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Babysitter vs. Nanny in Australia: Making the Right Choice for Your Family

Written by Lisa

In Australia, the choice between a babysitter and a nanny is pivotal in shaping your child’s well-being and safety. At Cherished Cherubs, we understand the gravity of this decision. Through this guide, we aim to demystify the roles of babysitters and nannies, helping you make an informed choice for your family. In the realm of childcare, the well-being and safety of children are of the utmost importance, and decisions regarding their care should never be taken lightly.

Understanding the Role of a Babysitter

The role of a babysitter encompasses a range of responsibilities and duties, each crucial to providing safe and engaging care for children during the parents’ absence. Here’s a detailed look at what being a babysitter entails.

Key Responsibilities of Babysitters:

  • Child Supervision: The primary duty of a babysitter is to supervise the children under their care. This includes watching them at all times, ensuring their safety, and preventing any potential accidents or harm.
  • Engagement and Play: Babysitters are responsible for engaging children in activities. This could involve playing games, crafting, reading stories, or participating in other fun and educational tasks that suit the children’s interests and age.
  • Meal Preparation: Depending on the time of day they’re required, babysitters might need to prepare meals or snacks for the children. This involves not only cooking but also ensuring that the food is age-appropriate and adheres to any dietary restrictions.
  • Bedtime Routine: For evening babysitting, the babysitter might need to oversee the children’s bedtime routine, which includes tasks like changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, and reading bedtime stories.
  • Emergency Handling: Babysitters must be prepared to handle emergencies. This requires basic knowledge of first aid and the ability to stay calm and take appropriate action if a child gets hurt or falls ill.
  • Light Housekeeping: While not primary cleaners, babysitters may perform light housekeeping duties related to childcare, such as tidying up play areas, washing dishes used during their shift, or folding the children’s laundry.

The Role of a Nanny:

The role of a Nanny is multifaceted and involves a range of responsibilities and duties, extending beyond basic childcare to encompass various aspects of a child’s daily life. Here’s a detailed overview of a Nanny’s typical tasks and responsibilities:

  • Consistent Childcare: One of the primary roles of a Nanny is to provide regular, often full-time, childcare. This includes being present and engaged with the children throughout the day, ensuring their safety and well-being.
  • Educational Support: Nannies play a significant role in the educational and developmental aspects of a child’s life. They often assist with homework, engage in educational activities, and foster an environment conducive to learning and growth.
  • Meal Preparation: Unlike babysitters who may prepare occasional meals, Nannies are usually responsible for planning, preparing, and serving nutritious meals for the children and family.
  • Routine Development: Nannies help establish and maintain daily routines for children, including sleep schedules, meal times, and educational or recreational activities.
  • Transportation: Nannies often handle the transportation of children to and from school, extracurricular activities, appointments, and other events.
  • Emotional Support: A Nanny provides emotional and social support, helping children develop coping skills, social skills, and building a nurturing and trusting relationship with them.
  • Household Management: Nannies may also be involved in managing aspects of the children’s lives, such as organising their rooms, managing their schedules, and sometimes performing light housekeeping duties related to the children.
  • Long-term Commitment: Nannies often work with families for extended periods, sometimes years, playing a crucial role in the children’s growth and development over time.


As a bare minimum, all childcare providers must have a Working With Children’s Check, First Aid and Police Clearance. Cherished Cherubs babysitters, nannies and childcare workers are all rigorously screened, interviewed and vetted for their reliability and experience. We also perform ongoing monitoring of verification compliance, latest standards and management.

Legal and Employment Considerations

On average, babysitters may cost less per hour than nannies. However, nannies provide more comprehensive care and greater responsibility.

Hiring a babysitter usually involves fewer formalities, with parents typically paying an hourly rate for in home care. In contrast, employing a nanny requires a more structured approach, including a schedule, fixed salary and contract.

Decisions regarding childcare should always be approached with utmost seriousness. It is important to highlights possible risks associated with certain practices. For instance, employing underage babysitters or seeking childcare through informal channels such as Facebook can pose significant dangers. Despite their good intentions, underage babysitters may lack the necessary maturity, experience, and training to handle emergencies or difficult situations. Similarly, relying on social media platforms for childcare can be risky due to the absence of rigorous vetting processes that ensure the safety and qualifications of childcare providers.

When it comes to hiring a nanny in Australia, the same applies and there are several legal considerations that families need to be aware of which we provide as a guide below. It’s not just about finding the perfect fit for your little ones; it’s also about ensuring that you’re compliant with the law. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Employment Contract: This is a must-have. The employment contract should clearly outline the nanny’s job responsibilities, hours of work, salary, and other conditions of employment. It’s important for both parties to understand and agree to these terms to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
  • Fair Work Regulations: As an employer, you must adhere to the Fair Work Act. This includes providing your nanny with a fair wage, appropriate working hours, and ensuring safe working conditions. You can refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman for guidance on minimum wage rates and other entitlements.
  • Tax Obligations: You may need to register for Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding. This means you’ll be responsible for withholding part of your nanny’s wages for tax purposes and reporting it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • Superannuation Contributions: If your nanny earns more than a certain amount per month, you’re required to make superannuation contributions on their behalf. This is part of the Superannuation Guarantee scheme.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Depending on your state or territory, you may be required to take out workers’ compensation insurance for your nanny. This insurance covers them in case they get injured while working.
  • Right to Work in Australia: Confirm that your nanny has the legal right to work in Australia. This could be through Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or a valid visa with work rights.

Making the Right Choice with Cherished Cherubs:

At Cherished Cherubs, we prioritise the well-being and safety of children, offering reliable, experienced professionals for your peace of mind. Avoid the risks of informal childcare solutions and trust in our over two decades of experience.

The choice between a babysitter and a nanny hinges on the nature and duration of care your child requires. At Cherished Cherubs, we are committed to offering exceptional babysitting services that meet the unique needs of each family. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision, ensuring your child receives the best possible care.

References and Further Reading:

For more information on childcare options and best practices in Australia, you might find these resources helpful:

Our mission at Cherished Cherubs is to assist you in navigating the complexities of childcare, ensuring your peace of mind. Whether you choose a babysitter or a nanny, we are here to support you every step of the way. Contact our dedicated office team anytime to discuss your needs and we will do what we can to provide you with the best options for your family.

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At Cherished Cherubs, we have been providing quality childcare  in Perth since 2002.  We know how important your children are.  Our mission is to provide professional, tailored and affordable babysitting services to create a stress-free experience for parents.  We organise it all for you.  Whether you want to find a babysitter to take care of your little ones at home, at your hotel, at work or your latest event, we’ve got you covered.

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