Caregiving 101: live-in vs live-out nanny

Caregiving 101: live-in vs live-out nanny

by Martha Scully

When you choose to hire a nanny for your family, you must also decide if you're looking for a live-in nanny or a live-out nanny. The base line is the same: you are hiring an experienced individual to provide quality child care in your home. The difference between a live-in and live-out nanny can help you decide what is the best fit for your family.

As explained in "How to Hire and Keep a Good Nanny" (a free resource guide provided to members of!), nannies typically have several years of childcare experience, and have chosen this as their career. Families that have a nanny appreciate the loving relationship a long-term nanny can provide to their child.

A live-out nanny will come to your home each day, then go back to their own home at the end of their work day. They provide child care during their working hours, and their main focus is ensuring your child is well cared-for and tended to while they are in charge. They will do age-appropriate activities with your child, taking them on outings to entertain them, and follow your direction on the structure of the day and discipline. Qualifications can range from caring for family members and other hands-on experience, to certified early childhood educators, daycare work, and nursing experience. A live-out nanny usually works for just one family, but if working part-time, may be employed by two or more families and may even provide occasional babysitting services as well.

A live-in nanny resides in your home 24/7, though may choose to stay out of your home on their off days. The working hours of a live-in nanny can be a bit more sporadic than a live-out nanny's, because they live in the same house as the children. tending to your child is still their main focus, but live-in nannies may also be willing to do light housekeeping duties, laundry, and errands; this should always be discussed with the nanny before assuming they are willing to do additional duties. Some live-in nannies are working under the Live-in Caregiver Program and require sponsorship for their work permit, whereas others are Canadian citizens working as a live-in nanny. There is no formal education to become a nanny in Canada, but some foreign countries offer caregiving training to their citizens. Therefore, live-in nannies from other countries may have some formal training, whereas others will have hands-on experience caring for children of other families. Live-in nannies usually only work for one family, possibly providing occasional babysitting services outside of their normal working hours. Live-in nannies still have time when they are not working, and that must be respected by the family, even though they are living in your home. 

For all nannies, regardless of whether they are a live-in or a live-out, the rate they charge for their services will vary on their experience and qualifications. The more experienced and/or qualified they are, the higher the wage they will expect will be. However, families can deduct room and board expenses from their pay because they reside in the home. This means that the take-home pay of a live-in nanny may end up less than a live-out, because you are providing them with room and board, whereas a live-out nanny has to pay for this out of their own earnings. For an idea of the cost of a nanny, see our blog post How Much Does a Nanny Cost?

For more information on helping you choose between a Live-in vs Live-out Nanny check out: How to Decide on a Live-out or Live-in Nanny

Make sure you check out all our Nanny blog posts! Looking for Toronto Nannies?  We have you covered!

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.