Parenting can be a busy juggling act! Especially if you are managing other commitments like work, multiple children, aging parents or other tasks.
If you are finding it difficult to handle the demands of work and family, it might be time to find a nanny or babysitter to help. Here at Find A Babysitter.com.au we have some handy information to help guide you in finding the perfect nanny.
Nannying is typically a full-time or part-time job. It is sometimes considered to be a career role, undertaken by a qualified or experienced person. In most cases a nanny works similar hours from one week to the next. E.g. 3 days per week or full time.
A nanny's main focus is to keep your children safe while you are away, much like other forms of child carers. Their role is also to provide a nurturing and enriching environment, so your child is happy and thrives.
The role of a nanny is usually more demanding than a babysitter. A nanny is often required to undertake much more than a babysitter. Unlike babysitters, nannies can be expected to manage long days, provide nutritious meals, help put babies and toddlers to bed for naps, change nappies, support toilet training, create daily schedules.
Nannies working with older children may prepare meals, supervise homework, and even transport children to and from school and activities if need be.
Nannies will often have achieved some form of childcare qualifications, such as a Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care, or a Diploma.
What can a nanny do?
A nanny is expected to be more involved with your children's day to day lives, when you are unable to. This is often more than a babysitter. This could mean taking your children to the park, to story time at the library, on outings, and even helping them with their homework.
Because your nanny is working longer hours in your home they can also be involved in planning and organising activities. This might include organizing playdates with other children (and perhaps other nannies in the area too), preparing meals and driving children to various activities.
Some parents ask about housekeeping. This is up to the parents to discuss with the nanny. The industry 'norm' is that nannies undertake light household chores and child related cleaning. So this may cover things like food preparation, cleaning up after meals, washing some children's clothes, folding children's clothes, tidying toys.
Parents may negotiate with the nanny to do other tasks, for example making a family meal so when parents return from work at the end of the day there's a meal for the whole family.
Keep in mind that a nanny's duties may change from family to family and what they are required to do depends on two factors; the age of your children and how much experience they have themselves.
What can't a nanny do?
This depends on the role of the nanny or babysitter in your home and any agreements that you've made. This will be influenced by the number of children being cared for, the ages of the children, the hours the nanny is working and the expectations.
Parents should think about what is fair and reasonable in each situation. For example of there are 2 children under 4 years of age the main focus for the nanny will be childcare. She may not have much time for any extra housework. The care of the children will take priority over everything else.
What's the difference between a nanny, babysitter and au pair?
There is some overlap with the roles of a nanny, babysitter and an au pair. However they are a little different. Each job title comes with different responsibilities and living arrangements.
An au pair is usually a person who has travelled internationally to stay and study or work in Australia for 9-12 months. The main focus of an au pair arrangement is a cultural exchange.
An au pair will live in the family home, often provided with a separate section of the house with their own kitchenette and bathroom.
The au pair and family must come to an agreement about working arrangements and pay.
The au pair should be paid an hourly rate for all hours worked. The rate should be according to the minimum wage, which is approximately $18/hr. Then the parents should deduct an amount for 'room and board'.
Room and board is usually estimated to be $300-350 per week. So if the nanny has an hourly rate of $18-20, then she would work approximately 15-20 hours per week to cover this.
Additional work above the 15 hours per week should be paid per hour, or with a weekly or fortnightly agreement.
A babysitter usually works on a casual basis and doesn't necessarily have professional qualifications in childcare. However she or he will be skilled in working with children. Her hourly rate will depend on the role, the time of the day, the number and ages of the children. Babysitters usually earn $18-25+ per hour.
What will a nanny expect from the parents?
If a nanny is working full time then you will need to have an agreement about what is involved in her duties and what the parents will do. How much will be her responsibility and how much will be the parents' responsibility.
It will be important to agree on the hours of work. This includes communicating what will happen if parents are running late, or children are sick.
How much does a nanny or babysitter cost in Australia?
The cost of a nanny or babysitter varies depending on the role, the children and the tasks.
Things to consider include the number of children, the ages of the children, the hours being worked, short or split shifts, the experience and qualifications of the nanny.
Another important factor is supply and demand. After-school care is in high demand and often parents need to pay a higher hourly rate to secure a babysitter for this work. This is also due to the fact that after-school care hours are often short (often 3-6pm).
Babysitters are often $25-35+ per hour.
Nannies are often up to $30 per hour or more depending on qualifications.
These rates may vary and it is up to the family and the carer to determine the right rates.
What do I look for in a nanny?
When looking for your perfect nanny it's important to look for someone who is nurturing, trustworthy and is able to keep your children entertained.
Some nannies may have relevant qualifications, which will help your children's development and education.
Interpersonal skills is probably one of the most important factors.
An interview will help you choose the most suitable person.
We recommend parents ask for a copy of the WWCC and/or Police Check.
I love the sound of working as a nanny, how do I become one?
Think being a nanny is for you? That's fantastic news!
We're excited that you've chosen Find A Babysitter to find fabulous nanny and babysitting opportunities.
We request that you have certain credentials available to show parents who interview you.
These credentials include a Working With Children Check (WWCC) or a Police Check.
Do I need any formal qualifications to be a nanny?
Not necessarily. Most parents are looking for carers who are skilled in caring for children and enjoy the work!
Some nannies may have a Certificate 3 or a Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
First aid qualifications would be well regarded by parents. Particularly if the child has any allergies.
Parents will also value great references from other families you've worked with.
What should I do when nannying?
This depends on the children and the role. It will vary greatly with different ages and stages of development.
Be guided by what the parents ask. It will also be important to do an orientation with the family where you spend a day or a week with the parents and children, learning the ropes.
You'll need to know what the daily routine is, what activities the children enjoy and details about eating and sleeping.
What shouldn't I do when nannying?
Like any job, it is important to focus completely on the role you've been engaged to do. So you need to supervise the children closely and avoid being on your phone. When the children are asleep (for naps or in the evening) it is reasonable that you can relax and watch tv or be on your phone.
In terms of social media, you should not post any photos of the children in your care.
The house should always be left as you found it - or even tidier if possible! The parents will appreciate this.
What if I'm chosen to do the job but change my mind?
If you change your mind you need to give the parents as much notice as possible. It is understandable that situations change. It's best to be as honest as possible and leave on good terms.