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Caregiver vs babysitter: what is the difference?


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  #1  
August 18th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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What do you think qualifies someone to be a primary caregiver? If a mother works full time and has a babysitter or nanny does the babysitter or nanny become the primary caregiver or is the parent ALWAYS the primary regardless of the work situation? When does it cross the line between a babysitter and a parent?

****edited because I was really looking for a debate of parent vs babysitter in terms of primary caregiver, not legalities or parent vs parent. Is a parent always the primary caregiver regardless of hours worked? Is there ever a time where a babysitter may be mixing up the roles to the detriment of the parent/child relationship?
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Last edited by frgsonmysox; August 18th, 2010 at 03:47 PM.
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  #2  
August 18th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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If a child lives with you and you financially support it then you are the primary caregiver.
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  #3  
August 18th, 2010, 02:55 PM
rose198172's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jillian* View Post
If a child lives with you and you financially support it then you are the primary caregiver.
Agree 100%.
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  #4  
August 18th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Interesting Beth =)

My definition of a primary caregiver would be the person that is there to meet the daily needs or wants of the child. This would include (but isn't limited to) feeding, bathing, taking them to school, cooking, cleaning messes, doing their laundry, playing, basically anything to do with the care of the child.

In my home, I am the primary caregiver to our daughter. DH works from 5:30am to sometimes 5:30pm in the evening. He does not participate in a lot of the duties I listed above. This doesn't mean he's not also her caregiver, but just that I am the primary person here, day in and day out as her caregiver.

If a mother worked let's say 60 hours a week and had a full-time live in nanny, I would consider the nanny the child's primary caregiver.
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  #5  
August 18th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jillian* View Post
If a child lives with you and you financially support it then you are the primary caregiver.
I agree also!





No matter how many hours a parent works, the parent/guardian is the Primary caregiver.
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  #6  
August 18th, 2010, 03:20 PM
WineKeepsMeSane's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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The legal guardian of the child. There are extreme cases I suppose where the child literally never sees their parent, in which case the live-in nanny might be the primary caregiver. However, in a normal babysitting environment, the parent is always the primary caregiver.
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  #7  
August 18th, 2010, 03:24 PM
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I guess I think primary provider and primary caregiver are two different things. I am the primary caregiver, DH is the primary (well actually only right now) provider. He's the one that makes all money, pays all the bills (I sometimes help with my savings if things get tight), so I consider him more the primary provider, not the caregiver.
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  #8  
August 18th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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I think it is a legal term. So, I agree with Jillian.
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  #9  
August 18th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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I consider both parents primary caregivers, but I guess certain documents do require you to pick one. Both DH and I work, so we are home equally with Mackenzie. I'd probably put me though, because I'm the one who gets up in the night, more likely to stay home with her when she is sick, makes the doctor's appointments, etc.
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  #10  
August 18th, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Some documents require you to choose one primary caregiver?
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  #11  
August 18th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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I've seen it on some tax forms, because that's who gets certain credits on their taxes (Canada). By default they consider the mother the primary caregiver unless it is stated otherwise.
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  #12  
August 18th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amegra View Post
I've seen it on some tax forms, because that's who gets certain credits on their taxes (Canada). By default they consider the mother the primary caregiver unless it is stated otherwise.
Ok gotcha, I guess I didn't know that, since dh does the taxes...I don't go near that stuff
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  #13  
August 18th, 2010, 03:42 PM
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this inspires a spin off already of what makes someone a parent or mom
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  #14  
August 18th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTMOM View Post
I agree also!





No matter how many hours a parent works, the parent/guardian is the Primary caregiver.
Agreed. Unless it's severe circumstances where the parent pawns the child off on someone else 24/7, then the parent/guardian is the primary caregiver. Just because a parent works and requires a nanny or babysitter doesn't mean they aren't the primary caregiver. The parent works and pays the nanny to take care of the child during the day, thus they are providing care for their child. Just because they work or have circumstances that require the use of another person to help out does not negate the fact that they are the caregiver.
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  #15  
August 18th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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In my world, the term "caregiver" means "giving care" and that can apply to a parent, family member, friend, babysitter, support person, etc.... It also doesn't necessarily mean that the person receiving care is a child. It can be a person of any age. But the "primary" person would be the one who is responsible for making all the decisions.
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  #16  
August 18th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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  #18  
August 18th, 2010, 05:59 PM
WineKeepsMeSane's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godzgrl4evr View Post
I agree with this 100%

When I had Keira, I took care of her Monday through Friday from 7 in the morning to 5 and 6 in the evening. She went home for the nighttime and weekends. Both parents worked full time. In my opinion, I cared for her. I fed her, bathed her, cleaned her clothes and messes, played with her, and cared for her. For the most part, I was the primary caregiver. Her parents were of course her parents, and I never claimed to be her mom, but most of the time, I was the primary caregiver.
But did her parents not also feed her, bathe her, clean her clothes, play with her, and care for her? Do they not provide things beyond that? Parents set the tone for their child, even at a very early age - expected behaviours, emotional support, traditions, religious teachings, etc.

When my tax form asks who is the primary caregiver, the babysitter isn't one of the boxes you can check off.
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  #19  
August 18th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amegra View Post
But did her parents not also feed her, bathe her, clean her clothes, play with her, and care for her? Do they not provide things beyond that? Parents set the tone for their child, even at a very early age - expected behaviours, emotional support, traditions, religious teachings, etc.

When my tax form asks who is the primary caregiver, the babysitter isn't one of the boxes you can check off.
I agree completely...when the parents are with the child, they are doing the same things that your job as a sitter/nanny requires.
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