Difference between Babysitting and Childcare

Key difference: Babysitting is a type of childcare where teenagers look after children, in exchange for some pocket-money. Childcare is the act of providing care to and supervising the child, in absence of his parents/guardians.

Babysitting is actually a kind of childcare, where teenagers take care of kids temporarily, until their parents/guardians return from work. Babysitters are generally teenagers, who’re looking to earn some easy pocket-money. The responsibilities of a babysitter include playing with the child, putting him/her to sleep, watching over the child while he/she sleeps, changing diapers, preparing meals, etc. Babysitting can be provided at the private enclosure of a child care center, or at the residential premises of the child that is to be looked after. Like caretakers at a childcare center, babysitters in some countries do receive vocational training in this subject.

Childcare is a very popular term, especially among the working parents/guardians, who need someone to look after their children when they’re out on work. Provision of childcare is a professional business, which entails many activities and policies to be carried out with utmost responsibility. The government on its part also ensures that there’s no deviousness being played out under the alibi of childcare. Childcare institutions firstly have to be legally licensed by the state, and the caretakers have to be well versed with the concepts of first aid and CPR. These are some of the pre-requisites before an institute commences childcare as a professional service.

Comparison between Childcare and Babysitting:





Babysitting is the act of a child being watched over temporarily

The act of owning responsibility and taking care of children in the absence of their parents/guardians

Place of operation

Usually at the child’s residence itself

Mostly at childcare centers


Normally, babysitters are teenagers, who perform babysitting for easy pocket-money

Nanny, babysitter, a family, or a child’s own extended family members


Babysitting is a branch of childcare.

Childcare is the broader term under which babysitting, nanny care etc. fall


Babysitting can range from a few hours to even a whole day

Childcare usually lasts all though the day

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