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Every day someone calls us and asks us, what is the difference between a nanny, an au pair, a tutor and a governess? In order to assist herewith are the answers.

A nanny (in South Africa) is considered someone who:

  • looks after children in the home
  • works with babies, toddlers and children under 7 years of age
  • does domestic duties such as washing, ironing, cleaning and other household tasks
  • cooks all meals for the family
  • generally has limited education, and often they do not have a matric
  • often cannot read and write very well
  • generally lives-in
  • usually wears a uniform provided for by the family
  • will sometimes have a drivers license but this is rare
  • earns an average of R2500 to R5000 per month for full day
  • starts work around 06:00 and ends around 18:00
  • generally works Monday to Saturday
  • is generally not able to assist with homework due to their limited education
  • does not liaise with the school and teachers about the child
  • We do NOT place nannies

An au pair (in South Africa) is considered someone who:

  • looks after children in the home
  • works with babies, toddlers and children
  • generally stays with a family for 12 to 18 months
  • assists with homework, school projects etc.
  • transports children around to extra murals etc.
  • runs errands like collecting the post, grocery shopping etc.
  • cooks meals for the children and sometimes the family dinner
  • does not do any domestic duties
  • is generally between the ages of 20 to 30
  • generally has 1 to 3 years of child care experience
  • generally has at least a matric qualification
  • sometimes has done a first aid course
  • sometimes has completed a childcare course
  • sometimes is studying towards a degree / diploma
  • sometimes has teaching experience
  • has a teaching degree, though this is rare
  • has a valid drivers license
  • has their own roadworthy vehicle
  • does not wear a uniform
  • does not generally live-in though some do
  • generally works Monday to Friday and babysits on occasion over the weekend
  • earns an average of between R5000 to R8500 for half day – depending on hours worked
  • earns an average of between R10 000 to R15 000 for full day
  • is reimbursed by the family for petrol
  • who earns overtime but only does overtime on occassion
  • liaises with the school and teachers about the child’s progress and reports back to the parents

A governess (in South Africa) is considered someone who:

  • has a minimum of 5 years au pair experience
  • has experience with babies, toddlers and children
  • generally stays with a family for 2 to 5 years
  • has dedicated their life to looking after children
  • does everything in relation to raising the children
  • can travel with the family when required
  • can live with the children whilst the parents travel internationally
  • can run a household
  • can manage all other staff in the household
  • can be a personal assistant to the family
  • has a child care course / teaching degree or diploma
  • has completed a first aid course
  • is generally between the ages of 30 to 50
  • often does not have their own children
  • is often not married or they are widowed or divorced
  • has a valid drivers license and their own car
  • sometimes lives-in
  • generally works Monday to Saturday, sometimes even Sundays
  • is available 24/7 whenever the parents require
  • earns an average of between R15 000 to R20 000 for full day
  • is reimbursed by the family for petrol
  • who does not earn overtime but does work overtime often
  • liaises with the school and teachers about the child’s progress and reports back to the parents
  • IMAGINE “MARY POPPINS” – she is a governess!
  • Many high-profile families, who are unable to be with their children due to their careers, employ governesses because they know their children and their household will be in the care of the very best that this industry can provide.

A tutor (in South Africa) is considered someone who:

  • arrives at the child’s home to tutor them
  • does not transport the children at all
  • works on various days of the week for about an hour or 2
  • has passed matric
  • who received a minimum of 70% in mathematics for matric
  • who received a minimum of 70% in Afrikaans or Zulu for matric
  • who obtained at least a B average for matric but mostly an A average
  • is studying towards a degree
  • is between the ages of 18 to 25
  • sits with one child and assists them with their homework, revision, assignments etc.
  • works with children who are in Grade R to Matric i.e. school going
  • assists the child with improving their grades
  • teaches the child study techniques and tips
  • is solely there for the child’s academic requirements
  • earns an average of R200 per hour or R2500 per month whichever is the higher
  • does not get reimbursed for petrol – they do not do any driving for the family
  • liaises with the school and teachers about the child’s progress and reports back to the parents

The above is a very good guideline which distinguishes the different types of child care positions that one can have in the home environmnent.

When looking to employ someone to assist, it is best that you know upfront what the person is capable of and willing to do. It is also essential that you align your budget in terms of what you are able / willing to spend on a monthly basis for child care.

Many relationships break down because the family and the candidate do not have the same “position” in mind which causes conflict down the line.

“Simply Contact Us  For Further Assistance”
We have the LARGEST database of GOOD candidates!
– Professional & Dedicated –

We assist with the following types of positions:

Upon registering with Little Sunshines Au Pair Agency, if you require an Au Pair, we will send you a Family Information Guide which contains the following information:

  • Proposed questions for your interviews with prospective au pairs
  • Guidelines on employing an au pair in terms of labour law
  • Guidelines on dealing with au pair performance related issues in terms of labour law
  • Tips on how to maintain a long-lasting relatonship with your new au pair