What is a nanny?
A nanny will provide care for your child in your own home. This means your child’s routine won’t be disrupted, and she’ll have plenty of one-to-one attention. It’s also convenient, as you will be able to set off for work without having to rush your child out of the house.
Nannies can be male or female, and range in age from 18 years to 50 years or more. You can have a live-in nanny, who will have her own space in your home, or a day nanny, who will care for your child when needed.
What does a nanny do?
A nanny’s responsibility is to meet all the needs of your child. This means making sure your child is eating balanced meals and doing plenty of activities to stimulate her development. And of course, giving your child plenty of affection. A nanny is more of a parent figure than other childcare options and your child will build a close bond with her.
You can also ask a nanny to take care of all the domestic chores related to your child. These tasks may include:
- changing your child’s bed sheets
- cleaning your child’s bedroom
- washing and ironing her clothes
- making her meals and snacks
A nanny should not be responsible for any other domestic work.
How much will a nanny cost?
A nanny is usually the most expensive form of childcare. When you hire a nanny you become an employer, and you will have to pay tax and national insurance for your employee.
The average take-home salary for a live-in nanny ranges from £283 to £380 per week, depending on where you live. You may pay more in fees for a day nanny.
You may also want to offer other benefits. Some nannies have a car to use, or perks such as private healthcare or membership of a fitness club.
What training and qualifications should a nanny have?
There are no laws requiring a nanny to hold qualifications in childcare. Many nannies do have formal childcare qualifications, but many just have plenty of experience of looking after children.
The qualifications a nanny may have can include:
- Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) diploma, ranging from level one to three.
- BTEC national certificate or diploma in children’s care, learning and development.
- NVQ in children’s care, learning and development, ranging from level one to five.
When choosing a nanny, ask to see proof of their qualifications and check the level they have gained. If you’re not sure how credible their qualifications are, contact the organisation that they studied with.
If you are choosing a nanny with no qualifications in childcare, you’ll need to go by their references and experience.
How can I find a nanny?
The first thing to do is to decide what you want from a nanny. Talk to your partner about what your ideal nanny would be like. Do you want someone older who is mature and experienced? Is a younger nanny with a qualification your top choice? Would you like a male or female nanny? Write a job description outlining their ideal skills, experience and personality.
When you’ve decided what sort of nanny you’re looking for, the next step is to find some nannies that fit your requirements. There are many ways to do this:
- Ask other parents, friends or family if they can recommend a nanny, or if they know anyone else who can.
- Put up adverts at local day nurseries, playgroups, colleges, shops and cafes, or in the local paper or school newsletters.
- Register with nanny agencies. Agencies will screen candidates and try to find people who match your needs. They also verify work experience, and should check criminal and driving records. Using an agency will mean you have to pay more, but it will save time. The quality of nanny agencies varies, so try to use one that’s recommended.
When you have some applications from nannies, draw up a shortlist and ask to interview them. Talk to as many nannies as possible to find the right person to care for your child.