Au Pair, Junior Nanny, or Nanny: Which one suits your needs?

Au Pair, Junior Nanny, or Nanny: Which one suits your needs?

If you are looking for someone to help you with your childcare needs, you may be confused as to whether you’d benefit from hiring an au pair, junior nanny, or nanny.

In this blog post, we explain the difference between these roles, which will hopefully make your decision a little easier.

Au Pair

An au pair is a young person, usually between the ages of 17 and 25 and with no dependants, who lives in a different country and wants to move to the UK to learn about the culture, and how to speak English.

Perfect for families looking for somebody to help out with childcare, do some light housework, and babysit a couple of evenings a week, an au pair will work in exchange for board and lodgings, plus a small amount of money per week, and the chance to attend a language college too.

Au pairs will not necessarily have previous childcare experience, or qualifications, but they will offer your family the opportunity to learn about their culture, which can be valuable for children who are processing information about the world and different countries.

Although au pairs do not qualify for employee benefits, and will not need to make tax or national insurance contributions, you will need to offer them enough holiday time to visit home, and time off for exploring the country too.

If you choose to hire an au pair, you should not expect them to carry out any intense housework duties, or to take care of your children on their own, aside from a few hours babysitting occasionally, and you must be able to offer them a private bedroom or annexe.

An au pair will very often feel like part of the family in no time, so it is important that you know the type of person who will fit in well with your lifestyle, so you can select someone who will be perfect for your home.

Junior Nanny

A junior nanny has some experience in childcare, usually under two years, will not necessarily hold childcare qualifications, and often works in partnership with other nannies, or the hiring parents, to provide childcare.

Despite having less experience than a nanny, junior nannies will be responsible for feeding, bathing, and dressing the children in their care, and can also be asked to complete some domestic tasks, such as tidying the children’s rooms, making their meals, and washing their clothes.

In addition to this, many junior nannies will help parents with the schools runs, and assist children with their homework, while also helping to teach them basic skills, such as reading and writing.

Junior nannies are also able to plan and organise activities for children, and can be left to care for them on their own for extended periods of time, unlike with an au pair.

Hiring a junior nanny could be the right choice for you if you are looking for someone to help you to care for your children who has some experience already, and who you do not need to provide with board and lodgings, unlike an au pair, unless you require a live-in junior nanny.


Experienced in childcare, or with relevant qualifications, a nanny can be any age from 18 to retirement age and takes sole charge of the children within their care, usually while their parents are at work.

A nanny will be expected to provide children with activities which will help them to develop socially, behaviourally, and academically, and will also complete school runs, prepare meals, assist with homework, and occasionally help with some housework too, especially when it relates to the needs of the children.

Generally speaking nannies help with light housework, unless agreed in advance, but many nannies are not open to doing general housekeeping unless they are employed as a nanny/housekeeper to begin with.

Anything relating to the children in their care is part of a nanny’s normal duties, when it comes to helping to keep the home neat and tidy. Some nannies will help with extra domestic chores, like hoovering, but many may not be willing to do this, and it is something that should be discussed as part of the hiring process.

They will also take children to appointments, and any clubs that they may be involved in, plus organise playdates with other children too.

Having a nanny means that you can ensure that your children are kept to set routines, and that they will be able to trust, and bond with the person you have chosen for the role, which will truly help with their development, and will give you peace of mind too.

Whether you choose an au pair, junior nanny, or nanny, to join your family, you can be sure to find someone who will fit into your lifestyle, and meet your requirements, at

If you have any questions about these different roles, or how you can find someone to help with your childcare needs, please do contact us, we would love to hear from you.

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