One of the common questions we receive at Educated Nannies is “What are the differences between a professional nanny and a babysitter? Provided below is a list of the top five differences between nanny vs babysitter and these two childcare roles.

Schedule: A Professional nanny works full-time or part-time with one family exclusively. Their hours and duties are set and agreed upon in an employment contract. In contrast, babysitters are employed on an “as-needed” basis. Many times they will help a family with childcare during date-nights, weekends, or short periods of time while the parents run errands or attend to other commitments. Additionally, babysitters will commonly work with multiple families.

Experience: Professional nannies will generally have at least 5 years of childcare experience and at least 3 years or more of full-time nanny experience. In some cases, a professional nanny may have begun their work in the childcare field as a babysitter, as this role is considered more entry-level.

Education: A professional nanny will be certified in first aid and CPR. They may hold a college degree, whether it is in child development, early childhood education or another related field. Some professional nannies may have a teaching credential or a master’s degree in education, or an area of expertise such as human behavior or psychology. Professional nannies pull in all facets of their education to the job. There is no set standard for level of education of a babysitter.

Job Duties: Professional nannies are responsible for all things child related, namely providing a safe, secure, engaging and nurturing environment for the children in their care. Additional responsibilities may include: activities, crafts, educational exercises, transportation, meals, hygiene, scheduling, travel and organization of the children’s rooms. A professional nanny works as a cohesive part of the entire childcare team, coupled with parents and other professionals such as, teachers, doctors and specialists. A babysitter is also responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for children; however, their responsibilities may be limited due to the amount of time spent with the children in their care. For example, a date-night sitter’s responsibilities may include: dinner, activities, bath and bedtime.

Long Term Career Goals: Professional nannies have chosen this profession as their long-term career. They are not pursuing other fields and are very invested in their work. Many professional nannies are also active members of the nanny community. They may join professional associations or attend events and conferences to remain fresh in the field. For babysitters, childcare may not be their ultimate career goal. Babysitting may be a means to support themselves through school or while they actively pursue other areas of interest.

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