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Nanny vs Aupair

First, let’s define the terms.

A nanny is a committed childcare provider, employed by a family to provide supervision and a nurturing environment for the family’s children, without direct parental supervision. A nanny may live in or out of a family’s primary residence.  The well-being, education, and development of the children on a day-to-day basis is the nanny’s primary responsibility. Duties that are required for the care of a child (such as bathing, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, homework supervision, errands, exercise, and transportation) are part of a nanny’s responsibility. Formal education is not required if the nanny has suitable experience with children. It is recommended that all nannies be certified in infant and child CPR.

An au pair is a foreign young person, between the ages of 18-26, who comes to the United States to live with a family. Unlike a nanny, an au pair requires a commitment of 12 months. There are many requirements for the J-1 visa, which is required for an au pair coming into the US.  There are also fees that run between $5,000-$7,000 that must be paid in addition to a $500 educational stipend and weekly ‘pocket money’ expense of approximately $175.00. Au pairs are limited to attending to no more than four children from the ages of three months to 12 years. Families must go through one of 11 designated au pair agencies to obtain an au pair visa. Please check with the US Department of State for additional information.

Which caregiver is right for your family, nanny or au pair?  The answer is: it depends.  If you want a caregiver that will be a consistent influence in the lives of your children year after year, then you will probably prefer a nanny.  If you want a caregiver who can orient your children to foreign cultures and perspectives that are different from your own, then you may prefer an au pair.  For some parents who want to avoid raising ethnocentric children, the costs and governmental hurdles associated with hiring an au pair can be daunting: many will seek instead to hire a nanny who may be foreign born and raised but currently living in the employer-family’s country. 

Whether you hire a nanny or an au pair, ensure that you are hiring a caregiver that is a good match for the needs and lifestyle of your family (i.e., experienced with raising children, as active or sedate as your family seeks, comfortable with your method of instructing and disciplining your children, etc.).  When you hire a caregiver who is a good fit for your family, whether that caregiver is a nanny or an au pair, both your family and the caregiver will benefit tremendously by the relationship.

Nannies4hire.com has been affiliated with the nanny industry since 1987 and has grown into the largest and most successful company in the business.  Our database is designed to assist families in finding a quality nanny for their specific needs and requirements and offer nannies an enjoyable employment experience.

A free preview of available nannies is available to families. Whether you are looking for full-time, part-time, temporary, summer, live-in or live-out nannies or elderly/companion care there are a variety of experience levels available. Once you are a registered member, you will have access to contact information and advanced search features. Helpful tools are available to registered families and nannies, including sample interview questions, a sample reference form and a sample contract.

Besides relationships with Dr. Phil, Supernanny and the Discovery Channel/TLC to name a few we have also teamed up with corporations to help find childcare for their employees. Thousands of families and nannies throughout the United States and Canada have joined Nannies4hire.com and our list continues to grow daily.

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