Au pair, babysitter, mother's helper, nanny! What does all this mean and what's right for your family? Here's what you need to know.
Nanny: Nannies are considered household employees and must be paid hourly. They provide customized childcare in your own home. They can assist in transporting kids to and from school and outside activities. Many parents consider their nannies extensions of themselves. Sometimes, nannies serve a dual role and also act as household managers. They might run errands, go grocery shopping, cook, do laundry and light cleaning. This person can live with you or on her own. Historically, nannies have been female but this is changing. The national average pay for a nanny is around $19 per hour and may or may not include benefits. Experience, education, special skills and job requirements will impact how much your nanny will expect to earn. Nannies usually work regularly scheduled shifts and can be part-time or full-time employees.
Au pair: This is a person between the ages of 18 and 26 from another country that lives with your family in a private bedroom and helps take care of your children. They are not expected to take care of other household tasks. Au pairs receive a weekly stipend of around $200 or more depending on minimum wage and do not work more than 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week. The host family has an obligation to put $500 towards their higher education. Their stay can be up to 24 months in duration and they can petition for extra time. Note, au pairs can not work in homes with infants under 3 months of age unless a parent is home with them.
Babysitter: This person often takes care of your children less frequently than a nanny and on a sporadic basis. This might be an afternoon or evening shift that probably isn't part of a recurring schedule but could be. Babysitters typically don't take on as much household responsibility as nannies and often have less training or experience. Babysitters earn anywhere between minimum wage and $20 or more per hour. PA residents should expect to pay around $16 per hour but should also consider the number of children being supervised and the nanny's experience and certifications.
Mother's Helper: This person supports moms at home. They might help with household tasks and provide general childcare. They are there to act as another set of hands. Usually, mother's helpers are not as experienced as nannies. Most earn less than babysitters and nannies because they are often less experienced and only assist the mother. This isn't always the case!
Specialists: There are a variety of specialists in the nanny world. Infant care, multiples, behavior, special needs, bilingual, private teachers etc.
Co-nannies: Some families have more than one nanny working with their children at a time. They may fill separate shifts or work together. Each child may have his/her own nanny to create a 1:1 care ratio.
Nanny Share: Nannies take care of children from more than one family at a time. One family usually acts as a host. This can lower the cost of hiring a nanny and provide opportunities for children to socialize. Each family pays the nanny 60-70% of an agreed upon hourly rate. Therefore, she earns more and families pay less.
In-home Day Care also know as Family Child Care: This takes place in the caregiver's home. The Caregiver often looks after children from multiple families. It's common to have 1 Caregiver to 6 children but the legal ratio depends on the ages of children and the state where the in-home day care operates. Find out your state's caregiver/child ratio here.
Day Care: Provided at a center or institution that specializes in child care. There are usually multiple caregivers depending on the number of children present. Caregivers are usually referred to as Teachers.
Where does Allo Nanny fit in? We place longterm nannies with families. Our focus is on family/nanny compatibility matching, training and ongoing support. Each placement is customized to the family's unique situation. We provide oversight, advice and support through out the process for 6 months after the nanny has been hired. Sign up for a free consultation here.
The below chart is from childcare.gov and offers an overview of Caregiver ratios to children in different age groups.