What is the difference between a childminder and a nanny

Childminder or nanny

It’s important to distinguish the difference between a nanny and a childminder. It’s a topic that causes endless confusion, especially on social media. Ultimately their overall function remains the same, regardless of the title. Childminders and nannies are tasked with looking after and supervising children in a safe and healthy way.



A childminder runs a childcare service from their own home, caring for children from several families. If a childminder is minding more than 6 mixed aged children at any one time, they must register with Tusla. The typical daily rate for a childminder is €50 per child per day. Hourly rates vary throughout Ireland but a parent can expect to pay anything from €5-10 euro per hour, per child, to be cared for in a childminder’s home. The rate can vary depending on the different services that are offered, for example, if meals are included.



A nanny cares for the children within a family and works in the family home. They are entitled to at least minimum wage per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. Usual nanny requirements include the care of anything relating to the children, such as feeding them, cleaning up after them, laundry, and maintaining their room and play spaces.  A nanny can be live in or live out. All nannies are entitled to receive the minimum wage, currently €10.10 (from 1 February 2020 up from €9.80) per hour in Ireland. Beyond that the rate varies depending on a number of factors including experience, qualifications, and flexibility needed for the role e.g. will the nanny be required to travel with the family.

Other than a childminder or nanny there are two in-home options available to families. These are:

Au pair:

An au pair also works in the family home, caring for the children in the family. As there is more of a focus on the au pair studying and learning the language, the hours they work would usually be less than typical nanny hours. Again, the au pair is entitled to at least minimum wage per hour and can be live in or live out. See our blog on Au Pair rights in Ireland for more details.


A babysitter:

A babysitter is usually a once-off, casual arrangement, whereby a sitter comes to the home, usually in the evening, for a few hours. Babysitter rates vary throughout Ireland.


Finding the right childcare for your family can be a difficult task. You want to be sure that whoever you are welcoming into your children’s lives or your home is the best fit and that your children are in the safest hands. Knowing your options allowing you to make the best choice possible.

SureSitter is free for both parents and sitters to sign up. Parents can post a job for free. From one-off jobs, to live-in arrangements and occasional babysitting, we provide the stress-free way to get the support you need.