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Nanny or babysitter? Your bank account may hold the answer.

Photo: Getty Images

It’s true that some people can earn up to $200,000 a year as a nanny (or, in-home childcare provider), as Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic discussed on the Dave and Dujanovic Show on KSL Newsradio recently. But that isn’t the norm. Often, a person earning that kind of money has special skills like the ability to speak Mandarin or write computer code. 

In other words, things that your 14-year-old babysitter probably doesn’t offer. And that’s not the only difference between the two categories.

How do they differ?

The first is money. Babysitters generally earn 16 dollars an hour. But it’s more like $20 to $25 dollars an hour for a nanny. 

Age is another big difference. Depending on their maturity level, kids generally start babysitting between ages 12 and 14. The average age of a nanny can be anywhere from 18 to 70, but typically, a person who comes into the home to care for children on a more full-time basis is from 20-30 years old. 

The relationships that each provides to your children are very different, too.  As Dujanovic says, “A babysitter keeps the kids entertained.  A nanny is a substitute mom.”  That alone may be worth a potential $200,000 annual price tag, yes? 

Can I afford a nanny?

When do daily in-home care of your child and its associated cost, become too expensive?  A KSL employee, Robynn Garfield, joined Dave and Dujanovic to talk about her experience. Garfield had in-home help when she lived in Utah and was able to afford it, but when she and her husband took their children to San Francisco, California, they couldn’t afford it anymore. So Garfield did what many parents try to do, she set up an office and worked from home. 

Sound familiar? Then the constant interruptions and not being able to speak a complete sentence on the telephone will also sound familiar. But Dujanovic and Garfield agreed that, at least on a temporary basis, working from home and seeing a profit was better than “paying to go to work,” or in other words, hiring a nanny when you really couldn’t afford to. 

The federal government wants some!

The US federal government may factor into your decision.  On July 16th, 2019, Senator Kamala Harris and Representative Pramila Jayapal introduced legislation that would include nannies, housecleaners and home-care workers in the Fair Labor Standards Act. That means that nannies would have workplace discrimination protections and wage standards.