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In-home childcare definitions

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

When families are looking to hire a caregiver for their child, they are often confused with all the terms used online and by friends.

For in-home child carers the descriptions in job advertisements are confusing and unclear. This might be considered a detail, but both sides risk to miss out on the perfect match, simply because the wrong term is used!

Although all in-home childcare services are considered domestic work in Switzerland, there are differences, we will go deeper into this in another blog post.

SNA shares the definitions used by the International Nanny Association to describe various in-home child care jobs.


A nanny is a child care specialist whose workplace is a family’s private home. A nanny is employed by a family to provide the highest level of customized child care and to give personalized attention to the family’s children.

A nanny may be employed full time or part time, and the nanny may or may not live with the family. The nanny’s role is to provide support to the family by serving as a loving, nurturing and trustworthy companion to the children.

Ideally, a nanny will have specialized child care skills, a deep understanding of children and a genuine love of caring for children.

A nanny is a person whose primary and sometimes only function is limited to caring for the children.

New born care Specialist

Highly specialized and trained in-home childcare provider who focuses on the care and well-being of the newborn: I.e., the first 12-16 weeks of life.

In Switzerland New Born care Specialists can be either self employed or hired as a temporary employee.


An educationally qualified nanny employed by a family for the full- or part-time private home education or tutoring of the family’s children. A governess functions as an educator and is not usually employed to perform domestic tasks or to meet the physical needs of the family’s children.


Young ( under 25 years of age) people who provide occasional, supervisory, custodial childcare.

Occasional childcare performed by a person over the age of 25: the work needs to be declared from the first hour worked, the ctt always applies in Geneva, in other cantons only for regular work ( over 5 hours a week, average).

Au Pairs

The au pair program is a cultural exchange program, a very specific program with particular demands for both au pairs and host families. Therefore, both parties will need to adhere to and respect all definitions, rules and regulations stipulated.

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