One of the most common questions we get asked is: "what is the difference between a nanny, babysitter, au-pair and child care provider?". Whereas most people tend to mix the definitions of each, for those that are in the child care business for many years, this is pretty much obvious. Each of these definitions has clear definitions.
Babysitter typically would be a young person that helps in watching children on a regular and not necessarily on regular days and hours but mostly evenings or on weekends. A typical babysitter could be an individual with limited time to offer childcare services and may or may not have a great deal of experience in home childcare.Salaries for babysitter are on average lower than nannies and are hourly based. A family that is looking for a nanny to take care of children on a regular basis, a babysitter might not be the perfect candidate for this assignment. However, for the family that would only need a childcare provider for spontaneous outings or any other circumstances, a babysitter might be a great temporary solution.
When you need more than just a babysitter here and there, then you're probably looking for a more extensive home childcare services. To find a nanny you've probably started your quest for a nanny on online listings for nannies. A nanny is typically a childcare provider with some child care experience. Proffesional nannies may hold a college degree related to childcare as well. A good nanny, should carry references from previous nanny jobs that can easily be verified through her (or even his) previous home childcare positions. These references play a major role in the parent decision making process before they hire a nanny. A family with a newborn is likely to be particularly drawn to a nanny, as she may have experience that goes beyond that of the new parents and can be very helpful in the first few months of being home with the baby.
Nannies work either as a live-in nanny or a live-out nanny. Nannies can be either available every day of the week or only on limited days and hours. Many nannies will also be able to handle light chores related to the children, while some nannies will also offer a full complement of housekeeping and cleaning services in addition to home childcare. Nannies encompass the broadest category of childcare provider but the designation is also the one that means the most to a searching family.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
An au pair (plural: au pairs) is a foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family's responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use.
The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning "on a par" or "equal to", indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant. In the best circumstances, both parties benefit from learning about the other's culture and will remain on good terms long after the au pair has left the family.