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Hiring a Nanny vs. Babysitter: What's the Difference?

You might be wondering whether you should look for a nanny vs. babysitter when hiring a private childcare provider. While they may seem to be very similar at first glance, the two roles are not the same. They each fill gaps in different areas and provide benefits for families looking for short-term or long-term childcare.

This post will provide a helpful rundown of the differences between nannies and babysitters to help you decide what type of caregiver you want to hire for your child.

Nanny vs. Babysitter

Here are some ways that nannies and babysitters are different from each other in critical aspects of childcare.

Type of Employment

While both babysitters and nannies spend their time caring for children, the employment arrangement you make with them will be very different.


Babysitters are hired for short-term employment. They operate similarly to contract workers, getting hired for one job at a time. You might hire a babysitter when you are going out for an evening, for instance, or when you need to run an errand in the afternoon. Babysitters do not expect full-time work and are available on a flexible basis. You will pay the babysitter or their agency directly when the shift is over.


Nannies are hired as employees of your household. They get paid a regular wage based on an agreed-upon rate, with the expectation that they will work a certain number of hours for you per week or month. Whereas a babysitter is like a contract position, a nanny is like an in-house employee who will expect a more or less consistent schedule. They will be on your payroll as a household employee, with taxes taken out each paycheck. (If you work with us, we have an easy way for you to manage payroll!)


Do you just need someone to keep your kids safe for a few hours, or will you need someone to pick your kids up from school and prepare an afternoon snack? The answer to this question can help you decide whether you need a babysitter or a nanny.


Because babysitters are only employed for a short period of time, they usually are expected to do little more than ensure your kids are safe and keep them fed and entertained. Parents might make certain requests of the babysitter, such as putting the kids to bed at a particular time and making sure they don't drink too much juice before bed. However, a babysitter's primary function is to keep the child(ren) in their care safe for an agreed-upon period of time.


Nannies become part of the family and often have responsibilities that extend beyond those of a babysitter. A nanny usually becomes an integral part of a child's life and may be responsible for making snacks and meals for a child or picking them up from school. Some nannies provide tutoring or educational guidance, especially when many students are learning virtually while their parents are working from home. A nanny forms a special bond with the children in their care and has a vested interest in their health, happiness, and wellbeing.

Training and Experience

Your childcare provider will be alone with your child for hours at a time. Consider what type of experience you would like them to give you peace of mind and ensure your child's happiness and safety.


Most people can find work as a babysitter if they want to. Kids as young as 11 can start taking classes to learn how to babysit, whether they are trying to earn money in the summer or are going to be taking care of a younger sibling. Some babysitters will go the extra mile by becoming CPR or First Aid certified. However, that is the exception, not the norm.


Nannies are often college graduates who have earned degrees in early childhood education or a childcare-related field. Besides having First Aid and CPR certifications, highly qualified nannies are deeply knowledgeable about what children need to grow and thrive in their environment. They use their knowledge to create safe spaces for the children they care for, ensuring that they grow healthy and strong in mind, body, and soul.

Looking for a Nanny? We Can Help!

We specialize in matching families with highly qualified nannies who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their profession. If you are looking for someone who will care for your child on a consistent schedule, then you are in the right place!

@Ease Family Solutions can connect you with a highly qualified nanny who will help your family thrive. Visit our website to learn more.

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