What Kind of Help do you Need?

When looking for help with the kids and the house, it can be hard to identify the right job title.  Many people look to hire a babysitter, but realize they need help in other places of their home.  It is always good to have clear job expectations for whoever is coming into your home.  A babysitter is great for a Friday night date night, but shouldn’t be expected to do the children’s laundry.  A nanny is great for making sure your children are completely cared for, but shouldn’t be expected to clean the house.  It can all get very confusing.  Here is your guide for what type of care you need.


A babysitter works for a family sporadically.  They may come for a date night on a Friday one week, and the following Thursday for a parent-teacher conference.  Their main expectation should be entertaining and keeping an eye on the children.  It can be normal for a babysitter to cook dinner or help with bedtime routine.  But you should want your sitter’s main focus to be playing.  Babysitters are not expected to perform any domestic tasks besides minor ones for the children.


A nanny is hired by a family to work a consistent schedule.  Their main priority is to care for the children.  This can include things like the children’s laundry, meals, appointments, classes, homework help, and bedtime routines.  When it comes to household upkeep, the nanny’s main role should be keeping the children’s areas tidy and cleaning up after themselves in other parts of the house.  Nannies are not expected to perform any kind of household care or upkeep for the family unless explicitly asked and put into their contract.

Mother’s Helper: 

A mother’s helper mainly focuses on household help before focusing on children.  They are asked to do more domestic chores such as grocery shopping, laundry, pet care or anything related to the home.  While childcare is a part of their job description, it typically is not the main focus.  Mother’s helpers can be expected to do things like pick up the children from school and watch them for short periods of time, but typically children are not with the mother’s helper for the majority of their work day.  Mother’s helpers are great when you have older children but still need some full-time help.

Household Manager: 

A household manager is expected to do everything!  All children and household related items fall under their care.  Household managers not only will grocery shop, do laundry, and take care of all the children’s needs, they can also make appointments for maintenance and repairs in the home.  They keep the household running in every facet.  A household manager is comparable to a personal assistant.  However, their main focus is helping the entire family instead of just one person. 

Whichever role best fits your needs, it is important to make sure all job duties are clearly decided on before a caregiver is even hired.  It also important to note that while all of these jobs include some kind of tidying up, caregivers should never be expected to deep clean the home.  Anyone you bring into your home to fulfill the above roles is there to help support your family.

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