Is A Nanny A Babysitter?

You found the perfect Nanny. She is sweet, loving, caring and honest. She comes with years of experience and stellar references. She has an exemplary resume and your children immediately love her. She answers all your questions and eases any fears you may have as parents hiring someone to care for your precious little ones. She tells you all the wonderful things she would do with your children each day of care and you feel comfort and at ease.

You offer her $13 an hour and she walks away.

You sit in bewilderment wondering what you have done wrong.

In the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, the going rate for Professional Nannies can range from $15 – 20+/hr (many start at $18/hr). The cost of living is high, and Nannies deserve a living wage. This is also their professional career and they rely on the income to provide for their families and take care of their basic needs.

Many times the word Nanny and Babysitter are used interchangeably. However, there is a difference.

What is A Babysitter?

A Babysitter takes care of your children when you are away for short periods of time. Their main role is to make sure your children are safe, play with them, feed them, help with bedtime routines and follow instructions you provide in regards to their basic care needs. They are great for date nights, after school care, occasional care and weekend care. It is recommended to hire a Babysitter who is CPR/First Aid certified, enabling them to handle emergencies if they were to arise.

What is A Nanny?

Professional Nannies come equipped with the skills and trainings needed to properly care for your children, engage them in age appropriate developmental activities and shower them with love. They are your eyes and ears when you are gone and make sure that your child is safe and well cared for. They teach your child, prepare their meals, do child related household chores, ensure they establish proper hygiene, help them explore the world through play and so much more. They are their teacher, their nurse, their comforter, their supporter and guide them to establish good behavior. They are responsible for their emotional, mental and physical well being. They are truly invested in your child’s life and can create routines to help them flourish and grow.

Many times they become like members of the family and stay with families for years to come. This is the stability which many families look for as they want their child to form a bond and great relationship with his/her caregiver.

Trainings and certifications such as CPR/First Aid, Infant Care, MAT, Special Needs Care, Child Nutrition, Oral Care, Early Childhood Education and more help them excel in their job and provide parents with that extra sense of security and comfort.

Along with a salary, Nannies and Families complete an agreement that outlines the Nanny’s duties so expectations are clear from the start. Nannies are also given vacation time, sick time, personal days and paid holidays as most professions warrant.

Lastly, Nannies are considered household employees and both Nannies and Families must follow applicable tax regulations and laws.

Not everyone can be a Nanny.

It requires trainings (ongoing), skills, lots of patience, ability to provide the best care in diverse situations and above all, a genuine love for children.

Which One Do I need?

Now that you know the difference, think about what you would require from your Caregiver. Make a list, and compare and contrast it with the above information. This is a great start as you begin your search.

Finding and Hiring a great Child Care Provider takes patience, time and resources. We can make it easier for you. Contact Khadijah today at Khadijah@mnannies.com to learn more.

About Khadijah

A former Nanny, Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.

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