Disclaimer: All of this is based off of my own personal experience babysitting and nannying so it may vary for your own personal experience babysitting and nannying!
The Difference Between Babysitting and Nannying
Babysitting has been a great job for me over the past few years but one definite drawback is that it is fairly inconsistent- I have ranged from weekends with no babysitting jobs to ones with three in two days. Nannying is a consistent job where you have a set schedule (typically). For example, 8 am to 6 pm every week day in the summer or 4 to 7 PM on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.
What Babysitting Entails (in my experience)
This depends on the time of day but entertaining the kids, feeding the kids, putting them to bed, changing diapers, going to the park
What Nannying Entails (in my experience)
All of what a babysitter does but possibly helping the kids with their chores, driving the kids to sports practices or home from school, helping out with laundry, etc. as well. I usually do more activities with the kids while nannying (such as going to the pool or the movies) as nannying, for me at least, is a longer period of time. Also, what the nanny does varies from family to family and the parents have always let me know what they want me to help out with!
I am not sure if this varies by area but I would say $10 a hour is pretty common. I would ask because it could change based on how many kids are there, if you're driving the kids around, etc.
Things to Ask Before the Parents Leave
- Where things are in the house (like cookie sheets if you want to bake cookies, utensils, food, etc.)
- What time they will be home. Be sure to ask this! I once thought the parents would be back before 11 but they actually got back a few hours later than that so definitely always ask!
Things to Keep in Mind
- Be comfortable: This doesn't mean to act totally like you're at your own house but be comfortable enough to get food or watch TV (after the kids are in bed)
- Don't snoop around the house: Yes, it's okay to look in every kitchen cabinet in search of a mixing bowl but don't snoop in places you shouldn't be in because honestly, that's just weird. A good rule of thumb is to stay with the kids but encourage them to stay out of spaces such as the parent's office.
- Use your judgment: For example, if a 4 year old claims to watch a school aimed for middle-schoolers, use your best judgment and maybe say something like "You may watch this but tonight let's watch _____ instead". This also goes for if a kid says "Mom lets me do this" for something questionable
- What to Wear: Comfy clothes! During the summer, I'll wear workout clothes or just chino shorts and a simple top. Little kids tend to spill a lot so I would not wear anything that you would not want to be stained
- Bring a Treat or promise a treat for good behavior!
Activities to Do
- Board Games
- Go to the park
- Head to the movies (in my area they have $1 kids movies in the summer)
- Bake cookies
- Go for a walk
- Bring a movie (older ones like Spy Kids or High School Musical are fun because the kids may have not seen it before!)
- Use chalk outside
- Go the pool
- Take advantage of what's around you (local kid's museums, ice cream places, parks, pools, the library, pottery painting studios, etc.)
Anything I forgot to add? Let me know in the comments!