A couple of weeks ago, we discussed what you should take into consideration before hiring a part-time nanny. This week, we’ll outline the differences between part-time nannies and babysitters.
The biggest difference between the two is usually experience. Many nannies have been educated in child development and plan to make childcare a large part of their career. (This is true of part-time nannies as well; often, they’re in school and using the gig as experience.) For most babysitters, on the other hand, it’s like any other part-time job — a way to earn some extra cash (though some may be testing out the waters to see if they would enjoy a career in childcare later in life).
Babysitters are best for people who need less consistent and constant care for their children, and more often the occasional evening or afternoon. And while it’s important to try to be home when you say you will be, you can probably be a little late with less severe consequences with a babysitter, especially a high school student, as he or she probably won’t need to get to another job or classes at a specific time.
Also, a babysitter’s wages will undoubtedly be lower than that of a part-time nanny, who may be supplementing her income with the job.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Wait, what’s that? You don’t have anything planned? Why on earth not? You couldn’t get a sitter? Well, that’s just a downright shame. It might be too late to do anything about it now, but consider this the motivation to look into a part-time nanny.
You might be thinking, But I don’t want the commitment of a part-time nanny — I only need someone to look after my kids every so often. The truth is, though, you could really benefit a lot from having someone around a few hours each day. As we said last week, there has to be more reliability on your part — you need to make sure you’re on time each day so the part-time nanny doesn’t get held up — but imagine how great it would be to know that your kids have someone looking after them between the time they get home from school and you get home from work. And for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, you can work it out beforehand with the nanny and ask that he or she stay a few extra hours so you and your honey can enjoy a nice, romantic, kid-free dinner.
A part-time nanny can be a wonderful way to ease the burden of childcare if you have a lot on your plate. They’re great if you yourself work or go to school part-time, or if you work from home and need a few hours to yourself each day.
However, what you must keep in mind about part-time nannies is that more often than not, the’re part-time because they have other jobs and/or classes. What this means is that you’ll have to be as reliable as you expect your part-time nanny to be. If you say you’ll be home by 5:30 and you don’t get home until 6, you might make the nanny late for his or her obligations — he or she could even get fired or get a lower grade for being tardy. It’s not like the nanny can just leave your child alone until you get home — part-time nannies need their employers to be on time so they can be on time as well.
Also remember that part-time nannies are more likely to charge more by the hour than a full-time nanny, because they need higher wages to compensate for their shorter hours.
Hiring a part-time nanny could make your life worlds easier — just make sure you’re a good match for each other.
Being a nanny can be a fully rewarding experience. You get to become close with children, get to know great families, and can find stable long time work for the right people. If you are looking to join the part time nanny profession, there are some dos and don’ts to always keep in mind in regards to your job.
Do be honest about your availability. Don’t offer yourself for days and hours that you can’t come through on. These parents are counting on you to be there for their children. If the days you are available don’t work for one family, it’ll work for another.
Don’t be disrespectful of the families things. Just because the parents may tell you to help yourself to the kitchen doesn’t mean you should be eating all their apple pie. Be reasonable when it comes to using things in the household.
Do take the time to really find out what the kids like and dislike. Even more importantly, ask the parents if there are certain things that tend to set them off into a tantrum more often, or what works in calming them down; a teddy bear, a specific cartoon, etc.
Don’t bring anyone over during your nanny service. It’s disrespectful to the household to bring in someone who is a complete stranger to the family you are working for. The time is also meant for you to bond with the kids, not be distracted by spending time with your friend.
You may be looking into hiring a part time nanny for your little one, whether you work long hours or maybe just need an extra pair of hands. And having the commitment of a nanny over a babysitter can be a great addition to the family, but also a big decision. But if you have pets, consider that into the equation.
If you have pets and are interviewing for nanny service, make sure you take the time to talk to them about what kind of experience they have with animals or if they have any pets themselves. Also find out if they have any allergies; the last thing you or your nanny would want is to be subjected to allergy attacks every time they come to your place!
Just as you might provide them with a list of likes and dislikes of your child or a basic schedule for meals, be sure to give them just as much information about your pet. Let them know when and what to feed them, what they love playing with most, and what may make them aggressive.
