a nanny or a babysitter? Local expert Emily bender demystifies the options

Making decisions about childcare for our little ones can be one of the hardest decisions a parent makes — safety, cost, experience, and emotion rolled into one important choice! We asked Emily Bender, the owner of Beau Monde Nannies, to help demystify the differences between the options and help us be more informed local families.

If you are unfamiliar with how the nanny industry works, you might be wondering what the difference between these terms typically is. Emily shares that a professional nanny is a well-paid childcare expert typically with years of experience that you can trust to care for your child consistently. A babysitter is an individual with little or no professional childcare experience that watches your child on an as-needed basis.

Now for the nitty gritty — here are the top 5 differences between a professional nanny and a babysitter:


1. Experience: Professional Nannies have years of experience caring for children in private household settings. They typically hold either a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree in a child-related field. Nannies have different certifications such as Infant CPR, First Aid, and Montessori training. To babysit, a person only needs to have experience with similarly aged children. This can include watching family and friends’ children. However, if you are a professional nanny, you cannot add caring for family/ friends’ children to your resume because it doesn’t count as professional experience.

2. Responsibilities: A nanny’s responsibilities are all childcare related tasks and can sometimes include running errands, grocery shopping, and pet care. They also travel with the family, can stay overnight with a child while the parents are away, and drive the child anywhere he or she may need to go. It may be perfectly acceptable for a babysitter to put your child in front of the television and have little engagement. However, a nanny should never do this unless given prior permission. The nanny’s job is to engage, teach, and help your child discover new interests.

3. Work Schedule: Typically, babysitters work only part -time and their shifts aren’t very long. Hiring a babysitter is a good option if you don’t need consistent childcare and only need care on random occasions. Nannies can be part-time or full-time depending on your needs. The biggest difference to note is the consistency of care for your child.

4. Pay: A babysitter has little qualifications and should be paid accordingly. An example of a babysitting rate is around $10-$15 per hour. A nanny is paid like a professional and payment is around $20-$25 for smaller cities and in larger cities starts at a minimum of $25 per hour. For full-time nanny positions, it is typical for families to provide certain benefits like PTO, health insurance, and sick days.

5. Impact on Your Child: A nanny is a consistent role model in your child’s life and can leave a lasting positive impact. Often, nannies become a child’s best friend. Great nannies will teach children according to your family’s values and will create long term memories with your child. A babysitter is more temporary and his or her impact on a child is minimal.

I hope this helps you decide what type of care is right for your family. If you have any questions, please reach out to Emily at [email protected].

About the Author

Inspired by her love of children and foreign culture, Emily Bender founded Beau Monde Nannies: A luxury nanny agency that pairs families with the perfect Nanny, Family Assistant, or Private Educator. Emily has previously worked with high-profile families internationally and domestically as an au pair, nanny, and tutor. Her hope is to bring nannies, different cultures, and families together in order to create a more beautiful world.

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