Home ENTERTAINMENT Nanny and housekeeper: What’s the difference, what do you need to know?

Nanny and housekeeper: What’s the difference, what do you need to know?

by biasharadigest
Unlike babysitters, a nanny’s role is more involved (Shutterstock)

A lot of people use nannies, babysitters and maids interchangeably yet they are quite different.

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Babysitters are basically nannies and their duties are somewhat similar- taking care of children in a household.

However, there are some significant differences between them. Babysitters provide custodial care of children on casual on-call basis, when the parents are not around.

Babysitters are generally hired on a short-term basis, mostly just some hours at night. Their main duty being to stand in for the parents and provide supervisory care while the parents are away.


Unlike babysitters, a nanny’s role is more involved. They provide long term regular care and in most cases they also establish a relationship with the kids.

Nannies are the people you employ to look after your children in your house. They work with the parents as part of the children’s caregiving team. In some cases, nannies are trained in childcare.

Nannies generally play a vital role in the growth and development of children and as thus, we loosely regard them as the second mums.

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A nanny spends most of the time with the children and may be responsible for suggesting activities and challenges for the children from time to time as they help advance the kids’ physical and mental development.

In most cases nannies establish a relationship with the kids (Shutterstock)

While nannies are generally referred to as childcare providers, meaning that their roles are specific to the context of children, there are also nanny housekeepers. Nanny housekeepers balance their roles between childcare and domestic duties. Most households have nanny housekeepers.

You can either hire your nanny on a part-time or on a contract basis.

Moreover, there are various types of nannies including: babysitters – nannies working in shifts without a particular pattern, and live-in nannies who entirely take care of the employer’s kids.

There are also nanny-shares where more than one family hire the same nanny, and live-out nannies who are basically same as live-in nannies just that they have their own domicile.

A governess is also a nanny, however, their roles are somewhat specific to watching school children, and they are more of tutors and educators than care providers.

Housekeepers help with the domestic chores (Shutterstock)


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Housekeepers, also known as maids or house helps, are the people you employ to help with the domestic chores. They are mainly ladies and they are mainly tasked with keeping the house clean as well as help with the cooking.

Housekeepers’ pivotal responsibility is cleaning but they will also, depending on households, be tasked with ensuring there is enough food for meals, alongside ensuring errands are carried out.

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A housekeeper will definitely have interactions with the children in the household. Nonetheless, they won’t be expected to take care of them.

Choosing who is right for you

With the knowledge of the difference in the roles of a nanny and a housekeeper, you may need to choose the right person depending on your needs. If you need somebody responsible for the care of your children or one responsible for helping in running your household.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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