What Childcare Professional is Best for You: The Difference Between a Nanny, Au Pair, and Babysitter
You want to make the best choices for your family. You toil over their food, schools, and health. So when it comes to looking for the best childcare, there are a lot of options that can seem overwhelming. You have to consider what type of childcare professional will fit your needs, including your budget, your preferred age range or experience level, and how frequently you need childcare. All of the variations of childcare professionals can be broken down into three separate categories: Nannies, au pairs, and babysitters. So which one is right for you? The first step is understanding their distinct differences and then deciding which type of childcare professional best aligns with your family’s needs!
The name au pair tells you a bit about the role itself. The term is French for “on par” or “equal to,” meaning that an au pair’s role is to be an equal partner with the parents when it comes to childcare. Au pairs are usually around 18 to 30 years old, from a foreign country, and typically have time-specific contracts. One big distinction between au pairs and other caregivers is that they always live with the family. Because they typically are moving from a foreign country, they move in with their host family upon arrival and reside with them for the duration of their contract. An au pair is a cost-effective option if you already have a spare room that they could stay in. Au pairs typically work set hours each week, and extensive experience often isn’t required.
Nannies and au pairs seemingly have small differences, but nannies offer great benefits that some families may be looking for at the end of the day. Nannies often do reside with their employer, but some elect not to. Unlike au pairs, nannies typically work longer hours and require higher pay. But Nanny agencies often require more experience for nannies versus au pairs. Agencies may require a degree in a childcare field, more years of experience, or extensive references for nannies. If you require more around-the-clock care and professionalism, hiring a Nanny will be the best fit for you.
Babysitters hold the least similarities between the three types of childcare professionals. Babysitters are short-term, as-needed caregivers. If you need someone to watch your kids for a night out or a short vacation, a babysitter should be your go-to choice. Babysitters are not always the vision from movies, numerous agencies represent highly vetted and experienced babysitters for your temporary needs.
If you decide that hiring a Nanny is the right step for you and your family, The Impeccable Nanny Agency is here to help you. With permanent Nanny services, newborn care specialists, and housekeeping services, the Impeccable Nanny has everything you need for your at-home care. Reach out to see how we can match your busy life with the person you need.