So it appears I have no life and is looking like I am going to become a weekly ‘blogger’! Joys of being a mum and staying home on weekend nights!
People often call us to ask if we do have ‘people’ available to work weekend nights so they can have a date night and then we get calls asking for just help in general. It appears some folk are not sure of the difference between what we call a nanny and a babysitter so thought I would write my thoughts down on what we feel is the difference between the 2 and some other options of childcare that could potentially work your family that involves having your kids at home and help with home duties.
A babysitter is merely a ‘supervisory’ role. They will come in on nights, for example, when you have a function on or is date night and the sitter will ‘supervise’ the kids. They can help put kids to bed, read them a book, feed them if need be and then just sit on the couch and wait til mum and dad get home. Even daytime babysitters are not expected to anything more. It’s merely just paying with them and ensuring they are safe at all times. Babysitters no matter where you hire them from come in all sorts of forms. Age will vary; level of experience will vary as will pay rates. Many people ask the girl next door and needs some cash. I remember having 16 year olds look after me when I was younger. It seemed the norm back then but seems more families are becoming increasingly cautious these days. We here at CN are about ‘quality care’.
Nannies are much different to that of ‘just a babysitter’. Nannies are mostly hired by families who choose not to put their children into long day care facilities or after school hour’s care. They choose to hire a nanny so the children have one on one attention at all times and to have virtually their own private ‘educator’. Given the nanny is the primary carer during the day they help to teach and educate kids through differing activities whether its arts and crafts in the home or a trip to the museum or local library. Nannies give their undivided attention to the children and will pick up from school/kindy and also take to differing extra-curricular activities so they then become the ‘chauffeur’. They will also help with homework and assignments. Nannies not only provide care to the kids but also look after the parents!! Yes they do! Nannies help to clean/housekeep/wash/cook so in affect are helping the parents. When parents come home to happy kids and a clean home they can have those last few hours of the day as quality time with their kids to enjoy them and no have to worry about putting the washing on or worrying about what to cook for dinner. Some nannies will even walk the dog and feed the animals. A nanny is virtually YOU when you are not there.
As you can see there is a huge difference with a nanny v a babysitter.
Now it appears the new rage/trend is hiring an Au Pair. We have many families who have hired Au Pairs just to help with the kids for short periods of time and have them look after the kids on their date night. Au Pairs are a much more affordable childcare option for families, as nannies are paid a much higher rate of pay. Au Pairs are also different to that of a nanny, as they are usually foreigners coming out here to live with families to embrace the Australian culture and just to lend a hand to the family by looking after the kids or helping with some light home duties. They also differ to that of a nanny as these people are young, their English usually isn’t at the fluent level, they most likely won’t have a car and lastly they will not have the experience or qualifications that most nannies possess. Au Pairs are generally only employed by families who just need a hand rather than full time childcare. In return Au Pairs are given a room, food provided and a small weekly wage or ‘pocket money’.
So many people want their kids looked after in their own home which can be done as there are options for families of all budgets and needs it’s just a matter of finding the one that suits your family.
Some other options to consider could be a mothers help – you are home with the nanny therefore they are not a sole carer, nanny share where you share the nanny and halve the cost –again a much more feasible option for families who may not be able to afford the rates of a nanny but want that quality care, housekeeper/cleaner that just helps you and allows you more time to focus on your kids.
Well I hope this helps and may clarify to some what the difference between a nanny and a babysitter is and what care you might need for your kids or the help you require.