Governess or Nanny: What’s the Difference & Which is Best for Your Children?

Caring for children is a full-time job, and certainly no easy task. Busy families that put in long hours at work and have other outside responsibilities can greatly benefit from in-home childcare services. There are two primary types of child caregivers employed in modern homes today: the governess and the nanny.

The purpose of this article is to define the differences between nannies and governesses for hire and help you choose which professional staff member would be best for your family.

Private Nanny Job Descriptions

Nannies are residential staff members entrusted with caring for children through educational, emotional, and behavioral support. These professionals can live inside or outside of the home, but they always put the needs of the employer family first. Types of nannies include custodial care, surrogate care, and coordinated care nannies.

All nannies must possess a strong desire to nurture children and make a life-long difference in a child’s life. There are also significant physical demands involved in nannying. Nannies are great choices for working parents, as partners for a stay-at-home parent, and as a caregiver in sole charge of the children.

These are some of the many tasks that are part of private nanny job descriptions:

  • Bathing and dressing children
  • Cleaning child’s rooms
  • Preparing meals
  • Shopping for children’s food, toys, and clothing
  • Driving children to activities and school
  • Helping children achieve developmental milestones
  • Assisting children with homework
  • Engaging children in creative play

Governesses for Hire

Unlike nannies, which often have very broad and encompassing responsibilities in a family structure, a governess has a more specialized and defined household role. Governesses for hire work as residential staff professionals that are responsible for a child’s education, manners, and etiquette. While nannies may or may not have an advanced degree, governesses typically have a teaching certification and are able to design a personalized curriculum for each child in the house.

Some children who work with a governess are home-schooled, while others attend traditional school in addition to governess work. But like nannies, governesses often are entrusted with non-educational tasks for children as well. These can include preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing and dressing children, and keeping the house tidy. It is not uncommon for a governess to work with children well into their adolescent years and leave a lasting impression for a child’s entire life.

Choosing the Right Professional for Your Family

Both nannies and governesses can be integral in the growth and development of a child, so the decision of which one to hire is a highly personal one. Families with very young children can often benefit from the services of a nanny, especially to handle basic care needs. If you already have a good education plan in place for your child, nanny services may be best suited for your child. However, if you are interested in home-schooling your child, if you desire extra educational lessons, or if your child has learning challenges, a governess may be the ideal option to consider. The big difference between the two jobs is educational training, so consider what you want for your child’s education plan as a starting point.

If you are still unsure which professional is right for you, please contact the experienced and caring staff at Pavillion. We have been connecting families with nannies and governesses for decades and are ready to listen to your needs and help you make the best choice. Our detailed screening process is second to none, encompassing an in-person interview, extensive reference checking, and thorough background checks – all while listening to your specific needs. We pride ourselves in efficiency and never wasting a moment of your time. We look forward to serving you and helping your children get the outstanding care and education they deserve.

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