What is the difference between Au Pair/Nanny/Childminder/Babysitter?

January 2, 2012

The question on many families lips is , what is the difference between all of the childcare options out there? Well, many families are beginning to opt for the Au Pair route due to childcare costs and cost of living continually rising.

There are many differences between Au Pairs, Childminders, Nannies, Mothers Help, and Babysitters. Each one has their own meaning and their roles differ in many different ways, that’s why it is very important for a family to understand these differences before efore making any decisions.

An Au Pair is not qualified in childcare, he or she would live in your home, take care of your children for up to 30 hrs a week and be paid ‘Pocket money’, this depends on the amount of hours etc they complete each week, an Au Pair salary can range from £50-£150 per week. You can find au pairs on speciality sites such as www.aupaircity.com. You must be able to provide a bedroom, shared bathroom and food/beverages for the Au Pair.

A childminder qualified must have proof of qualifications and passed the government approval process, they are always first aid trained and charge an hourly rate. This ranges between childminders, you also pay for your child’s placement even if they do not attend. If your child is sick or the childminder will contact you to collect them. You will still be charged.

Nannies are qualified by NNEB and usually found via agencies, they can be live in or live out and can cost up to £2000 per month. (costs vary depending on requirements)

Mothers Help, this is someone that could be qualified or not, such as a nanny or au pair. They can live in or out but spend time with the mother helping out which household chores and caring for the children, this varies depending on the family needs.

A Babysitter is someone that cares for your children for a few hours ad hoc. You pay an hourly rate, however they do not live in like au pairs, they come to your home, care for your children of an evening when you go out of an evening. The babysitter is usually 16 yrs of age and over and charges a rate from £3.50 per hour depending on the babysitters rates.

As you can see, there are so many differences in each role, so making the right choice for your family is very important. I hope this information has helped you.