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Nanny versus a Governess, the difference explained!

When parents initially employ staff for childcare, they would usually consider a Maternity Nurse or Nanny. Once children are in Education or about to start school, families also consider a Governess. A Governess can carry out some Nanny duties however their focus is primarily on Education. Some families may employ a Nanny and a Governess to cover the Nursery Duties and the Educational side. The main differences are explained below:

A Nanny

A Nanny can care for children aged from newborn upwards and usually take over from a Maternity Nurse. The role of a Nanny would be to carry out all nursery duties which are listed below:

  • Feeding the children (Weaning, batch cooking, preparing fresh and healthy meals and following the parents dietary wishes)
  • Keeping the children’s areas tidy. This can include sterilising and putting away toys, keeping their bedrooms tidy and clearing up after each meal time.
  • Developmental play
  • Liaising with the children’s school or nursery
  • Arranging suitable classes and activities or play dates
  • Potty Training if applicable
  • Children’s laundry

A Governess

A Governess can also be employed from any age however they are more commonly employed for children aged 4 years and upwards. They are usually recruited to focus on Education rather than Daily Nursery duties. Parents can hire a Governess to work alongside a Nanny or Nanny Housekeeper to cover all aspects of the Daily requirements.

A Governess will:

  • Supervise Homework and create educational activities
  • A Governess may focus on Etiquette, music, Art and linguistic skills.
  • Liaise with the child’s school to ensure they are up to date with the curriculum.
  • Prepare the child for exams.
  • Advise on table manners and speech

The two roles can blend slightly however a family would usually need one or the other dependant on their child age and duties required.

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