’ll no doubt be asking yourself the question, ‘what is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?’ Nanny services are often considered interchangeable with babysitting roles, but the two positions have some unique differences. 
 
Parents looking for occasional relief from a hectic schedule may find that a babysitter fits the bill perfectly. However, the difference between nanny and babysitter roles means that professional nannies are the only choice when it comes to long-term childcare arrangements. In this article, we will be discussing the differences between a nanny and a babysitter with regards to childcare duties, and help you make an informed decision on what best suits your family’s needs.  

Babysitter or Nanny – Job Roles and Duties 

What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter? For starters, nannies tend to have many more duties than a typical babysitter. A babysitter tends to only provide occasional childcare for a few hours at a time. Often, this childcare involves little more than keeping an eye on children and getting in touch with parents in the event of an emergency.  
 
One of the biggest babysitter and nanny differences is that professional nannies are expected to take charge of childcare within the home. Duties can include getting children ready for the day and taking charge of the school run. Nannies may also organize daily schedules, prepare meals for the kids, and tackle day-to-day light domestic tasks around the home. To ensure a prospective nanny can meet the demands of your family, enquire about past duties when asking interview questions.
 
Nannies are also there to support parents, with childcare that’s designed to complement established styles of parenting. If you need help taking care of younger children, a newborn care specialist is the only way to go. Many nannies spend several years in placements with families, forming strong bonds with parents and children alike.  

What is the Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter’s Schedule? 

If you’re not sure about whether you need a nanny or babysitting provider, consider the amount of childcare support your family needs. Generally speaking, a babysitter is drafted on an ad hoc basis. Even the busiest babysitter may only find themselves working for the same family once or twice a week, providing a few hours of supervision each time.  
 
By contrast, a nanny is a full-time position. The best nannies will commit to providing childcare support to just one family at a time. This means the average nanny can expect to work a minimum of 40 hours a week. In the case of busier households, nannies may be expected to work upwards of 50 hours a week.  

Essential Experience and Qualifications 

Because babysitters only provide basic childcare on an occasional basis, there’s rarely any call for professional experience and specialist training. Many babysitters tend to be of college-age or younger. However, babysitters must have some basic first aid training that they can turn to in an emergency.  
 
Unlike babysitters, professional nannies come with plenty of experience and advanced qualifications. Many nannies boast degree-level qualifications, often with a focus on child development or teaching. When searching for a suitable nanny for your family, you must focus on the educational background of prospective candidates.  
 
If you’re looking to fill a long-term position, a nanny with teaching experience can help your child thrive. Furthermore, if your child has special needs, it makes sense to employ a nanny who is certified in this area. Many nannies go the extra mile when it comes to their professional development. Look for candidates with foreign language proficiency and other sought-after skills if you’re eager to provide a stimulating environment your children can thrive in.  

Choosing a Safe Childcare Provider 

If you’ve never used the services of a childcare provider before, picking a suitable candidate can be a daunting prospect. Many parents find it challenging to invite a relative stranger into their home for the first time, especially if they’ve spent several years taking charge of childcare.  
 
Given that babysitters are only used for a few hours at a time, there tends to be less reluctance when hiring them. However, there’s also far less certainty about how well they will perform. If you’re looking for total peace of mind, choosing the services of an experienced full-time nanny is the best option.  
 
When you hire a childcare professional through a nanny placement agency like NannyCity, you can rest assured that all candidates have been thoroughly screened ahead of being placed with your family. Our team not only takes charge of checking nanny references, but they will also ensure that all background checks and driving checks have been carried out.  

Nanny vs Babysitter Pay Rates 

What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter’s pay? This is a common question asked by parents looking to upgrade their childcare provider for the first time.  
 
Being a professional nanny is rightly considered a full-time career. As such, you can expect to pay considerably mBeing a professional nanny is rightly considered a full-time career. As such, you can expect to pay considerably more for the services of a nanny than those of a babysitter. Given that full-time nannies tend to be paid a salary, it’s sometimes difficult to work out babysitter vs nanny costs, however, nannies can expect to receive a salary of somewhere between $20 to $30 per hour take home pay.
 
The overall cost of a nanny’s salary will depend on a few different factors. One of the most important is where you and your family are based. Families based in metropolitan areas can expect to pay considerably more than those based in the suburbs. Furthermore, you may need to factor in the additional cost of living expenses, such as travel. If you’re looking for a nanny with very specific skills and advanced training, you should also expect to pay a premium.  

How to Hire a Nanny 

Now you have a better idea of what the differences between a nanny and a babysitter are, you can start your journey toward finding a first-rate childcare provider. If you’ve never employed a full-time nanny before, it makes sense to use the services of an experienced nanny placement agency like NannyCity.  
 
Our team is on hand to make every step of the journey as easy as possible. We’ll work with you to determine the level of childcare support you need, matching you with a shortlist of suitable candidates from our extensive nanny network. Every nanny we work with us has passed rigorous background checks and police vetting processes, providing you with peace of mind when it comes to interviewing candidates.  

Start Your Journey 

If you’re asking yourself “what is the difference between a babysitter and a nanny?’”, there’s a good chance you’re looking to upgrade your childcare arrangements. While babysitters are fine for short-term solutions, only an experienced nanny will provide you and your family with the support you need to thrive.  
 
A full-time nanny can commit to a years-long arrangement and accommodate a busy schedule. Furthermore, advanced qualifications and specialist experience make them an obvious choice for families with demanding requirements. Although hiring a full-time nanny is more expensive than employing a babysitter, the benefits it can bring to your family are priceless.  

Contact Us Today

Struggling to fill a nanny vacancy? Here at NannyCity, we work with a huge network of professional candidates. Searching for nannies in New York? We’re the go-to Manhattan nanny agency for those based in the heart of the city. Looking for childcare providers in the suburbs? Make our Brooklyn nanny agency your first port of call. Searching for nannies further afield? NannyCity is one of the most established Connecticut (CT) nanny agency networks around, while our Greenwich (CT) nanny agency offers a huge pool of desirable candidates.  
 
Looking to fill a nanny vacancy in New York or Connecticut? Get in touch with the team today to see how we can help you. 

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Michael Dinneen


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