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Nannies vs Au Pairs

While nannies are typically Australian-based professionals in the childcare industry offering full support for both children and their families, au pairs are overseas visitors who are here for part-time work and cultural experience. If you are not sure whether to hire a nanny or an au pair, here are the main differences you should consider.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Nanny

You can fully rely on your nanny to take care of your children and keep up with their daily routines. From feeding the little ones and playing with them to helping them with their homework and helping develop their talents, they cover all the aspects of childcare. Some of them are specialists in potty training or sleep training, some of them are qualified to take care of the newborns, and some specialise in certain development methodologies. Because they usually have both relevant work experience and qualifications, they can contribute to your child’s quality of life.

Depending on your family’s needs and established routines, a nanny can take care of everything from planning and cooking meals or taking kids to school to organising various activities. With their job comes a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of your kids and a wide range of duties. However, their role is to take care of the little ones, so all of their daily tasks are related to childcare.

Duties and Responsibilities of an Au Pair

Combining other educational and/or cultural activities with their childcare duties, au pairs are not available for full-time work. They may or may not have relevant experience, and their list of duties is not as extensive as that of a professional nanny. They are normally covering only the basic needs of your children such as feeding the kids and playing with them, nappy changing, giving baths and babysitting. Most importantly, au pairs often need training, assistance or supervision, at least until they settle in with your family.

Unlike nannies, au pairs are only available for short-term contracts of up to 6 months. Even though they are usually available for live-in arrangements, why they don’t get the chance to become a part of your family in the way that nannies do. Due to their restricted working hours and limited duties, you can’t fully rely on an au pair to maintain your routines and schedules or give a significant contribution to your children’s wellbeing.

The Key Differences Between Nannies and Au Pairs

Now that you have a clearer idea of what nannies and au pairs do, you can further explore the differences between them. This will help you make an informed decision on which type of carer to opt for.

Based in AustraliaUsually coming from overseas
Doesn’t need a VisaTypically needs a visa
Professional childcare workerDoesn’t necessarily have experience in childcare
Allowed to work full-time and part-timeAllowed to work part-time
Available for long-term arrangementsAvailable only for 6 months
Covers all of your childcare needsCovers the basic childcare duties
Can be of any ageCan be 18-30 years old
Usually holds an Australian drivers licenseCan hold an international drivers license

Should I Hire a Nanny or an Au Pair?

While hiring an au pair could be a reasonable choice for some families who need minimal help and would love to host a student from another country, a professional nanny is the most practical solution in most of the cases. Whether you want a full-time or part-time employee, a nanny is an excellent choice because it is a very serious role with a long list of duties and responsibilities that gives you peace of mind. You want your children to be in safe hands with someone who has both the much needed knowledge and experience.

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