The Differences between a Nanny and a Babysitter

Babysitter with Small Children

You want the best possible care for your children that money can buy, so when you’re looking for either a nanny or a babysitter in Orange County, CA, it’s a good idea to know the difference between the two types of caregivers so that you find the perfect person for the job. The service you’re looking for will depend on factors like the amount of time the care is given, as well as what the caregiver’s duties are. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between nannies and babysitters in Orange County, CA.


As a general rule, babysitters are hired for a shorter period of time than a nanny and not necessarily at regular intervals. A babysitter is usually a temporary position for only a few hours at a time when parents are out for activities, not on their typical schedule. A nanny is a more regular position in which the caregiver regularly takes care of the children, usually with a set schedule. A nanny often cares for the children while the parents work or have other scheduled activities. A nanny can be considered either a part-time or a full-time employee, but a babysitter is only hired as-needed.


Another difference between a nanny and babysitter is their training, experience, and qualifications. A caregiver should have basic certifications like first aid and CPR, but there are often additional qualifications that nannies should have since they usually spend more time taking care of the kids. Many employers look for additional certifications like water-safety certification, professional nanny certification, and a degree in early childhood education. A babysitter may have basic childcare training and some experience caring for children, while a nanny will have more advanced childcare training, some of which were learned on the job or with formal education. A nanny usually has more years of experience with children since that’s the primary occupation, which isn’t often the case with a babysitter.

Babysitter Playing With Child


Perhaps the most significant differences between a nanny and a babysitter are the duties and the level of care provided. A babysitter is temporarily in charge of the child’s care and provides supervision and basic needs while babysitting. That means that the babysitter will feed the children and do basic activities like story time or play with the kids. Often, housework isn’t involved. A nanny’s job description includes all the duties of a babysitter, but it’s expected that the care is more child and developmentally-centered rather than simply custodial. The nanny provides activities that nurture the children mentally, physically, and emotionally, Nannies are often also responsible for preparing meals, helping with housework and homework, and transporting children to different activities.

Choosing Your Caregiver

When you’re choosing what type of caregiver to hire for your children, there are other factors to consider besides the length of time and type of care you’re looking for. These factors include the amount you’re willing to pay, whether you need someone to live in or out of the home, and if you can afford to pay taxes and worker’s compensation insurance for a household employee. There are other options you may want to consider, like a mother’s helper to help ease a mother’s stress or an Au Pair to help introduce another culture or language to your child. Contact OC Home & Family today to learn which caregiver will be the best fit for your family.

Tips for Introducing the New Nanny to Your Kids

Nanny and Child Play

Life can get busy, which can sometimes make it necessary to call on the assistance of a nanny. If you and your spouse both have full-time jobs and are raising young children, you need someone to look after them while you’re in the office. No parent enjoys being away from their children, but calling on the services of a nanny in Orange County will ensure they’re being properly taken care of when you’re not around. The interview process for hiring a new nanny is both time-consuming and exhausting, but now that you’ve locked down the best candidate for the job, it’s time to prepare them for their varying responsibilities. It can be nerve-wracking to introduce your children to someone who they’ll be spending a lot of time with, especially if you’re worried about their ability to get along with one another. However, if you’ve prepared properly, you shouldn’t have anything to fear when your nanny and kids meet for the first time. Here are some helpful tips for introducing your new nanny to your kids!

Chat with Your Children Beforehand

Once you’ve hired a new nanny, the first thing you’ll want to do is talk to your kids. Let them know that you’ve hired someone to help around the house while you and your spouse are away. Be open and honest with your children, and answer any questions they might have to the best of your ability. Let them know what their new nanny is like, what they enjoy doing, and when they’ll be starting. The more information you can provide your children, the more comfortable they’ll be with their new nanny.

Properly Prepare the Nanny

Every family is different, so your nanny should know exactly what to expect when taking care of your children. Whether one of your kids has a rare food allergy or you have specific instructions on housekeeping chores, make sure your nanny is properly prepared to excel in their position. Setting expectations and communicating them to the new nanny will help you avoid any unforeseen surprises down the road.

Nanny and Child Hug

Have the Nanny Over for Dinner

It can be helpful for your children to get to know their new nanny on a personal level before they start working. Have them over for dinner so your children can chat with the nanny in a casual, comfortable environment. You don’t need to prepare anything special or have a serious conversation about the nanny’s responsibilities. Just focus on having a good time with your family and establishing a bond and sense of comfort between your nanny and your kids.

Listen to Your Kids

Once your nanny begins working, it’s important that you check in with your kids to see how he/she is doing. If your children aren’t getting along with the new nanny or notice he/she isn’t fulfilling their responsibilities, you might want to check in with the nanny and have a chat. Transparency and openness are incredibly important when it comes to building a strong relationship with your nanny. If your kids have things to tell you about their nanny, good or bad, it’s in your best interest to listen to them.

If you’re in need of a live-in nanny in Orange County, contact OC Home & Family! We’ll take the time to pair you with a nanny that’ll fit perfectly with your family’s needs. Call us today to get started!