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Babysitter vs. Provider

Babysitters and providers are both responsible for children, yet there are significant differences which are similar to the differences between an executive secretary and a file clerk.  More and more emphasis is being put on child care as a profession rather than just babysitting.  The following list outlines some differences between providers and babysitters.


Mature women, sometimes a mom

Background check and references

Income essential to family

Out of pocket expenses

Paid weekly by check

Occasional tips

More experience with children

Life skills experience

Available daily while parents work

Some child development knowledge

Strong commitment to families

Responsible for development of child

Extended care

Long days—10-12 hrs.

Care in provider home

Provides schedule of care/activities





Young:  12-17 yrs. old

Informal references

Income extra

Usually no first aid training

No out of pocket expenses

Paid in cash

Frequent tips

Limited experience with children

Limited life skills experience

Available at sitter’s convenience

Little knowledge of child development

Little or no commitment to families

Basic maintenance care

Occasional care of children

Cares for children for a few hours

Care in client’s home

Provides occasional activities

Sporadically dependable

Something to do for fun money