US babysitters and nannies

(VOVWORLD) - In the US, working parents rely heavily on experienced nannies or babysitters for their children. With an in-home care giver, your child stays at home, in a comfortable, familiar environment, and enjoys one-on-one interaction and care. What else should we know about nannies and babysitters in the US?  Let’s talk to Joe Fitzsimmons, an English language teacher and photographer who is experienced in babysitting his own niece and nephew when his brother and sister can’t find a nanny or babysitter. 

Hi Joe! How do you like babysitting your niece and nephew?

I have to say that I really enjoy spending time with my niece and nephew. I am an English teacher, so I am have more free time during summer to help my sister and brother looking after their children.

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How lovely! Can you help me define the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?

Babysitting is temporarily caring for a child. Babysitting can be a paid job for all ages; however, it is best known as a temporary activity for young teenagers who are too young to be eligible for employment in the general economy. It emerged as a social role for teenagers in the 1920s, and became especially important in suburban America in the 1950s. A babysitter just comes for temporary time, not really every day. I think the most common usage of babysitter would be if the parents want to go out for dinner, or go to a movie. If they have something scheduled so they can schedule something with the babysitter. If there is an emergency the babysitter is there, if you are lucky the babysitter is available but babysitter is usually scheduled in advance. And I think some of their responsibilities are a little different. I think babysitter is used for older children. It is not common for babysitter to take care of a newborn or baby.  And if you do use a babysitter it probably could be a family member. So maybe you are lucky enough to have siblings or aunts who live close by, they can come over and watch the baby.

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I grew up with a lot of babysitters because my parents were out a lot. My babysitters were high school students. So when I was 7 or 8 years old they were not much older than me. When my parents come home then they went home.

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I think a nanny has more of a full day responsibility. So for example, my sister in California, just until recently she was working 9am to 5pm and even when she is at home sometimes she is still very busy. Her husband travels a lot. They worked with a private nanny service. These girls from Mexico and Colombia would come and actually live with my sister. This is like a full time nanny. So the nanny lived in one of the rooms, woke up, got my nephew dressed, made my nephew breakfast, play with him, took him to school and picked him up from school. He was about 3 years old. After school, she took him to the park, did some laundry sometimes, did some cleaning and did some shopping. But I think it really depends on the expectations and how much money each family pays the nanny. The more you pay the nanny the more responsibilities she gonna have.

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What is an average salary for a nanny or a babysitter?


Babysitter is hourly. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that near a high school then you gonna have a lot of high school kids. I would say probably anywhere from ten dollars to maybe 20 or 25 dollars an hour. Nanny, I am not really sure to be honest with you. The service that my sister used was expensive. I think it was 20 thousand dollars or even more a year.

I used to babysit my younger brother for free, Now I know that I could have gotten some money from my parents for babysitting. How about you, Joe? How much did you earn from babysitting any child when you were in high school?

Of course! When I was in high school, I was babysitter too and even sometimes in college. My neighbors had four kids. So basically what I would do was I would go over their house. We would play for an hour. I would order pizza and the family paid for the pizza we would watch cartoon and play. After dinner I would read a book for the children and then I would make sure that they brush their teeth and then they would go to bed. I would watch television while I was waiting for the parents to come home. I would probably get 50 to 100 dollars for 5 hours of work.


  Minh My