Au Pair, Tutor, Driver or Nanny? Which one is right for you?

by | May 18, 2016

When looking for a helper for your family, the number one thing to start off with is knowing your family’s needs. Hiring someone who is a good fit for your family’s unique needs and specific situation is really very important, and could save you money in the end.

Different types of candidates have different strengths, availability, likes, dislikes and specialties. So in order to help you understand what your family needs, I have created a summary of the main focus areas and specifications of each of these four types of candidates: au pairs, tutors, drivers and nannies.

Family au pair


Primary specialties:
– Caring for and spending time with children
– Assisting with homework
– Driving the kids around
– Running errands for the family
– Will have previous experience with children (at least a year)
– Will have her own car
– May be young, generally between 18 – 32 years old
– Not likely to have a child-related qualification, but may be studying education, psychology, early childhood, occupational therapy, or other times something unrelated
– Likelihood of being able to cook: moderate
Au pairs do generally tend to be more invested in the development of the child than a general nanny would be. They can assist with the kids’ homework, but do not often specialise in tutoring. It is possible to find an au pair who is also a good tutor, however such a person will be more difficult to find (and consequently take longer to find), and may also require a higher salary than the normal rate. Rates for au pairs vary between about R45 – R100 per hour, depending on the amount of working hours given by the family (more hours allow for lower rates). Per hour rates for au pairs are less expensive than those of tutors, but are more expensive than nannies.

Register to find an au pair >


Primary specialties:
– Actively assisting children with homework and assignments
– May provide extra lessons and extra exercises where needed
– Can specialise in working with children who have some difficulties learning
– Are often students with extra time, but not always
– May not have previously worked with children (optional according to what the family wants) or be as involved with children in the past as au pairs have been
Rates for tutors are often higher than those for au pairs. A standard tutor rate would be R120 – R200 per hour, and up to R350 for a specialised tutor. Tutors are an excellent choice if there needs to be a lot of focus on the child’s learning. Since au pairs generally work more hours than tutors do, but tutors charge higher rates, you may end up paying the same amount for a tutor as and au pair, or perhaps a little cheaper.

Register to find a tutor >


Primary specialties:
– Driving kids to and from school and to extra murals.
– May infrequently run some errands for the family
– Possession of a driver’s license and own vehicle
– Has been driving for at least 2 years
– May not have any previous experience working with children, but will have a reference for being a good driver from a previous employer
Drivers have around the same hourly rates as au pairs do, but since their total hours are often less, they turn out to be quite less expensive than having an au pair

Register to find a driver >


Primary specialties:
– Caring for and supervising children
– Likely to be very good at caring for young children and babies
– May sometimes be willing to additionally perform certain domestic-type duties such as cooking and laundry
– Will often have many years of experience caring for children or working in the home environment
– Will often have a child-related qualification
– May have a driver’s license, but is not likely to have her own car
– Likelihood of being able to cook: high
Rates for nannies are often quite a bit cheaper than those for au pairs. The main difference between an au pair and a nanny is that a nanny’s duties typically don’t include driving.

Register to find a nanny >

So there you have it! Think about what your needs are decide what is the best type of helper for you and your family.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If so, please leave us a comment. 🙂