Nanny or Governess?  As a parent you may be thinking about the differences between having some one caring for your children who’s main responsibility and primary objective is to provide a safe and stimulating environment for your children or some one who will be geared more towards working with your children with an emphasis on learning and educational accomplishment.  When parents start considering care for their children and as the children get  little bit older your opinion of the the ideal carer could sway between hiring a Governess rather than a Nanny.  Both are important influences on a child.  Some parents may also employ a nanny working with or alongside a governess whilst others may choose to hire only a governess.

If we delve a little deeper lets try and understand the main differences when considering hiring a Nanny or Governess.

The Nanny

A nanny’s first priority should always be the care, well being and happiness of the child. Nannies work within the guidelines established by the parents, to help foster growth and personal development in the child.

The partnership established between the parents and nanny help encourage a sense of security in the child, and allow for normal emotional development. Many nannies are also willing to do household duties, i.e. laundry and light housework in relation to the child while others, especially in fully staffed households, will solely concentrate on the children.

The nanny should be focused on completing tasks related to the child, including up keep of children’s rooms, entertaining them, disciplining them, and caring for them. But, it is important to remember that the first priority should always be in the care of the children. The following list is probably more aimed at families with babies or younger children, a nannies duties could include;

  • Looking after the baby
  • Keeping the children’s supplies topped up
  • Organising of children’s areas
  • Sterilising bottles
  • Playing with and making sure the child is stimulated
  • Children’s laundry items
  • Preparing healthy nutritious meals
  • Toilet training
  • Preparing the child’s day to day activities
  • Organising play dates, nursery meetings, doctors appointments
The Governess

A governess although an old fashioned word, has become very popular in recent years as this tends to be a more specialised role, more geared towards educational achievement and learning with an emphasis on the teaching element.  Because they normally will be hired to educate they usually work with children from about 5 or 6 years of age.  Some parents do however choose to hire a governess for children from about the age of 3 as many will have extensive nanny experience also.

A Governess is a qualified professional employed by parents to educate the children in their private household. Governesses are highly educated individuals who fill the role of both teacher and academic mentor for the children. Generally governesses are not responsible for the general care giving tasks but are primarily focused on ensuring that the children reach key educational and etiquette milestones.

A governesses duties could include;

  • Ensure that children follow a routine for homework assignments and educational learning
  • A governess may specialise in specific subjects. Maybe languages, music or maths for example
  • Teach manners and etiquette
  • Ensure the child’s timetable is adequate and allows for the day to run smoothly
  • Liaise with schools
  • Liaise with parents
  • Prepare children for school exams including entry school assessments

In conclusion, both will have very important influences on the development of your children, however the Governess is more concerned with the education of your children whilst the Nanny mainly takes cares of all childcare related duties.  If you do hire both then they will need to be able to work as a team to bring out the best of their charges, your children.