Nannies not only will be home to take care of your kids but can help with the pets as well. Whether it’s feeding the cat or taking the dog for a walk, nannies can be a huge help to take care of not only your own children but your furry ones as well!
For some, offering your own nanny service and making a job out of it may be hard. It is a little tougher for those starting later in life. Many who have babysat in their teens have an easier time becoming a part time nanny as they have prior experience. But with the right attitude and networking, you can make yourself a decent career.
First, you need to evaluate whether you really can handle the job. A nanny often spends a great deal of time with someone’s kids and that’s a lot of responsibility to have. You’ll need patience and be able to remain calm in case of emergencies. And of course, you’ll need to like kids!
It may be hard to find a family that’ll be willing to hire you right off the bat, if you don’t have prior babysitting experience. You should ask people in your own family or neighbors if they know anyone who needs a part time nanny. They’ll be more likely to hire you through someone they know that recommends you.
Even if it’s temporary or just a babysitting gig instead of a full blown nanny position, this can be a stepping stone. You can have that family be a reference for you in the future. You should also try to take on small babysitting gigs with different aged children, so you can get an idea of with what age group you do best.
You can also looking into joining a larger service, like On the Go Childcare, who specialize in nanny placement and can help place you with a family you’d be best for.
There was a time when people were obsessed with Supernanny. It started in Britain and still airs brand new episodes there. It came to America in 2005 for a few seasons, and followed Jo Frost as she offered her nanny service to families needing help with their kids.
Jo Frost would play a video submission for a family asking for her help in disciplining their children. The first day, she’d observe how the children typically acted and how the parents would attempt to discipline them. The second day she’d bring in tools to help the family get better organized in helping their children, and the last day she’d observe them putting these tools into action.
While all reality television can have a bit of fiction thrown in, Supernanny really showed people not only how hard it can be to raise children, but how hard it can be to be a nanny. A lot more people begain to take those who may be a part time nanny (or manny) far more seriously.
And while not everyone will agree with everything that was done on the show, it also provided a great source of ideas for both nannies and parents alike. Nannies in mainstream entertainment wasn’t anything new, but making it a part of reality television most certainly was, and captivated audiences for quite a few seasons.
If you watched any TV during the 1990s, you’d know about the nanny named Fran Fine, the outlandish Jewish Queens native with big hair who worked for the Sheffields on Park Avenue in Manhattan. And she didn’t score the job through a nanny placement service – as the story goes, after losing her job in her ex-boyfriend’s bridal shop, she ended up on Mr. Sheffield’s doorstep by chance, peddling cosmetics, and she seized the opportunity to care for the widower’s three children, Maggie, Brighton and Gracie.
“The Nanny” includes plenty of funny moments, thanks to Fran’s distinctive nasal accent and crazy bright-colored outfits, Mr. Sheffield’s uptightness, the sardonic butler Niles, and snarky C.C. Babcock. But essentially, this is a heartwarming, touching story of a no-nonsense, down-to-earth nanny who shows rather prim and proper family how to come together and love each other and smile once again. Sylvia, Fran’s mother, is constantly nagging her daughter to get married – and finally she does, to Mr. Sheffield. And, as far as we know, they’re all living happily ever after on the Upper East Side. When you’re a part time nanny, dreams do come true.
Having a part time nanny was common in Queen Victoria’s 19th century England, where upper class parents viewed child rearing as a strictly hands-off matter. On large estates, a baby was handed over to wet nurses, nannies, nursery maids, and governesses as soon as it was born, so that parents could continue to live their leisurely lives filled with parties, social gatherings, and gossip.
Children generally lived in their own separate wings of the house with nannies and nurse maids, and were kept distant from their parents. The nannies would be responsible for bathing the children, reading to them, and taking them outside to play and exercise. Children, once groomed, fed, and rested, would generally see their parents for a short time each day, under the watchful eyes of the nanny. They were usually sent to boarding school as soon as they were old enough, or otherwise educated at home by a teacher.
Today, child rearing, of course, is no longer viewed as a hands-off affair for parents. It’s important for parents to be involved in their children’s development and lives, and be the best possible role models for them. But sometimes, busy parents working full-time can’t do it all on their own. That’s where the help of a nanny service comes in.