When you think about the person that you hire to care for your children, what are you really looking for? Do you need someone that watches your children regularly or on more sporadic occasions? How much time does this caregiver spend with your child? The difference between a nanny vs. babysitter can sometimes be confusing. It’s important to know what to look for when perusing a candidate’s resume.

What is a Nanny?

A nanny is a childcare professional that typically comes with some education, training, and experience working with young children. They are employed either full or part time and are present weekly. A nanny often takes on additional responsibilities within the home in addition to childcare, such as meal prep, tidying, laundry, and errands. In addition to ensuring the safety and well being of the children they care for, a nanny meets a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs as well. They are responsible for providing engaging and enriching experiences during their time with the children.

What is a Babysitter?

A babysitter is often someone with less experience and training. They watch children on a more sporadic schedule and for potentially for shorter periods of time. A babysitter might help the children after school for a few hours, or watch the kids so parents can have a date night. Babysitters primary responsibilities are to keep the kids safe and happy, and to adhere to whatever instructions are left by the parents.

Nanny vs. Babysitter: Key Differences

Babysitters are typically paid less than a nanny due to the differences in experience and training. When comparing a nanny vs. babysitter, nannies typically support themselves off of the salary paid by the family. Where as, a babysitter often uses the money as supplemental income. It is also common to provide a nanny with benefits such as paid time off, holiday pay, and even in some cases a stipend towards health insurance or mileage. Babysitters do not work regularly enough to be eligible for any of these added benefits.

Selecting Your Childcare Provider

Depending on your needs, look at the difference between a nanny vs. babysitter and consider what best suits your family. Look at caregivers’ resumes and call references to better understand a candidate’s previous experience and type of employment: nanny vs. babysitter.  

If you are looking for a beloved nanny to become part of your child’s daily life, check out all the nanny placement services we offer. Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny has continuously seen the need in our communities and provided the appropriate childcare. We are here to support you!

About The Author

Sarah PSarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.