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 nanny-related term you’ve never heard before. 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 per week for the same family

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

Live-in Nanny: a nanny who lives with the family that employs her (not to be confused with an au pair)

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 (used most often in Europe): someone whose main responsibility is educating the children in her care in a home setting (more commonly known as a homeschool teacher or home educator in America)

AuPair: someone from a different home country who acts as a nanny for a host family in exchange for room and board, a stipend, and often required to take language classes; does not complete household management tasks

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 entertains and is responsible for child’s safety while under her care, usually at the child’s home, on an as-needed basis, 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: a person who employs and pays a nanny

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

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

Nanny Parents (NP): both of the employing parents of the children in care

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

Nanny Family (NF): the entire employing family unit


Hours: the amount of hours a nanny works; can sometimes include specific times (ie. from 7am to 7pm)

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 per week regardless if she works fewer hours in that 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

High Net Worth Family (HNWF) or Ultra High Net Worth Family (UHNWF): a family whose net worth is about $2 million or more; about $30 million for UHNWF

High Profile Family: a family that is well-known publicly; often celebrities, politicians, royalty, or influential UHNWF

High-end Nanny: often employed by a HNWF, UHNWF or high profile family; placed by agencies, specially train or educated, offer expert services, and compensated accordingly


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 her nanny-kids reach their milestones

Age-Appropriate: certain skills, behaviors or expectations acceptable for 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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