The Difference between a Nanny and Babysitter

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Our time with Debbie was brief, but positive in every way. We originally sent her email wherein she responded that same day. We then met her at my office for an interview. She made such an impression that we invited her to have a playdate with my children, who are 2 and 6 years old. We have had nannies for our children for over 6 years and have seen the good and the bad. She was actually the first nanny we invited to meet them after having spoken to and met approximately 35 other nannies. When she arrived at our house, she immediately took an interest in the children. She was very attentive and asked questions to see how we would like her to care for our children. Following the playdate, we offered her a full-time nanny position with our family. At her first day and each day thereafter she was punctual, pleasant, couteous, professional and respectful. The children were her priority. Through no fault of her own, our prior nanny (who had been with us for 1 1/2 years) advised that she was no longer relocating (which was the reason we were looking for a nanny). After much consideration, we felt it was best for the children to be with the nanny they had known. During our brief time with Debbie, it was truly a pleasure to have her in our house and as our nanny. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Sincerely, Stacy

Stacy,Delray Beach, FL

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Nanny or Babysitter

What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?

Although nannies and babysitters both provide quality childcare, there are some basic differences between the two. While some of these differences may vary from family to family there are also some generalizations that can be made regarding the two positions.

Hired for childcare and perhaps some additional duties on a scheduled full-time or part-time basis and may live with the family. Provides childcare "as-needed" often for multiple families.
Generally an employee of the family, with the employer responsible for their half of the Social Security taxes and for income tax withholding. Considered a contract worker. The babysitter is responsible for all taxes.
May be paid a salary or hourly wage and may also receive vacation and/or holiday pay and perhaps other benefits. Paid only for hours worked.

If a nanny suits your needs, then you're in the right place. Go to the "Find a Nanny Now!" box under the Nannies4Hire logo in the upper left corner of this page and find nannies in your area that meet your needs.

Or perhaps for your family, a babysitter is the right choice. Visit our sister site and browse the many babysitters listed there that are available close to your home.

If you want more information about nannies and babysitters, read some of our blog posts:

  • The Parent-Nanny Relationship - Part employee, part family member, your nanny is a hybrid in your world. And she's oh so important to your kids. This is one of the relationships that you really want to do right. What can you do to ensure that your relationship with your nanny is on solid footing?
  • How to Recruit, Interview and Hire a Nanny - Finding and hiring the right nanny for your family can seem like a daunting task. We at are here to make the process easier for you.
  • Childcare Options - Parents considering childcare for their children have many options at their access.
  • Transitioning to a New Nanny or Babysitter - Your only child is starting school. You no longer need a full-time nanny: a part-time nanny or babysitter is what you will need going forward (at least until next summer). How do you prepare your child for the transition?
  • Hiring a Babysitter for the First Time - You are preparing to hire a babysitter for the first time. What all do you need to do to be well prepared for successfully employing a babysitter?