What Is The Difference Between A Babysitter And A Nanny?

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Category : Babysitting

I get this question all the time. What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter. This nanny vs babysitter thing is easy to understand once you’ve heard it the first time so let’s jump in and address all your questions. 

What is a Babysitter

A babysitter is someone who provides occasional care for children in the child’s home. Babysitters typically work on-call, meaning that parents call them to arrange a time, rather than having a set schedule each week. Babysitters typically spend their time watching children, cooking meals, handling nap time and bed times, and sometimes doing light household chores.

In the United States babysitters are not subject to federal minimum wage laws.

Babysitters are considered Household Employees and pay must be reported to the state and IRS if it is over $1000 for all household employees in a quarter (2012 federal rules).

What is a Nanny

A Nanny is someone who works on a set schedule caring for kids in the child’s home. Nanny’s typically work specific times on specific days. Duties include house work, errands, watching kids, cooking meals, helping with homework, planning schedules, driving children to school and engagements, and being an active partner with the parents on the development of the children.

Nanny’s generally work under a contract agreement with the parents.

Nanny’s are considered Household Employees in the United States.

Nanny vs Babysitter

So, Nanny’s have a much greater responsibility to the parents than do babysitters and they generally work on a set schedule. Here is a comparison table for the two jobs:

Nanny Babysitter
Schedule Regular schedule On-call
Child care Yes Yes
Meal Preparation Yes Yes
Family Routines Yes Yes
House Work Yes No
Errands Yes No
Driving Children Yes No

Getting Started as a Babysitter

MyFirstPaycheck has a lot of information for you about getting started as a Babysitter to make some money. We cover everything you need to start, need to learn, how to market yourself, how to handle an interview, and how to prepare for a job. We provide worksheets, video training, and an online training course to help you out.

MyFirstPaycheck Babysitting Guide