Differences between a nanny, childminder and babysitter

Differences between a nanny, childminder and babysitter

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By Babysits
10 min read

Uncertain what the difference is, or if you need a nanny, childminder or babysitter? Find out the differences and which fits you best here!

Busy parents depend on the assistance of nannies, childminders or babysitters to take care of their children. You may be thinking what the difference is between the three. This article outlines the key differences between the three and also includes a small quiz to help determine what type of childcare you may need.

Differences between a babysitter, childminder and nanny

We will start by looking at the difference between the 3 terms by looking at their definitions from Cambridge Dictionary.

Babysitter: “Someone who takes care of your baby or child while you are out, usually by coming to your home, especially someone you pay to do this.”

Childminder: “A person whose job is to take care of other people’s children in her or his own home.”

Nanny: “A person whose job is to take care of a particular family’s children.”

The main differences between these 3 types of childcare are professionalism and what they get paid, see the other categories for more specifics on this.

  1. Legal differences
  2. Differences in job responsibilities
  3. Differences in qualifications to be a childminder, to be a nanny and to be a babysitter
  4. Differences in how much a childminder earns, nanny earns and babysitter
  5. Differences in places of work


Legal differences

Babysitter: One does not need to have to undertake any legal requirements in order to become a babysitter. The job of a babysitter can be informal and temporary.

Nanny: Similar to a babysitter there are no legal requirements that one has to do in order to become a live-out or live-in nanny. However, to showcase the seriousness of being a live-in or live-out nanny one could choose to register with OFSTED on the voluntary section of the childcare register. If the live-in or live-out nanny makes the decision to join the register, this could in fact aid the parents to get assistance regarding childcare costs.

Childminder: Different from a babysitter and a live-in/live-out nanny, a childminder has to register with the appropriate government authority which in the case of the UK is OFSTED (childcare register for children who are 5 years old and older and early years register for children aged 0-5). They also must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the role. In addition, they must have Public Liability insurance and must not give care for more than six children who are below 8 years old. They also need to register with HMRC.

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Differences in job responsibilities

Babysitter: A babysitter’s main task is to look after the child who is in their care. However, looking after the long-term development of the child is not expected from them. Noticeably, a babysitter is more of an interim arrangement. They are allowed to play with the child and keep an eye on them normally for some hours.

Nanny: Live-in nannies and live-out nannies generally work between 10 and 12 hours per day, five days a week. They are expected to engage in all nursery duties that pertain to the children. They supply care like, dressing, preparing nutritious meals and bathing. In addition, they also wash, iron and organise children’s belongings and clothes. They also make sure that the children they are caring for are social and active by arranging playdates, going to baby classes and bringing the children on trips.

Childminder: A childminder is intended to supply complete care for the children who they are looking after and assist in bringing them up in the healthiest manner by concentrating on their physical and mental development. A childminder is as well in charge of high-level tasks like helping to teach the child.

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Differences in qualifications to be a childminder, to be a nanny and to be a babysitter

Babysitter: There are no qualifications needed to be a babysitter.

Nanny: Similar to a babysitter, there are no qualifications to be live-in nannies or live-out nannies. However, some live-in nannies and live-out nannies have qualifications regarding childcare which makes them more attractive for parents in order to hire them.

Childminder: Different from a babysitter and a live-in/live-out nanny, a childminder must have undertaken a childminding course to be qualified to undertake the job. In addition, they must have completed training in first aid for pediatrics and safeguarding.

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Differences in how much a childminder earns, nanny earns and babysitter

Babysitter: Their fees are very flexible and begin at around £8 per hour and can reach up to £15 or even more depending on the location and other differing criteria.

Nanny: This is dependent on the type of nanny.

Live-in nannies: Their salaries are now between the range of £300 and £500 per week depending on some differing factors like but not limited to, location, number of children to be cared for, experience, time off and duties.

Live-out nannies: The average rate ranges from £12- £16+ net per hour.

