Is there a difference between a nanny and a babysitter?
A question that remains discussed amongst both families as well as child care professionals. Is there a difference between the two? And if so what are they?
Visually speaking, when people think of babysitters they refer to what they've seen on television. A teenage girl arrives at your door, wearing dental braces. Yet oddly, she's blowing a huge bubble with her gum on your doorstep. (takes talent folks.) This young lady has possibly built a rapport with other families in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, she came as reference from your friend in mommy yoga. When the babysitter arrives, you don't expect much from her. All you want is for her to make sure the kids are safe and alive when you return from your much-needed dinner date with your spouse. THIS is the overly used version of a babysitter.
Disclaimer: These definitions are general and don't apply to every position.
There are some basic differences between nannies and babysitters though the needs of the family may define them more uniquely. Both nannies and babysitter are hired as childcare professionals. Nannies are hired full-time or part-time. Babysitters are usually on an "as needed basis" so it is possible they may work with multiple families. Nannies are hired as an employee so pending on the families arrangements, the full time ones may receive vacation, benefits, sick days, etc... Babysitters don't work enough hours to qualify for either because they are considered a contract worker.
The responsibilities of nannies and babysitters can vary. Because nannies are paid both hourly or salary, often times more is expected of them. Their job title may extend beyond childcare and may also include children's laundry, kitchen tidying, schedule planning, etc... Babysitters generally aren't as involved in the details because they aren't around the same amount of hours consistently.
Payment is the next and last difference. Some families have created a difference in pay between the two child care professionals because of their responsibilities. Generally speaking babysitters are paid hourly and it is their responsibility to file taxes. Nannies are paid either hourly, are on a yearly salary that may or may not include benefits, or a flat rate weekly amount. They may or may not be required to file their own taxes, it depends on the family's arrangements with them.
As with anything, it's best to do as much research about both positions. Also give thought to what your family's needs are if you are contemplating hiring someone to assist your family. Best of luck in your search!