Thursday, October 21, 2010

What am I?

While walking into preschool one day to pick up Little Man, I heard one of the moms say to her husband, "Oh, she's just his babysitter".  I really, really wanted to turn to her and say, "No, I'm his nanny", but I didn't.  I represent a family, and I try to make sure that I am always on my best behavior.  But then I thought to myself, "Why does it bother me so much?".  Seriously.  I dislike being called a babysitter.  It's not that I have anything against babysitters.  I'm just not one.  It's similar to a lot of people I know.  If you are trained or have a degree in a certain area and then someone introduces you to be something totally different (generally of less regard) you'd be disturbed too.

Let's talk childcare.  There seems to be many misunderstandings out there, and they all irritate me.  For crying out loud, know what you are talking about.  Otherwise, you just look ignorant.

*The nanny-someone who is employed by one family to guide, watch, help educate, and entertain a child.
*The babysitter-generally this is used for short term periods where one person watches a child.  Not much is required of the babysitter, except to entertain and keep the kid safe.  This is usually used for date nights and such. This person can be employed by many different families.
*The au pair-this refers to someone who has come from another country for the main purpose of watching a kid.  This is a form of being a nanny and is generally a live in.
*In home daycare-this is where someone watches (usually) multiple children in their own home.  This person tends to be called a babysitter by some, or a "provider" referring to providing a service of childcare.
*Family-some people have family members, or friends, watch their children.  These people aren't called babysitters or nannies.  They are called grandma! :)
*Daycare-this is any place that provides childcare in a classroom environment for extended periods of time. These places are generally open from 6 in the morning until 6 at night and exist for the sole purpose of watching kids while parents work.  They may teach basic information to students and have fun programs to help get them through the day (art, music, recess, etc).  These can be run by a church, or be franchised out, or may be a local independently run place.
NOTE--THIS IS NOT PRESCHOOL!!!!  Preschool is NOT childcare.  Preschool is school.  A preschool runs on a regular school schedule, August/September to May/June, with summers off.  Preschools are almost always half day (two and a half to three hours), and your child only goes two to three days a week depending on their age.  Just a pet peeve of mine.  Daycares may "teach" some things, but they usually are not following state standards and are lacking.  I was always amazed at the kids who came to my classroom from a daycare and the parents thought they were where they were suppose to be because the daycare was "teaching", only to find out the kids were WAY behind.  This happened way too often!!!

I don't like being called a babysitter, mostly because I do so much more than that.  Plus, I feel like people look down on me and think they are better than me.  What most people don't realize is, I have a degree and make a nice income.  I am not paid $5 to $10 an hour.

What you may not know about nannies/my job:
  • most nannies have a contract with the family (babysitters do not)
  • some nannies have health insurance paid by the family (babysitters do not)
  • workman's comp is set up for me in case something should happen in their home (babysitters do not have this)
  • two weeks PAID vacation is given (babysitters don't get this--are you catching on?)
  • I set quarterly goals for Little Man.  I make sure these goals are followed out. I tell K and G what we are working on and they work with me.
  • I schedule all of Little Man's events.  I research what is out there.  I sign us up.  I transport him to and from said events.
  • We go somewhere every day. (babysitters generally do not leave the house with kids)
  • I chose his preschool.  They had him signed up elsewhere and I said I didn't think it was a good fit.  I researched the schools, I did the school visits, I chose the one I liked best.
  • I told K and G it was time to potty train Little Man.  I did the potty training--in 3 days, no less.
  • I have a car to drive at work, so I don't have to put wear and tear on my own.
  • I am paid a salary.  I get paid no matter what.
  • I have a drawer with spending money to use at any time.  This covers things like admission to places we go, lunches out, sometimes my coffee! :), workbooks I may think we should use, art supplies, etc.
  • When K takes a day off, I get a day off.  I am paid still, and this does not come out of my own vacation time.  If they take a vacation, it's their vacation (which I don't work).  I still get my own two weeks.  This leads to weeks and weeks of time off a year for me.
  • I know the code to the house alarm
  • I have taken Little Man to the doctor
  • K included a picture of me and Little Man on the "family" page that was turned into preschool.  It's to be put in the classroom book.  I AM part of the family.  Obviously, a babysitter would not be.
  • I set his routines.
  • I feed him, introduce new foods, make sure he eats his fruits and vegetables
  • I make sure our days are balanced with rest, fun/free time, school, learning, arts and crafts, play dates, etc.
  • I have a computer for my own use
  • I volunteer in LM's classroom
  • I instituted good choices vs. bad choices and learning that he can make the choice to get the results he wants
  • I discipline him... even if K is around... I put him in time out. I take away toys or privileges.  These can sometimes be for the entire day and K will carry them out into the night (loss of a toy, etc.)
  • I attend the field trips
  • I get a yearly raise
  • I have direct deposit with taxes taken out already (what babysitter do you know that has that?)
  • I get a Christmas bonus on top of my gifts
  • I set up play dates and choose who are acceptable friends and who are not
Now do you understand why I don't like being called a babysitter?  I don't babysit.  I teach.  I mold.  I instruct.  I lead by example.  I set standards.  I implore good habits and manners.  I engage.  I balance.  I structure.  I create.  I discipline.  I nanny. 


  1. You tell them Bethany!!!!

    (side note: I HATE being called Secretary! Loathe it and I WILL correct people. At my company, I get a higher pay scale then Secretaries. I'm considered Administrative Assistant..may not seem like a big difference, but responsibility and pay wise, it's very different! So I feel ya!)