When a family finds a nanny that’s the right fit, it’s an amazing connection for everyone involved. If you’re beginning the search for a nanny, you may be wondering how to find the ideal support amidst the wide range of service options.
In this article we’ll explore the different types of caregivers, including Professional Nannies, Casual Nannies, Au Pairs and Babysitters, and we’ll also discuss what services a nanny can provide. With this understanding, you’ll be able to search with confidence and find the perfect nanny for your family!
A professional nanny is someone that’s chosen nannying as a career. I’m a professional nanny, and for 23 years I’ve absolutely loved caring for children and supporting families. A professional nanny will typically have a diploma or a qualification, and they will have been in the industry for many years.
Some professional nannies specialise in particular services, like sleep, newborn care, special needs or caring for twins. There are nannies like myself that have a passion for children’s learning and development. Regardless of their specialty, all professional nannies can provide a high level of care and can respond to many situations by drawing on their years of experience and training.
A professional nanny has also worked for many families, which means they have cared for a range of children. Professional nannies can tailor care for your child and provide a routine that suits their age and level of development.
Taken together, a professional nanny will provide a peaceful environment for parents, as they will maintain a routine for your family and serve as an extension of you with the care of your children.
There are many nannies that provide wonderful care to families while pursuing another career. These could be university students that have the flexibility to be a caregiver while studying. There are many professional caregivers, like child care providers, that will nanny for a family while also working in other roles. There are also many nannies that have raised their own family and now wish to provide great care and support to others.
Whenever you engage a nanny, you should have a discussion about the availability needed for the role and also how long you expect to need their services.
You may also be familiar with the term ‘Au Pair’, but are unsure of how it’s different to a nanny.
Basically, an Au Pair is someone that cares for your child and part of their remuneration is non-monetary. This means that they could receive accommodation, food or utilities as part of their pay.
Au Pairs are typically holiday-makers needing accommodation while visiting Australia. If you’re seeking an Au Pair for your family, it’s very important that you both agree on clear terms of engagement, because while an Au Pair is living with your family you shouldn’t expect them to provide care at all hours of the day and night. It’s also important that they have a separate room so that they can enjoy their lives independently, and a separate bathroom is particularly attractive for au pairs.
Babysitters and After School Care
A babysitter is probably the term you’re most familiar with, as you’ve more than likely engaged a babysitter, and you’ve certainly had a babysitter when you were a child.
A babysitter is someone that minds children. This is usually done in the evenings, but you can also get someone to provide after school care. A babysitter is great when your children are more independent and are happy to entertain themselves, or can be called on for the occasional night out.
Just remember that anyone who provides care for your child needs to have a Working With Childrens Check.
Services of a Nanny
The primary role of a nanny is to care and support your child. This means nurturing their development, attending to their needs, and ensuring all duties related to the child are handled, such as washing clothes, doing bottles, preparing meals and tidying up after them.
You shouldn’t expect a nanny to provide additional services beyond the scope of caring for your children. Any domestic duties that are desired that do not relate to primary care and development (such as cleaning the bathroom) will reduce the care and attention that can be provided. While you can certainly discuss additional roles with any caregiver, extra services will come at an extra cost and both sides must agree to the terms of engagement.
Every caregiver is different, so to help you understand the services that a nanny can provide, let me share what I’m prepared to do as a nanny for a family. My role as a nanny is to nurture a child’s development while performing all the tasks involved in caring for them. I will prepare the children’s meals and clean up after them. I will do the children’s laundry, which includes bed linen. I sort the children’s toys and organise the storage, and I take care of their bottles if the children are young. Basically, in caring for children I will ensure that parents return to the home in a state that they left.
A Household Manager
The final role that may be a great fit for your family is a Household Manager. This is where a nanny is primarily engaged to care for children, but will also have other tasks that are not child-related that help with the running of the family.
A Household Manager also does not clean, but they may arrange for a cleaner to come. A Household Manager would also be expected to do laundry for the family, prepare meals, organise groceries, take care of odd-jobs like sourcing quotes or coordinating tradespeople, make reservations, and also light tidying. If you are engaging a nanny to help with running the household, always keep in mind that they may need extra hours to work without the children so they can service this role fully. This can work really well for parents when they’re home, as you can be fully present with your children while the Household Manager has the time and space to fulfil the domestic duties. In summary, there are many different kinds of caregivers available to support your family. Use this understanding in your search to be as clear as possible about the role you are trying to fill. Please remember that with any caregiver, the primary role is to provide care that suits your child’s needs. Every family needs different types of care, and I would be delighted to talk through the options with you.