A nanny is a female domestic servant who is employed to take care of one or more children in a family home as a caregiver. The traditional nanny was a servant in a large household and reported directly to the lady of the house. Nannies were always female and this remained the case through most of the 20th century. Like other domestic workers, she may live in with the family or may be employed on a live-out basis.

A nanny is similar to a governess, but the focus of nannies is childcare from baby age up (feeding, changing diapers, changing clothes, washing, bathing, playing, going for walks, bringing to bed) while the focus of governesses is the training and education of the child(ren) - manners, good behaviour, schooling, supervising homework etc. However the two job roles may in practice overlap to some degree.

In most homes, no nanny is employed, and so the nanny's job is fulfilled by the child's parents, often mainly the mother, sometimes with the aid of grandparents, older siblings, and today also often with the help of babysitters and kindergartens.


In the 19th and early 20th century, the position was usually known as a nurse, and was, as for many childcare jobs, invariably female. In a great house the nurse ran her own domain, a suite of rooms called the nursery, supported by at least one assistant, known as a nursemaid (or nurserymaid). Because of their role in child care, nannies were somewhat more indulged than junior servants. Nannies may have remained in the employment of the same aristocratic family for years, looking after successive generations of children. So a child's nanny may have been as young as 20 or as old as 60.

Like other domestic workers, nannies would traditionally often wear a uniform.

In France, an nanny was called bonne; in German, she was called Kindermädchen.

Related job rolesEdit


Today, the job of a nanny is sometimes also done by a male. In this case, sometimes the term mannie is used, especially in the U.S. and the U.K.


In the United Kingdom, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) defines a childminder as someone who "provide[s] care for children under eight years of age, for more than two hours each day, on domestic premises, for reward." Childminding differs from nannying in that a nanny goes to the house of the child in order to care for it; childminders look after the child in the childminder's own home. The childminder and their house are both carefully assessed by Ofsted, with an inspection taking place every three years.

Au pairEdit

A foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living in with a host family, typically an unmarried young woman, is also known as an au pair. An au pair will often do a nanny's job as well as be a general household help. The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning "on a par" or "equal to", indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant. In the best circumstances, both parties benefit from learning about the other's culture.

Nannies in adult ageplayEdit

In adult ageplay, one player may play a baby, toddler or preteen child, and the other player may play the role of the child's nanny, acting out some of the things a nanny typically does.

Spanking videosEdit

  • Au Pair punishment videos from the UK include:

Releases from the U.S. are listed below:

  • Nanny Drama (Punished Brats, 2012), a compilation of M/F punishment stories about an inept nanny.
  • Nanny Paddle (Punished Brats), from the Girl Trouble 7 compilation disc.

See alsoEdit

  This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Nanny. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.