When You Need An Au Pair Or A Nanny For Your Child | What You Need to Know

Nanny agencies may only offer nannies, or they may offer other types of childcare. Before deciding on what you need, you must think of your personal situation and work out what will be best for you and your family.

Do you, for example, need a nanny or an au pair? 

What is the difference between a nanny and an au pair? This is the kind of question that a nanny agency would be happy to answer, and, along with other questions, should be asked when you first contact them.

The answer is that, to start with, an au pair is untrained whereas a nanny would have proper childcare training. Some also have specific training, for example, helping children with learning difficulties or hearing loss.

You can learn more about this online. An au pair, therefore, is usually inexperienced. 

Another difference is that for a nanny, childcare is their job. It is their career. It is the thing they have chosen to do for the rest of their working lives. An au pair, however, does not necessarily intend to look after children as their career, but instead are using the opportunity to earn some money while living in another country. It is more about learning the language and culture than specifically caring for children. In return for looking after children, they are given full board and a small amount of money. Regarding money, this differs greatly between nannies and au pairs. An au pair will receive ‘pocket money’ rather than a proper salary, unlike a nanny who will need to be employed by you. 

Can You Guarantee Your Nanny Has Training?

Nanny agencies are the best place for busy parents to go to find a great nanny for their family. Although you can find a nanny without going through an agency, it will take you a lot of time. Plus, there are other considerations too. 

One of these other considerations is training. If you don’t go through a nanny agency, how can you be sure that your nanny has the training required to look after your children? Hiring a nanny yourself is a time-consuming process, and the fact that it might be difficult for you to verify the information on the candidate’s CV is a concern for many parents. It is a question of either taking everything at face value, or of delving deeper into the information laid out for you. The first option is a risky one, as it could mean that you end up hiring a nanny who does not have the qualifications, training, and experience that you want them to have. 

The second option is the preferred one, as it means you can verify everything, but it will take a lot of time. This is no good if you need a nanny quickly, or if you are extremely busy. This is why going through nanny agencies is the safest, easiest, and quickest option for you. The agency will run all the background and experience checks, and they will contact the people put down as references if you don’t want to do that. It is by far the best option. 

Who Can Help You Understand Your Role?

A nanny agency can do many things for you as a parent and employer of a nanny. Not only can an agency vet the applicants for your position, but they can also do background checks and arrange interviews. There are other things they can do too. 

A good nanny agency will have everyone’s best interests in mind when placing a nanny. They will want to make sure the nanny is happy and content, and that they feel comfortable in their new environment. But, they will also need to ensure that the parents are happy too. After all, they are the ones hiring the nanny and the ones who are paying. Being an employer might not come naturally to everyone, especially if you have never done it before. And, if you already employ people at work, employing someone in your own home - someone who is directly responsible for your children - is often a different matter altogether. 

Therefore, it is down to the nanny agencies to keep a check on what is happening. The agency will have a lot of experience when it comes to how nannies and parents interact. They will be able to offer advice regarding what to put in a nanny’s contract (and what to leave out of it). They will also be able to answer questions. As an employer, you will need to understand sick pay and holidays, all of which your nanny agency will be able to help you with. 

Thanks for Fat Joe Publishing for contributing this blog post for my readers.

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