sure your child is safe, well cared for and happy is one of
the biggest concerns of any parent. It can be very stressful
leaving your child in someone else’s care and this is
an extremely important decision you will have to make. There
are no legal requirements on a person applying to work as a
child carer (please visit
www.ofsted.gov.uk), so it is up to you, as parent and employer, to
ensure that you are employing a person who will look after your
Please be aware that nannies talk NET salaries (usually weekly
rate), not gross. You are responsible for paying Income Tax
and NI contributions on top of that (find out exactly how much
it will cost you at
Types of childcare
Nannies are usually qualified and experienced in looking after
children of any age and should provide plenty of fun and learning
opportunities in the safe environment of your own home. A nanny
would take sole charge of your children in your absence.
The nanny is expected to be responsible for all aspects of a
child’s life, including having a knowledge of First Aid. This
also includes organising the child’s meals, clothes, laundry,
bathing, cleaning the nursery and stimulating the child’s
mind and imagination. She does not usually do other housework.
A nanny earns up to £400/week net pay and can work up to 12 hours a day and usually has two days off per week,
as well as 28 days/year paid holiday (which can include bank
and extra hours are by prior arrangement and paid extra.
Live-in nannies live with the family they are working for, who
provide them with food and a private bedroom in addition to
their salary of £200-£300/week net pay.
Daily/ part time nannies come to the family home each day
and can earn £65-£90/day net pay working part time, or
£6.50 to £9.00/hour.
Nanny-share is an arrangement where two families (or more) share
the employment of a nanny or the nanny can bring her own child
to work with her.
Nanny/housekeeper or PA is a nanny who combines childcare with general
household duties or secretarial/admin work.
Mother’s helps are unlikely to have formal childcare qualifications
but may be experienced. They usually work alongside the parent
helping with childcare and general household work. It can be
a way for the parent who may be at home during the day, to be
able to come and go without worrying about leaving the children
for short periods of time. They can earn £200- £300/week
NNEB Nursery Nurse Examination Board Certificate (2 years college
course & exams)
CACHE Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education
(2 years college course & exams)
BTEC - Business and Technical Education Council Nursery
NAMCW National Association for Maternal & Child Welfare
Nursery Nursing Diploma
NVQ in Early Years Care and Education, level 2 or 3.
Maternity nurses are trained and experienced nannies who can
take care of new babies for up to three months after the birth.
They are on call 24hrs a day and will usually work 6 days/week,
employed on a short term basis. A good maternity nurse can provide
physical and emotional support during the first few exhausting
weeks following the birth of a new baby.
Au pairs are usually single young women (occasionally men) from
a number of European countries. They come to the UK to study
English, live with a family and help out in the home for a maximum
of five hours a day. In exchange, they must have two days off
and be provided with a weekly allowance (around £50+),
meals and their own room. Au pairs are not registered or usually
trained to work with children so are generally considered inappropriate
to care for a young baby, but can be a good option when it comes
to providing affordable after-school care.
Interviewing a Candidate
Your first point of contact with a potential carer is by phone.
At this stage, have a short list of questions to ask such
as name, address, telephone, experience, details of last job
and reasons for leaving it. If you then feel that she may
not be the right person for you don’t waste your time
and hers by interviewing her.
If you do decide to proceed, arrange the interview or arrange
to call back once you’ve drawn up a short list. Bear
in mind that you should offer to pay travel expenses and allow
about an hour for each interview.
The face to face interview is your opportunity to find everything
out about the candidate. Also, to see if she has the personality,
intelligence and social skills to suggest that you and your
children could get on well with her. And most importantly,
to see if her job expectations match your job requirements.
You should be very clear about what you want or expect and
about what you are offering. Discuss hours of work, pay, duties,
notice, discipline, sick pay, holidays, car use etc.
If in doubt ask the candidate for a second interview, especially
if she didn’t get to meet the children for long the
first time round. Watch how your children respond to her,
it is a good sign if she pays more attention to them that
Be thorough and if you have any doubts trust your instincts
and do not employ the candidate. Once you have seen all your
candidates and made a decision, please act reasonably quickly
as good nannies are in great demand.
Employees have a legal right to be given a written statement,
setting out the main particulars of their job within a month
of starting work and to be provided with a wage slip. It can
be really helpful and will avoid later disputes to provide
your carer with a written contract of employment so that you
are both clear about what to expect from each other.
A specimen contract is available from Coralis Childcare Agency for a fee of £10.
As an employer you should also ensure that you have employer’s
indemnity insurance in case of any accidents. Also, update
your car insurance if the carer is going to use your car.
As an agency we remain in close contact with both the parent
and the child carer for a few weeks after a suitable candidate
has been employed.
Most problems would arise in those first few weeks and we
are here to guide you through them so that the relationship between
you and your employee can be a long and happy one!
If at any
point, long after the child carer has started work, you need
advice on anything from pay rises to maternity leave, please
call us and we would be delighted to be of assistance.
Coralis Childcare Agency Ltd is registered
in England and Wales,
Company Number 6455643.