By Meredith M.
As a professional Nanny for over 10 years, when someone (mainly a new acquaintance or occasionally an employer) refers to me as a babysitter, I get a little flustered and offended. Honestly, most people just don’t know the difference. In an effort to educate my friends and family that asked, “what the heck is the difference,” I decided to look up the differences between a Nanny and a Babysitter and here’s what I got:
Nanny: a person, usually with special training, employed to care for children in the household LONG TERM. Professional nannies have decided as a teacher or a doctor that this profession is going to be their long-term career. They are not pursuing other fields. They are strictly invested in working for private families., childcare may not be their ultimate career goal
Babysitter: a person who takes charge of the children while the parents are temporarily away. Often babysitting is more of a sporadic thing that people who are good with kids happen to do while they are going to school, or here in LA; trying to make it in the industry.
These two differences really put things into perspective for me. As a Nanny, we do in fact watch the children while the parents are away and occasionally we babysit other children on nights and weekends, however with our main families, we do so much more. As a nanny we are in fact a little bit of everything. Nannies take on many different roles in the home and become a vital part of the children’s day-to-day life.
As a Nanny, I get to be part of my charge’s childhood experience, which is an extremely precious time. I’ve had the privilege of becoming part of multiple families and I’ve kept them as friends, even seeing some of my charges go off to high school after I helped potty train them. The Nanny experience is one of a kind.
Sure I babysit occasionally, but my time “babysitting” is spent so much differently then with my primary family. Kids are always incredible to be around. Being a Nanny is a career path, as a doctor or a teacher. It’s a professional industry that takes a specific skill set and training, just like being an Engineer or a Lawyer.
I am proud to be a nanny!
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