What are the pros and cons of a babysitter versus a nanny?


Quick Answer

A nanny is a professional caregiver who directly contributes to the development of a child and is usually a full-time employee. A babysitter stays with a child as needed on a part-time basis, taking care of the child's needs. Neither is better than the other; the child's best interests and the family requirements define the final choice of child care.

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Full Answer

A nanny typically stays with a child most of the day and is expected to participate in the nurturing of the child in diverse ways. Hiring a nanny is also the most expensive child care option. Along with their salaries, nannies are also entitled to paid medical insurance and paid holidays. A nanny spends a lot of the time alone with the child. A babysitter stays with the child for a few hours as needed. Parents who do not need full-time child care, who are able to provide some child care themselves or who are on a tight budget may prefer having a babysitter to a nanny.

Because psychologists advise that children should socialize with their peers, it is important to arrange social activities for the child. If a child has a nanny as a caregiver, the nanny should be encouraged to arrange for social interaction with other kids at the park, library or at other outings.

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