Nannying 101, Uncategorized

Sound Like a Pro: Know the Latest Nanny Jargon

If you’ve ever spent time with a nanny, chances are you’ve heard her use at least one of the following terms. As in any field, there are certain words typically used only by those in the nanny-sphere. Whether you’re a new nanny, an employer of a nanny, or just curious, you too, can be privy to the latest nanny jargon.


Nanny: someone who provides regular care for a child and is invested in their development; often completes child-related chores during the day

Full-time Nanny: a nanny who consistently works 40 or more hours for the same family in a week

Part-time Nanny: a nanny who consistently works fewer than 40 hours for the same family in a week

Live-in Nanny: a nanny who lives with the family who employs her; often given a separate bedroom and bathroom for her own use

Live-out Nanny: a nanny who lives outside of the home where she works

Manny: a male nanny

Career/Professional Nanny: a nanny who has chosen nannying as a career, rather than treating it as an intermittent job; a nanny who has several years of full-time nanny experience

Household Manager: manages the home of the employing family, completing any or all of the following duties during the week: family laundry, housecleaning, errands, cooking, scheduling appointments, etc.; does not work directly with the children in the home

Nanny Manager: a nanny who is also a household manager; takes care of the children in the home and also manages the house

Governess: someone whose main responsibility is educating the children in her care in a home setting (ie. a homeschool teacher)

AuPair: someone from overseas who acts as a nanny for a host family in exchange for room and board, a stipend, and often required to take language classes

Travel Nanny: a nanny who travels with families; can be a permanent fixture for a family that travels often, or temporary care for families traveling to the nanny’s host city/state/country

Mother’s/Father’s Helper: someone who assists a stay-at-home parent with childcare and daily tasks

Babysitter: someone who takes care of children, usually at the child’s home, on an as-needed basis, typically for only a few hours at a time

Nanny-Share: an agreement where two or more families employ a single nanny to care for their children at the same time

Relationships (from the nanny’s perspective)

Employer: the person who has employed and pays the nanny

Boss Mom/Nanny-Mom: the employing mom of the children in care

Boss Dad/Nanny-Dad: the employing dad of the children in care

Nanny Parents: both of the employing parents of the children in care

Nanny-kid/Charge: the children under a nanny’s care

Nanny Family: the entire employing family unit


Hours: the amount of hours a nanny works

Nanny/Household Staffing Agency: a company that works to match families with household employees

Payroll Service: the service used to pay a nanny; makes taxes and payments easier for both parties

Guaranteed Pay: similar to a salary in that a nanny receives a minimum amount of pay regardless of hours worked; does not exclude receipt of overtime pay for more than 40 hours of work in a week

Banking Hours: expecting a nanny to make up hours for pay already received, usually through a guaranteed pay/salaried system (This is illegal!)

Mileage: when a household employee receives pay (the federal amount per mile) for use of her personal vehicle for work

Paid Major Holidays: the nanny receives paid time off for major holidays only; this often includes holidays like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, but excludes holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day and Columbus Day; specific paid holidays are chosen by the employers

Review: a meeting, usually held every six months or year, to discuss the nanny’s performance and any concerns or changes on behalf of either party


Child-Related: activities, usually household chores, specific to only the children in care

Family Laundry/Errands/etc.: activities related to the entire employing family

Developmental Milestones: the skills reached during a child’s growth; a nanny is often expected to help the children in her care reach their milestones

Age-Appropriate: certain skills, behaviors or expectations acceptable for a kids at different ages

Daily Log/Activities Binder: a way to keep track of the kids’ day; often includes meals, naps, diapering, and activities

Visit Nannying 101 and Nanny Resources for more insights into a nanny’s line of work.

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