Nannies vs. Family Assistants: 10 Essential Differences Uncovered
Parents play an irreplaceable role in the lives of their children and in making their home a haven. However, with both parents working in most families today, it is often necessary to bring in some help. This is where family assistants and nannies come in. But how exactly are they different? Which one is right for your family? In this article, we will answer all these questions and help you find the best help for your home.
Who Are Nannies?
Also known as babysitters and childcare providers, nannies are trained or experienced individuals who are hired to provide temporary, long term, live-in, or live-out care for children. They are usually responsible for the child’s safety, welfare, and emotional well-being. Nannies typically work full-time and are often hired to help families with infants or young children.
As of this year, there are over 217,213 babysitters or nannies working in the United States (Zippia). These figures prove that nannies are in high demand, and their services are known as the go-to childcare for many parents nowadays.
Who Are Family Assistants?
If nannies are responsible for the safety and welfare of children, family assistants are responsible for keeping the family household running smoothly. They usually perform various tasks such as light cooking or meal prep, light tidying and home organization, grocery shopping, and running errands. Family assistants may also be responsible for childcare, but it is not typically their primary duty.
According to Zippia’s reports, there are currently around 846 family assistants providing their services across the United States. And while that makes family assistants a less common option when it comes to finding help for families, their numbers have been steadily increasing over the years.
Nannies vs. Family Assistants
You are now more familiar with the duties and responsibilities of nannies and family assistants. However, differentiating the two can still be a bit tricky – especially if you are new to the idea of hiring help. Thus, we have summed up the ten key differences between nannies and family assistants to help you out!
#1: Nannies usually have more experience with childcare.
Most nannies or babysitters have prior experience or training in childcare. In some cases, they may even have a degree in early childhood education or a related field. Thus, hiring a nanny would be the perfect option for parents with babies, toddlers, or young children.
Family assistants, on the other hand, may have experience with childcare but it is not part of their main responsibilities. Their role is more focused on assisting the adults in the house or the parents with the chores and running of the household.
#2: Family Assistants can take on more responsibilities than nannies.
This does not mean that nannies have fewer or less important responsibilities than family assistants. A nanny’s role can be very comprehensive and demanding. However, family assistants can take on more varied responsibilities throughout the home because that is what their job entails. From errand running to organizing the closets and even paying the bills – family assistants can do it all!
#3: Family assistants can also take care of your pets.
That is right! Family assistants can even walk your dog or feed your cat while you are away. This is a huge help for pet owners who need someone to take care of their beloved family members while they run their errands.
#4: Hiring a nanny is usually more affordable.
Because a nanny’s duties are more focused on childcare, their services can be a bit more affordable than family assistants. Of course, this depends on a variety of factors such as qualifications, experience, location, and the number of hours worked. But, hiring family assistants can be more expensive than hiring nannies, especially for big families that need round-the-clock care.
#5: Family assistants can help with various kinds of errands.
Apart from walking your pets and taking care of the household responsibilities, family assistants can also run other errands for you. This could be anything from helping with your small business’ paperwork to picking up your dry-cleaning, to bringing stuff you have left at home to your office.
#6: Family assistants can drive.
And if any of those errands involve driving, you can also count on family assistants to do that for you. When screening family assistants, most agencies look for those who have a valid driver’s license and are comfortable driving in different areas. Thus, if you need someone who would pick up your older kids from school or take them to their extracurricular activities, family assistants may be your best bet.
#7: Nannies and family assistants can be live-in or live-out.
Live-in nannies typically oversee taking care of infants or young children with special health care needs. They usually need to be on-site in case of an emergency. However, there are also nannies who prefer to live out, so it depends on your family’s needs and preferences.
Most family assistants are live-out helpers. They come to your home to do their work and then leave when their shift is done. Nonetheless, some families prefer to have their family assistants live-in, especially if they have bigger homes and they need someone to be on-call 24/7.
#8: Nannies can often help children with homework.
