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Experts Offer Advice on Selecting In-Home Childcare

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Nanny Karlee Roberts with her 19-month-old charge.
CARY — Agencies that place nannies say the bigdifference between nannies and au pairs is experience. Au pairs areusually exchange students who tend children in exchange for a place tolive. Nannies are trained for their work. Nannies also go throughextensive background checks, which au pairs do not, necessarily.

Whether they're playing, walking, brushing teeth or reading, nannyKarlee Roberts says the key to working with a child such as 14-month-oldLily is patience and maturity.

It wasn't her personality alone that got Roberts her current job.She had past work experience, 2 years of early childhood education andfirst aid training. She was referred to her employers by an agency whichchecks criminal records, driving records and job references.Agency Director Michael White says the checks are very thorough.

White says parents entrust their most precious resource to a nanny.Referring them is a responsibility he takes seriously.

Since nannies are paid better than au pairs, experts say families canattract a higher quality of care.

Photographer:Ed Wilson

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