Nanny vs. Governess: What’s the Difference?

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Nanny vs. Governess: What’s the Difference?

Mother and her two daughters are looking at a toy baby doll and talking about giving it a bottle.

When you consider hiring household staff to care for your children, there are different options, including hiring a nanny and hiring a governess. How do you decide which role is the best fit for your needs and the needs of your children?

For starters, you need to understand the job duties of each of the roles. Next, you need to take into consideration the age of your children. Last, you need to decide if you want to hire a nanny, a governess, or both.

Job Duties of a Nanny

A nanny essentially provides private household childcare services in your home. Nannies work with children of all ages including infants and newborns. They can be responsible for a wide range of job duties, including:

  • Dressing the Children
  • Bathing the Children
  • Feeding the Children
  • Keeping the Children’s Rooms Tidy
  • Washing the Children’s Laundry
  • Playing with the Children
  • Planning Activities for the Children
  • Taking the Children on Outings
  • Transporting the Children to School, Social Events, Etc.
  • Shopping for the Children
  • Reading to the Children
  • Putting the Children to Bed
  • Helping the Children with Schoolwork
  • Disciplining the Children

Nannies are tasked with caring for children and managing all aspects of that care on behalf of the parents. Nannies may also be required to travel with the family when they go on vacation or travel between different homes.

Job Duties of a Governess

grandmother helping child with homework at home

A governess has different responsibilities from those of a nanny. They are employed to work with school-aged children and provide for the child’s education. Governesses usually do not work with young children that are infants or toddlers. Rather, families choose to employ a governess once their child or children are ready to start school.

As you can imagine, the job duties of a governess will be somewhat different from a nanny’s duties, as follows:

  • Establish a daily routine that includes tailored educational
  • Establish a lesson plan for home-schooled
  • Teach the children a wide range of subjects like math, science, art, music, and foreign languages.
  • Instruct the children on proper etiquette, manners, and behaviors.
  • Provide the children with appropriate breaks for meals, playtime, and other activities outside of learning.
  • Establish a working relationship with the children’s nanny.
  • Provide updates and feedback to the parents to ensure the parents’ needs are being met.
  • Provide assistance to help prepare children for school tests and examinations.
  • Establish routines for the children attending school outside the home to complete homework or learn other subjects not being taught at their school.
  • Provide transportation to and from educational-related and school-related activities.

As you can see, governesses focus more on educational child development and learning rather than caregiving services.

Similarities of a Nanny and a Governess

While the job duties are clearly different, there are a few similarities that nannies and governesses share, such as:

  • They can be employed either full-time or part-time based on the family’s needs.
  • They can have a background in education and childhood development.
  • They could be qualified teachers who decided to work in a private household.
  • They can have years of experience providing childcare or educational services.

Which Is Best for Your Household?

Happy family lying down on bed at home

Now that you know the primary difference between a nanny vs. a governess, you need to decide which one is best for your household. To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you require childcare services to ensure the children are cared for?
  • Do you want your children home-schooled?
  • Do your tweens or teenage children struggle educationally and need extra help?
  • Do you want your children to have a custom-tailored educational experience?
  • Do you want someone to take care of basic household chores related to your children?
  • Do you travel with your children and want someone to look after them?
  • Do you travel for business and want someone at home supervising your children?

Based on your answers, if your needs are more childcare-focused, you should consider hiring a nanny. On the other hand, if your needs are more educational-focused, you should consider hiring a governess. Alternatively, it is very common for families to hire a nanny and a governess to ensure their children are well-cared for and well-educated.

For help finding the perfect nanny or governess or both for your private household, please feel free to contact Staffing at Tiffanie’s. We create a customized job description tailored to your needs to help select the perfect candidates for the position.

We also take care of all background checks, employment verifications, and employment screenings. To get started, fill out our client questionnaire online or contact us at 866-484-5550 today!