Nannies provide childcare in your own home. They can look after children of any age and they often work flexible hours to fit in with your working hours, which is especially important if you work long or unusual hours. Your responsibilities are to provide good working conditions, a reasonable salary, an employment contract and make simple tax and national insurance arrangements to cover yourself and your nanny.
Professional nannies are usually between the ages of 18 and 50, and may hold some advanced degree in early childhood development. At a minimum they should hold some form of childcare qualification and / or a degree of childcare experience whether it is working as a nanny in a private household or working in nurseries or schools. Many of the professional nannies take care of the family’s laundry, and carry out any cleaning or tiding up which is related to the child. Most will even cook for the children. Unlike child minders however, nannies are not generally registered and their work is not inspected as they work at your home.
Hiring and employing a nanny for your child is an important decision as the person you choose will be in charge for the hours you are away from your child so it is important that they are up to the job. For the majority of the time they will be in sole charge of your child. Whilst this will provide direct one-to one attention for your child, it is also important that as your child gets older, he or she gets the much needed social interaction from being around other children.
It is becoming increasingly popular for parents to “nanny-share”, thereby sharing the costs and administrative hassle of employing a nanny. However, before embarking on a nanny share there are some serious issues to consider, such as where the nanny will work and whether the hours will be divided equally. Please refer to our page on nanny shares.
If you have the space, you will also have to make the decision of hiring a live in nanny or a day nanny, this of course will depend on the hours that you would need a nanny and the type of work you do. If you frequently have a change in the hours you work or work odd hours then having a live in nanny could work out better.
If possible, hire a nanny who is Ofsted registered. You may have to pay for their registration but an Ofsted registration is another degree of comfort in your search for the ideal nanny. Please refer to our page on Nannies and Ofsted.
Three of the most important things to look for when hiring a nanny are patience, experience and training and you should interview candidates as thoroughly as possible before choosing one. Ultimately you have to feel confident that whichever candidate you choose is the best person, aside from you, to look after your children. Please click on the following link for a list of possible interview questions.