If you need someone who can help your child with their school projects and homework, then hiring a nanny might be the better option. Because nannies typically have more experience working with children, they can be more patient and better equipped to manage challenging homework assignments. However, family assistants can also help with homework if they are comfortable doing so, especially if they also have a background in education or child development.
#9: Family assistants are more suited for families with older children.
Let us say your kids are already turning into teenagers and they do not need a lot of one-on-one attention anymore. In this case, family assistants may be more suited for your family since their duties would revolve more around assisting the members with their daily routines rather than solely taking care of your kids.
How To Hire a Nanny
In case you have decided that a family assistant is not the right fit for your family, and you need to find a nanny instead, here are some tips on how you can go about it:
1) Determine Your Child’s Specific Needs
The first step is to think about the specific needs of your child or children. Are they highly active and need someone who can keep up with them? Do they have any special health needs? Are they very shy or introverted and need someone who can help them feel more comfortable around people? Being specific about the needs of your child will help you narrow down your search and find the right nanny for them.
2) Ask For Referrals
Once you have identified what you should be looking for in a nanny, you can start asking family and friends for referrals. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a good service provider, so do not be shy about asking around. You can also check online forums and social media groups for recommendations.
3) Hire A Nanny Agency
If you want to be more certain about the nanny you are hiring, then collaborating with a nanny agency is a good option. Nanny agencies conduct background checks and screening processes to make sure that their candidates are qualified and trustworthy. They also usually have a pool of pre-screened candidates to match you with, which makes the entire process easier and less daunting.
4) Check References and Background
Once you have found the nanny that you think is a good fit for your child, you may confirm their references and background information provided by the nanny agency. This will help you know how you can better manage your expectations and build rapport with your nanny as they start working with your family.
5) Finalize Payment and Vacation Policies
Most nanny agencies already have a set of terms and payment policies in place, but it is still a promising idea to ask about it and make sure that you are both on the same page. You should also discuss your family’s vacation schedule and whether the nanny will be able to take time off during that period. Finally, it is important to have an emergency plan in case something unexpected comes up and the nanny needs to take a leave of absence.
6) Get A Written Contract
Once everything has been agreed upon, it is time to get a written contract in place. This document should include the duties and responsibilities of the nanny, as well as the family’s expectations. The contract should also specify the nanny’s working hours, days off, and vacation schedule. Having a written contract will help protect both the family and the nanny in case of any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.
How To Hire a Family Assistant
Now, if you think that the services of a family assistant are more suited for your family, then here is how you can find and hire one:
1) Know What Exact Services You Need
While family assistants are known to be all-around helpers, it is still important to be clear about the specific services that you will need from them. This will help you identify what kind of qualifications and experience you should be looking for in a family assistant, as well as the arrangements that you need to make in terms of their schedule and compensation.
For big families with extremely specific needs, personal family assistants are often the way to go. These are family assistants that are hired by a single-family and work for them on a full-time basis. They can do everything from taking care of the older children and doing the grocery shopping, to running errands and organizing the home.
2) Create Your Job Description
If you are planning to find and hire a family assistant on your own, you can start by creating your job description and posting it on online job platforms or social media. This will help you attract candidates who have the qualifications and experience that you are looking for.
3) Consult With a Staffing Agency
If you want to save yourself the hassle of screening and interviewing candidates, you can also consult with a staffing agency. Just like nanny agencies, these organizations have a pool of pre-screened family assistants to match you with. They will also take care of all the necessary arrangements, such as creating the job description, advertising the position, and conducting interviews.
4) Finalize The Arrangements
Once you have found the right family assistant for your home, it is time to finalize the arrangements. This includes discussing their job duties, shift schedule, and compensation. Like the last step in hiring a nanny, you should also make sure to put everything in writing. A written contract is always necessary, regardless of whether you are hiring a family assistant or a nanny.
Find the Best Nannies & Family Assistants in Houston with Us
We know how much you value your family, and we understand the importance of finding the best care for them. Therefore, we at Motherhood Center, only work with and place qualified and trusted nannies and family assistants in Houston. We thoroughly screen all our candidates so that you can rest assured knowing that your family is safe.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you find the perfect nanny or family assistant for your precious home.
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