Identify The Ideal Fit To Meet Your Childcare Requirements
When starting to explore different types of childcare, there are so many options to consider. Here, we explore some of the roles associated with childcare, giving you insight into which role would be best suited to meet the specific needs of your household.
Employing A Babysitter
A babysitter, sometimes just referred to as a “sitter”, is a person who professionally cares for children of any age, over short periods of time, such as during after-school hours or on Mum and Dad’s date night! Typically, a babysitter may work for several different families and many balance their role with a different job or in the case of a student; their studies. A babysitter will be booked in advance, either on a flexible basis or with a regular commitment to your household, such as every Friday evening.
It is usual to expect that a babysitter’s sole responsibility is the care, entertainment and discipline of the children during the hours they work, and while they may prepare dinner for the kids they would not usually take on additional responsibilities such as laundry for the children or helping with their homework. They will supervise your children within your home during the hours that you agree.
The Larger Role Of A Nanny
In contrast, a nanny will take on a much more involved role when it comes to the development of your children and their day-to-day necessities. Nannies are typically contracted on a more permanent basis, under several different potential structures. They will oversee the scheduling of activities for the children, helping them with studies and hobbies, collecting the children from school or play-dates and enforcing chores. The nanny will most likely cook meals for the children and help with all aspects of their daily care. Usually, nannies will become a member of the family as they bond with the children over a long period of time and become invested in their well being and progression. Nannies will most likely exhibit professional credentials such as first aid certification, appropriate registration as a child-care professional, and potentially childcare qualifications too.
Live In or Out Nanny?
A nanny’s role will be as a contracted employee within your home. Depending on your needs, a nanny may oversee the care of your children on a part-time basis, such as three days a week if a parent is working part-time, or be with you in a full-time capacity. Some nannies work set hours each day before returning to their own homes, while others live with the family, either all the time or just staying overnight on weekdays. A live-out nanny will most likely use their own car for school runs and receive provided meals only during their working hours, while a live-in nanny will have their own bedroom within your home and may be provided with a car to use as part of their role. Whatever your chosen arrangement, it is crucial to set out your expectations clearly when contracting a nanny.
As an employee of your household, you will need to define things like holidays, meals, expenses and sick pay, while making clear your expectations in terms of flexibility in their schedule. For example, if you often work longer hours than anticipated or make regular business trips, ensuring your nanny is comfortable in this dynamic is fundamental in forging a positive working relationship. If this sort of flexibility is a plus for you, a live-in nanny can make for the most practical choice. It is, of course, essential to establish boundaries for your nanny so they are able to have a reasonable allocation of private time for themselves. This downtime is essential as it enables your nanny to be energised and fully focused on your children when back on the clock!
The Nanny Housekeeper
Some households combine the role of nanny and housekeeper into one, meeting all of the needs of a busy family. In this role, the nanny will also take on care of the home, carrying out or coordinating duties such as cleaning, laundry, providing meals for the family, overseeing bills and scheduling any other staff within your home, such as gardeners, cleaners, or drivers. A professional nanny and housekeeper will command a larger salary as they keep your household running smoothly month-to-month, but in doing so they will offer great peace of mind, allowing you to apply your energy elsewhere, and enabling you to enjoy a significantly increased amount of quality family time when you are at home.