Should you Hire a Housekeeper or a Nanny?

nanny housekeeper

Published on September 13, 2023

Housekeepers and Nannies are two crucial roles in a functioning household. So what is the difference between a housekeeper and a nanny? Should you hire a housekeeper or a nanny? Understanding the difference might be the deciding factor between one or the other. It’s really important that you know the difference, as this will ensure that you and your family have the best member of staff working for you. Happy children and a happy household are key to a long-term hire!

What Does a Housekeeper Do?

How can we define a housekeeper? A housekeeper performs many different cleaning tasks which include dusting, mopping, sweeping and polishing. A housekeeper is often good at paying close attention to detail and will go the extra mile for other tasks such as cooking, running errands or even dog walking! A housekeeper’s main responsibility is to effectively maintain a clean and well-looked-after home whilst ensuring that the owners of the property are satisfied with their standard of cleaning and duties. A good housekeeper will be flexible, and provide a friendly and discreet service, with excellent time management.

What Does a Nanny Do?

On the other hand, a nanny typically cares for the children whilst the parents are busy. This allows the parents to know that the child(ren) is in the trusted care of someone who will ensure that their child is safe, well-nourished and always happy! Nannies will often be given tasks to complete with the children such as doing the school run, homework, preparing meals, and bathing/dressing the children. The nanny may well assist with cleaning the children’s rooms, cooking for the children and arranging the children’s laundry. They may also be willing to empty the dishwasher and help out around the house, but they will be unlikely to deep clean the toilet! Therefore it is important to understand this distinction when it comes to hiring the right person for your home.

What Are Other Options?

The final option is, of course, hiring a nanny/housekeeper! This is a candidate who can do everything, from looking after the children through to the cleaning and house management of the home itself. Depending on the ages of your children, if they are particularly young, this may mean that the nanny/housekeeper has limited time to spend on the house, however if the children are more independent due to their age, then they will have more time to spend on the household duties. It is important to consider that there are only so many days in the week, and a good nanny/housekeeper needs time off to relax and recover from their long, sometimes intensive, working days.

Has this helped you decide which type of candidate would be better suited to your family? When it comes to hiring the right individual, it takes a lot of consideration. Polo and Tweed specialise in recruiting and placing luxury domestic service staff in the UK and around the world. We work with professional candidates in our 60,000+ database. We are happy to discuss your staffing requirements and give any advice or guidance. If you’d like to chat with us, please do get in touch with us here or give us a call on +44(0)203 858 0233 

One comment

  1. Thara says:


    I preferred a housekeeper in order for two reasons. I wanted her or him to be able to cook food as well. This includes hot and cold meals. This is a list of tasks I invented prior to looking for a housekeeper in question here. Good luck. It is nice to meet you.

    Make the beds
    Tend to the garden
    See to Milo
    Look after the children
    Do the weekly food shop
    Tackle laundry
    Collect any parcels
    Manage a diary
    Help around the house

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