The Difference Between a Nanny and a House Cleaner (there is a big difference!!)

nanny vs house cleaner

A nanny and a house cleaner have two very different jobs. Sure, a nanny takes on some tidying tasks around the house, but they are always centred around the children’s activities.

It’s their role to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for the children in their care.

nanny vs house cleaner

We believe this is a topic not spoken of enough, or people are generally unaware of. It’s time we set some records straight for nannies, babysitters, house cleaners, and families out there.

Nanny & Housecleaner Costs/Wages

An average house cleaner wage in Australia earns on average $25/ hour, and a nanny earns $25/ hour (depending on the nanny’s experience and skill set of course). We understand that raising a child is costly, but hiring one person to do both the role of a house cleaner AND a childcare professional for the cost of one person’s wage is simply unreasonable.

Some nannies are keen to do both roles, but when you’re finding the candidate to fill the position, make sure it’s clear from the start that you are looking for both a house cleaner and nanny. We can’t stress enough how important it is to establish an employment agreement contract with the people who work in your household. This clearly communicates the job description and so much more essential information.

What should go into an employment agreement contract? 

What should go into an employment agreement contract? 

What are a nanny’s responsibilities?

  • Create a safe and stimulating environment for children
  • Run errands
  • Light housework (general tidying, dishes, taking out the trash, etc…)
  • Reinforce appropriate discipline for the children
  • Help with homework
  • Tidy children’s bedrooms and play areas
  • Plan and supervise nap and bedtimes
  • School and activity drop-offs and pickups
  • Take the children out for outdoor activities and schedule children’s activities
  • Wash and clean up after the children’s meals
  • Prepare meals and snacks for children
  • Dress the children appropriate to the child’s activities
  • Bathe babies, change nappies, and prepare bottles, and feed

Although cleaning is not on this list, the reality is nannies clean a lot--all day, in fact. We all know kids and babies are messy. Nannies clean up the crumbs and spills after each meal, load and unload the dishwasher, tidy and organise the kids play rooms, disinfect toys, do the children’s laundry, wipe down the kitchen counters, and clean up after activities.

Nanny vs House Cleaner

Manageing Expectations

You wouldn’t ask your house cleaner to pick up your child from school or expect them to cook dinner for your minis, so it’s not appropriate to ask your nanny to clean the bathroom or do the whole family’s laundry.  

Most nannies are happy to do household chores like the dishes, tidying up after the children’s things, and light washing. If you’re asking your nanny to go above these duties, you will need to pay them for more for their time and workload, as nannies typically don’t look for positions to clean up after the whole family.

Mini Nanny Agency Kids Mess

Your Nanny is a Part of the Team

Messes that happen before a nanny is on duty, should be the parents’ responsibility. Please do not leave a mess behind for the nanny to pick up when they come on the clock. A great nanny will go above and beyond for their families because they are eager to help the family, but there is a point where the nanny begins to feel taken advantage of especially when families begin to take the nanny’s extra efforts as expectation. A little appreciation goes a long way, and teamwork is key to a happy household.

Are you a nanny who is doing more chores than you are comfortable? Please, speak up. Most the time, parents don’t understand it is not typical for nannies to pick up after the parents too, so have a meeting to voice your concerns. Are you willing to take on more household chores if the family compensates you with a raise? Or do you want your duties to remain childcare oriented?

If your nanny is happy to do so, you can schedule one day a week when you need your nanny to do some extra tidying up on top of their childcare duties and pay them a higher rate for that day.

Parents, are you thinking this might break the bank? Consider what is more important to your household at this time: a house cleaner or a nanny?

Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, & Sydney Premier Nanny Agency

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Protect Yourself With Nanny Insurance: How to get covered and why it’s important

Protect Yourself With Nanny Insurance

Child care regulations for nannies and babysitters are not always clear because every household situation is unique, and every family has different requirements to support their child’s routines.

No one likes to entertain thoughts of worst-case scenarios, let alone have them become a reality. In a split-second, lives can change, and when it does you want to have the piece of mind that you are protected from shelling out significant expenses. We’re here to point you in the direction of getting the right information regarding your nanny and employer insurance.

For Nannies

Should I take out nanny insurance coverage?

If you are a self-employed nanny with an ABN number, nanny insurance is a must but not a legal requirement. As a childcare professional, you understand that nannies wear many hats. Your job encompasses everything from chef, chauffeur, educator, cheerleader, confidant, and entertainer.

Even if you’re a natural Mary Poppins, the fact remains that accidents can occur even when you and the family are cautious of any potential danger. When the child is under your watch, as the paid childcare professional, you could be held responsible if something were to go awry. Insurance is key to protecting yourself and your livelihood should an accident occur.

What kind of insurance should I have as a nanny?

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance typically covers your legal costs and expenses in the event you are found negligent for personal injury or property damage to another party. Most insurance plans offer millions of dollars in coverage for Public Insurance at an affordable premium.

For example:
Administering the wrong doses of medication that leads to injury
Damaging property while cleaning or starting a cooking fire


Personal Accident Insurance

This insurance is popular among those who work in accident-prone environments, but as a nanny running errands for the family, working the before school and after school drop-offs and pick-ups, and extracurricular activities, this coverage is something you should carefully consider.

