Working as an au pair or nanny involves more than just babysitting. With so many prospective caregivers to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which role is right for you. Nannies and au pairs are both childcare professionals who provide care for children in their residences. While they have some similarities, there are also key differences between the two positions that potential job candidates should understand before making a decision on which is right for them. Read on to learn more about the differences between an au pair and a nanny.
What is an Au Pair?
An au pair is a young person who travels from their home country to live in another country. The primary goal of the program is to promote cultural exchange through intercultural communication and collaboration. In the US, au pairs are placed with host families who provide room and board in exchange for light housekeeping and child care duties. Au pairs can be a great option for parents who want flexible child care that is both affordable and customizable to their family’s needs.
What is a Nanny?
A nanny is a childcare professional who works for a family as a live-in or live-out childcare provider. Nannies generally have at least an associate’s degree and are trained in child development, first aid and CPR, infant care, and special needs care. Though the nanny will still have to leave at some point (usually after 2 or 3 years), they are able to provide consistent care throughout the kids’ childhood.
Nanny or Au Pair?
It’s important to understand the differences between a nanny and an au pair. Both positions provide valuable childcare services and can be very rewarding. However, different families will have different needs and expectations. Once you’ve made a decision between nanny or au pair, you should make sure to ask the right questions during the interview process. There are many online forums where you can post questions and receive feedback from other applicants.