What is the difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny?

The question of the difference is between an au pair and a Nanny is a popular one, as the two roles have taken on a slight blur over the years. According to the Oxford Dictionary, an au pair is “a young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money”, while a Nanny is defined as “a person, typically a woman, employed to look after a child in its own home.”

Understanding the different roles in child care

Since the roles of a Nanny and an au pair do differ, it is important to understand what they each entail and what will make more sense for your family.

What is expected of an au pair?

Au pair technically translates as ‘on par’ or ‘equal’ – essentially, au pairs will become a member of the family whose children they are caring for, and generally fit into the 20-26 years of age bracket. An au pair’s main focus is to assist their host family with child care. Au pairs may not necessarily have experience or qualifications in child care, but usually have a driver’s license with their own vehicle, and possibly a first aid certificate.

Au pairs can assist with part time, full time or even after hours babysitting if required, and are paid an hourly rate. It is important to clearly define the roles and working hours so that both parties are fully aware of the earning expectations.

What is expected of a Nanny?

A nanny is usually a live-in candidate who is qualified in child care. A nanny will assist with both housework and child care and are paid on a daily rate.

Whether the role is for an au pair or a nanny, it is important that the candidate meets with the prospective host family prior to making an appointment so that both parties can ascertain whether the family – specifically the children – and the child care giver are compatible.

If you are interested in becoming a nanny, au pair or part-time babysitter, or if you are looking to hire a child care giver contact the Fab* Au Pair Agency for more information.

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