Personal Injury Insurance gives you peace of mind should anything happen to you while at work. You and your family won't have to worry about the medical or living expenses in the event of an accident.

Where do I go to find a nanny insurance plan?

Our go-to nanny insurance provider is nannysure by finura. You can find their insurance coverages and their premium pricing guide for child care professionals here. Nannysure has packages that cover both Public and Personal insurance, and if you are a member of the Australian Nanny Association, you are eligible to receive up to 30% off the insurance plans.

For Families

If I hire a nanny do I need employer insurance?

If you employ a household worker, it is required by law that you take out a Household Workers’ Insurance Policy to protect against potential compensation costs in the scenario your employee is injured while working in your home. The employees include nannies, babysitters, cleaners, gardeners, tradespeople, and other in-home care providers.

Among many the things that should be fleshed out in the early stages of interviewing and negotiating the employer agreement, insurance should definitely be a top priority. When you decide on employing a nanny, you must meet the obligations of employment.

Household Workers Insurance policies are governed by the state. So to learn more about employing a household worker please visit these websites:

WorkSafe Queensland
WorkCover New South Wales

If you have any other questions or concerns about nanny insurance or employment insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact the team. We’re happy to answer or refer you to the right people.


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mini Guide: Nanny Employment Agreement

Nanny Employment Agreement

We believe hiring a nanny should have a similar process, (if not more important) to hiring any other employee for your business. We recommend you take a professional approach for your nanny search.

Upon finding the perfect nanny for your family, as with any hiring situation, an employment agreement should be established. This is a formal letter that will be signed by both parties in agreement to the clear expectations for role from the employer and the employee.

Let us help you iron out the key points that should be included in an nanny employment agreement.

Nanny Employment Agreement

How much do we pay our nanny?

In Australia on average, nannies earn $25/ hour + superannuation. This rate, of course, can fluctuate depending on how much experience your nanny has, their qualifications, and how many children they will be caring for. The casual rate currently is set at $22.86/ hour and the permanent rate currently stands at
$18.29 /hour. Nannies are award free and don't incur any penalities, although they are covered by the  National Employment Standard.

One of the  benefits of hiring a nanny over a babysitter or daycare is that nannies make their schedules more available to your family and are more willing to accommodate for extra hours. Sometimes life can get extra busy for your family. If you require your nanny to work outside of the set schedule or longer hours, include an agreed upon overtime rate or appropriate renumeration.

Car allowance

Will your nanny need to pick your kids up from school? Or drive your kids to their extra-curricular activities? Consider how much petrol your nanny will be using for the role and how you will reimburse for fuel / kilometers. The current kilometer rate stands at 0.66 cents. If it makes it easier, will your nanny have access to a family car and will you need to get additional insurance?


Superannuation, if you pay an employee $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, you have to pay super - 9.5% on top of their wages. You pay super no matter whether the employee is full time, part time or casual. You have to pay super for some contractors, even if they quote an Australian business number (ABN).

Superannuation is calculated at 9.5% of your nanny’s gross wage and is to be paid out quarterly. 

Income Tax

As the employer, you are required to register for a Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Once registered with the ATO, you will be required to withhold the necessary tax from you Nanny’s wage and forward the withholding amounts to the ATO on a quarterly basis.

Applications for PAYGW.


Domestic Workers Compensation or household workers insurance, is essential if you employ someone in your home environment; it can be obtained at an estimated cost of $40 per year from most insurance companies and covers you in the unfortunate case of the employee injuring themselves whilst in your home. Contact WorkCover QLD.

Public Liability Insurance cover accidents in your home. You should check your Homes and Contents insurance policy to ensure your Nanny is covered. Alternatively you may arrange public liability insurance with an insurer such as NannySure.

Motor Vehicle Insurance if your Nanny is going to be using your car.

Nanny Insurance all nannies should have their own public liability/insurance. Nannysure – is a company that we recommend.

Behavioural Expectations

Social Media Employment Agreement

The Early Childhood Code of Ethics is a set of statements about appropriate and expected behaviour of childcare professionals. Your nanny will be spending a lot of time with your children and the code of ethics reiterates that acting ethical involves thinking about everyday actions and decision making and responding with respect to all concerned.

Behavioural expectations can also include policies on social media and matters of family privacy.

Other points to be considered in an employment agreement:

•Days and hours worked (including start and finishing time)

•When and how your nanny will be paid

•Specific duties and any additional duties (will housekeeping be a part of the role?)

•Annual recreation leave, sick leave, special leave, pay on public holidays etc

•Conditions of salary review

•Conditions of termination

Kids and Nanny Employment Agreement


According to the Queensland Government, as the employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your nanny has a valid Blue Card for childcare or you will need to support your nanny’s application for one.

The mini team handles the preliminary screening process that comes with running the advertisement campaign in search of your nanny. The screening includes reference checks and qualifications (Blue Card, CPR certifications, Driver’s license, police checks) before we introduce you to your short list of nanny candidates.

We are also available to help you along the employing direct process should you have any questions concerning your nanny and your role as an employer.

Let us know if you had any comments or concerns regarding creating an employment agreement, and we will be happy to help you out.