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Are Job Titles Unhelpful in Childcare?

(5 Posts)
nannynick Fri 29-Jul-11 08:31:26

If someone looks after a child or children at a families home, currently they might be called a nanny, an aupair, a babysitter, a mothers help, a home help and possibly some other names.
What they do though is the same, they care for children. Their duties may vary, the amount of supervision from their employer may vary. Their level of training and experience may vary.
Is it all the same job though? Is having all the different job titles helpful, or is there so much grey area between roles that the job title in itself is fairly meaningless?If someone looks after a child or children at a families home, currently they might be called a nanny, an aupair, a babysitter, a mothers help, a home help and possibly some other names.
What they do though is the same, they care for children. Their duties may vary, the amount of supervision from their employer may vary. Their level of training and experience may vary.
Is it all the same job though? Is having all the different job titles helpful, or is there so much grey area between roles that the job title in itself is fairly meaningless?

KatyMac Fri 29-Jul-11 09:31:41

nick, this is not your normal eloquent self

Did you copy & paste twice?

Oh & I agree btw - job title is fairly meaningless

nannynick Fri 29-Jul-11 10:45:27

That is weird. I blame the mobile, it must have sent the data twice but instead of a double post, mumsnet server combined the two.

fraktious Fri 29-Jul-11 10:54:40

In a word, yes.

Where do we draw the line between au pair and part time live in nanny? The duties are effectively the same. We can't do it on nationality otherwise you'd have full time au pairs who are really foreign live in nannies.

We can't do it for supervision otherwise a shared care nanny and a mothers help would be the same, which brings us back to the duties issue.

Maybe it's something to do with the professionalism expected, but then I know nannies who are very much part of the family they work for.

Perhaps <shock horror> OFSTED have a point with home based childcarer, but that removes the handy generally accepted shorthand.

mranchovy Fri 29-Jul-11 18:29:10

Don't think there is anything you can do about it though for three reasons:

History - many of these titles have existed for generations now with meanings that have evolved over time

Lack of separation - the boundaries between a nanny, au pair and mother's help (for instance) are often blurred so any set of definitions that attempted to fix them would be flawed. On the other hand, someone who does nothing but care for two children aged 1 and 3 50 hours a week would always be called a nanny, but someone who does nothing but help a SAHP with laundry, cooking and tidying would always be called a mother's help (ever heard of a father's help?) so you can't just do away with all the terms. The only distinctions that are important are those that are made for legal purposes so we have clear definitions for EYFS/registered/unregistered childminding purposes, and employed/self employed purposes, but unless there is a government regulated au pair scheme (shudder) this is never going to happen for au pairs.

Globalisation - we can do what we like in the UK, but while the terms nanny, au pair and babysitter (in particular) are used internationally to mean various different things, and nannies and au pairs (in particular) often work in countries other than those where they were educated, there will always be confusion with these terms.

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