Nanny vs. Au Pair: what is right for you?

There is often some confusion about nannies and Au Pairs, and the differences and similarities between them. Especially in South Africa, where Au Pairs are mostly not foreigners, defining what the duties and responsibilities of an Au Pair are and how they differ from those of a nanny is very important.There is often some confusion about nannies and Au Pairs, and the differences and similarities between them. Especially in South Africa, where Au Pairs are mostly not foreigners, defining what the duties and responsibilities of an Au Pair are and how they differ from those of a nanny is very important.

Nannies

Nannies are caretakers and domestic workers. A nanny is tasked with predominantly taking care of young children in the home, but also handles domestic tasks around the house. Nannies often do not have their own cars or driver’s licenses, which is why they are primarily based at home, where they see to the immediate needs of the kids while parents are at work. Nannies may have completed courses or diplomas relating to childcare and early childhood development, and sometimes also have first aid training, but this is not always the case.

Au Pairs

Au Pairs focus solely on the children and do not take care of any domestic tasks. Au Pairs are often hired by parents who have older children, as they assist the kids with homework and school projects, manage their schedules, and drive them to school and to extramural activities. Au Pairs have completed their matric and are sometimes busy completing tertiary qualifications. They act as a representative of the parents, and may liaise with coaches, teachers and therapists on the parents’ behalf.

What is best for you?

If you are looking to hire someone to look after your children, you’d do well to assess your current circumstances before hiring either a nanny or an Au Pair.

Take the following things into account:

  • The age of your children
  • The type of assistance you need
  • The type of expertise you require• How much time you have to attend to the extra needs of your children

If you have smaller children who need stimulation, but don’t need assistance with homework yet, a nanny who can also take care of tasks around the house might be the best option for you.
If you have older children whose schedules are jam-packed with after-school activities, which you may not be able to attend to yourself due to work constraints, an Au Pair would be the best option for you.

 

Find Your Jane has an extensive portfolio of nannies and Au Pairs. Contact us to find out about someone that will be able to fulfil your specific needs.

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