Childminder: The fees for a childminder are very different and they can be in the range from £150-£250 per week for a full-time place and £30-£60 per day for a part-time place. As well as £3.5-£5.5 per hour for after-school care.

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Differences in places of work

Babysitter: Generally babysitters work at the house of the child they are sitting. They are solely responsible to look after the child while the child’s parents are gone during the day or in the evening.

Nanny: This is dependent on the type of nanny.

Live-in nannies: They live with the family in their own home and the family provides the nanny with their own bedroom and also commonly their personal bathroom. A live-nanny will normally work for 11 to 12 hours a day, five days a week and is normally expected to offer an extra two or three nights of babysitting every week- however, the exact working hours are dependent on the family.

Live-out nannies: They travel to the family’s house every day. Live-out nannies generally work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. They could also be required to do evening babysitting. This may be included within the salary or be paid as extra.

Childminder: In the case of a childminder, their job is generally done at the childminder’s own home or a child care center.

How to become a childminder

As stated above, a childminder is an individual who is qualified and must abide by specific legal requirements.

That being so, there are a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to become a professional childminder. Look at the childminders we offer here.

Step 1: Pass Health and Criminal checkups

DBS Criminal Record Check: You and anybody who has ties with your company and anybody who lives with you has to have their criminal record checked out.

Health Declaration Form: You must fill in a Health Declaration Form which must be signed by your GP.

Step 2: Finish important training

Childminder Training: You have to finish essential training that shows that you comprehend the needs of the children that you will be supporting.

First Aid Training: You have to finish a 12-hour Paediatric First Aid course to help guarantee the safety of the children you’ll be caring for.

Step 3: Apply to the right Ofsted register

Early Years Register: If you are going to be taking care of children who are aged 0-5 you have to apply to the Early Years Register.

Childcare Register: If you are going to be taking care of children who are aged 5 and older you have to apply to the Childcare Register.

Step 4: Prepare for the visit of Ofsted

Advice for getting ready for your visit: If you are going to join the Early Years Register Ofsted will schedule a home visit.

Look at your garden and home: Ofsted will inspect your garden and home to make sure that it is safe for the children you’ll be caring for.

Step 5: Comply with legal obligations

Register with HMRC: Because you will be self-employed you have to register with HMRC for purposes related to tax and insurance.

Registration for personal data: Because of Data Protection Laws it may be required for you to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Get the right insurance: You have to have Public Liability Insurance and make sure you are still covered for your car and home insurance.

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Do you need a nanny, babysitter or childminder?

Take the small quiz below to help you find out what childcare option is best for you!

1. What kind of care are you looking for?

a. Looking for somebody to temporarily look after my children for a couple of hours.

b. Looking for somebody to work between 10 and 12 hours per day, five days per week after my children.

c. Looking for somebody to supply complete care for my child including helping to teach the child.

2. Are you looking for somebody who has to undertake certain legal requirements in order to look after your child?

a. No, not really.

b. Maybe.

c. Yes, I am.

3. How much are you willing to pay for somebody to care for your child?

a. Around £8 per hour which can reach up to £15 per hour.

b. Between the range of £300 and £500 per week or £12- £16 net per hour.

c. In the range from £150-£250 per week for a full-time place and £30-£60 per day for a part-time place.

4. Where do you mainly want the care of your child to take place?

a. Solely at my home.

b. At my home, but they can also take my child out for outings.

c. At the carer’s own home.

Answer A

If you primarily answered A then you are looking for a babysitter.

Answer B

If you primarily answered B then you are looking for a nanny. But you should read the article again and decide if a live-in nanny or live-out nanny is what you desire.

Answer C

If you primarily answered C then you are looking for a childminder.


Now you know the difference between a nanny, childminder and babysitter. We hope you have a clearer picture of what kind of childcare suits your family best!

You can find all types of childcare here on Babysits:

Babysitters in the UK

Nannies in the UK

Childminders in the UK