Au pair, au pair+, nanny what are the differences?

This can appear confusing as it really depends on which country you are in when
asking the question!

In the USA

  1. American families intepret an au pair as someone from abroad and part of the cultural exchange program.
  2. And a nanny as an American girl who will assist with childcare and can be live-in or live-out.
  3. A mother's helper is a babysitter who babysits the children while the children's mother is at home.
Whilst in the UK

  1. An au pair is someone who will do the basic hours usually 25 per week and 2 babysits.
  2. An au pair+ is an au pair who is willing to do more hours for extra pocket money.
  3. A mother's help is someone usually a bit older with specific childcare experience and a driver.
  4. A nanny has to be qualified and childcare is the chosen career and hence considered proper employment with all that is relevant i.e a proper salary, taxation..etc. For a list of the different qualifications required from nannies in the UK please check this part of the FAQ.
Whilst in Europe

  1. An au pair, au pair+ and mother's help are the same as the UK. Although the basic hours for an au pair are 30 per week as opposed to 25 in the UK.
  2. A British nanny would be the same as the UK, but some British nannies might be willing to have the same conditions as an au pair for the sake of having the opportunity to work abroad
  3. American nannies would be treated the same as au pairs.
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