On the Contrary

We used an au pair for childcare for a few years. Our best AP was with us 2 years, went back home to Estonia for 9 months and has now landed a nanny job in Scottland. It's a live-in position and I tried to explain that I think there is a difference between being an au pair and a nanny, but couldn't quite articulate it. She's now had 3 years of full-time childcare experience (including 2 years as our AP), has taken some child development classes, and is generally a totally incredible caregiver. I just want to make sure she steps up her game to "professional nanny" level. Any advice from nannies on how to approach this? Any former au pairs who are now nannies and what do you see as the differences in the two? - Anonymous


katydid. said...

I'm confused aout what you are asking?

Did she come back to you asking for advice?

It sounds as though she is move on, has a job, and her current employers are fine with the experience she has.

In other words, this is not your concern, as good as your intentions may be.

I need a break said...

I think what she is trying to convey is that she doesn't want her to be taken advantage of. She now has prior experience and has moved over to the title of nanny.

MissMannah said...

I don't think it is any of your business. If she needs to step up her game, she'll do it. If she doesn't, she'll learn through life experience, just like everyone else in the world does.

Susannah said...

I think it's mice that you don't want her to be taken advantage of.

However unless she is asking for your advice. I would leave it alone.

She has a new job and if she is happy with her work situation and her bosses are satisfied with her performance it's no concern of yours. Your definition of professional nanny and her new employers might be very different. It's time to let her go. Let the baby bird fly.

Now, if she has questions tell her to do research with the nannies in her area as far as education, contracts, and duties go.

I spent some time as an au pair and now work as a nanny, and depending on the job they are often the same, even if by definition they aren't supposed to be.

bella said...

I think OP is also asking for the difference between a nanny and an au pair. I'd kind of like to know, too. I know an au pair is typically younger and from another country, but duty-wise, whats the diff?

Simple said...

Say no to being an indentured servant.

good.lord.u.r.annoying said...

Mind your own business is my advice.

nannyfredi said...


I am a 26 year old educated full time nanny. Currently I have been working with the same family for nearly 6 years. I started babysitting when I was 10 years old and have continued to work my way up. Eventually I would like to work as a child psychologist and become a full time mother.

When asking the difference between an AP and a nanny....the first thing that comes to mind is the "contract". I have met many AP's and their main purpose of coming to the states to work was to see the world. They were under strict contract that stated their duties and their allowances (pay, use of car, cell phone use etc).

As far as the job title itself... well I wouldn't say it's all that different. The only thing I find is that AP's often complain that they aren't paid enough. They feel this way because they are no use to our society and how it functions. They are not accustomed to our dollar value. In any case, Being an AP is an experience while being a Nanny is a career choice.. But that's my opinion. As I said, I've personally spoken to many AP's from all over the world and I seem to get the same impression from them.

As some other commenter said...She probably will get taken advantage of but that is her learning process. You can help guide her but you aren't there to really help. It is easy to take advantage of a nanny because there is no contract. But it is easy for an AP to take advantage of the family as well. Her expectations may be too high. Example: As an american nanny.. I have never been allowed to use the family car for personal use. I was never given a cell phone to use etc. etc.

MandaFan said...


Louise said...

I think it's quite easy to define an Au-Pair. I received my first work visa here under the au-pair America scheme.
An au pair is from another country and has to be of a certain age.
She is restricted as to how many hours she can work (under the organization that she comes here under).
She primarily looks after the children but can also be asked to do light house duties.
The goal is to give a young person a place to stay and some pocket money so that they may be able to experience a different country and in return, the au pair will watch the children.
In my opinion a nanny is someone who looks after children in a persons home on a full time basis and treats it as a career.
Hope this helps.