The Nanny Guide: Nanny Options

Find the right type of nanny for you

Before you start your search for nannies, sit down and decide on your needs, as nanny prices vary considerably depending on scenario. Here's a run down of common nanny options, from the most to least expensive scenarios:

  • Nanny Housekeepers -- They're the most expensive because they do it all. They handle all of the same child care duties as would a live-in or live-out nanny (see below), but they also are willing to perform housekeeping duties during nap or quiet time, or while the children are at school. It will be important to come to a specific agreement on what kind of housekeeping is included in your arrangement; you don't want to feel as if your nanny housekeeper isn't doing enough, or have her feel that she's being taken advantage of, as the latter could affect the quality of child care.
  • Full-time Live-out Nannies -- They work full time (five days a week, usually 45-50 hours) and their duties focus exclusively on child care (play, bath time, meals, and transportation to and from activities). They do not reside in the family's home, and thus should be compensated appropriately if they are using their own car to help out with nanny duties (such as picking up kids from school).
  • Live-in Nannies -- These nannies share the same responsibilities as live-out nannies but reside in the family's home. Live-in nannies typically have a furnished room, private bath, sometimes a telephone, and access to a car. Having the nanny live with your family means your care costs are reduced, but be sure to draw specific boundaries about work and non-work hours.
  • Part-time or Summer Nannies -- They are good options for working parents who only need coverage after school or a few days during the week, or when school is closed for the summer. Because of the less regular schedule, it may be more difficult to come by this type of nanny.
  • College Nannies -- College Nannies can be a great resource. These nannies are studying at nearby local colleges and often have more flexible schedule. If you find a Nursing or an Education major, those students will have specific courses in child care and safety. More often than not, this type of nanny can also be a great tutor for your child as well.
  • Au Pairs -- An au pair offers a barter-type arrangement, where the au pair -- typically a young student from a foreign country -- provides child care and light housekeeping in exchange for room, board, and weekly pocket money. Au pairs generally stay with a host family for one year and synchronize child care with their school schedules.

There are a number of nanny options depending on your budget, accommodations, and work schedule. Sit down and evaluate your needs before beginning your nanny search.


Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned parent and writer about parenting issues for She is also the editor of

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Comments (3)
Greg Hogancamp
I'm a paramedic who works 24 hours on and 48 hours off. I would need a nanny for child care and light housekeeping for my shift days and sometimes during my off days to allow for training. What kind of options as far as price goes as well as what kind of nanny should I be looking for. I need help.
Posted: January 21, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Member Care.
Hi Karen,

It's wonderful to hear that you're interested in signing up with us. To get started, first, go to and click on "Join Now". You will be asked to create a service profile for yourself which includes information about your experience and the types of jobs you're looking for. Once your profile is created you can start applying for jobs, upload a photo, and purchase a background check for yourself. Best of luck with your search!
Posted: January 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM
Photo of Karen C.
Karen C.
Hello. I am trying to set up my profile to be a nanny for someone or a childcare giver. How do I do that?
Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM
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