Hiring a nanny
When it comes to childcare, there are many options that may suit your individual family needs. Here we look at hiring a nanny. How do you find a good one? What can you expect? What are the financial implications?
Why choose a nanny?
When there are childminders and nurseries, and maybe even creche facilites and family members offering you childcare, what makes hiring a nanny the right decision for you and your family?
The pros and cons of hiring a nanny
- Your child is looked after in its own home
- You don’t have to get them out the door to childcare in the morning
- One to one care
- A stability that is the closest thing to mum being at home
- Your job hours may vary enormously, and you need a very flexible employee
- One to one care cannot offer the social interaction a child will gain from a nursery environment
- You are handing over your responsibilities as mother to another person, you may have feelings of enormous guilt as well as dealing with work pressures.
What are the different types of nanny?
A full-time nanny will usually work mon-fri, generally 7am-7pm
A part-time nanny will work part time often to fit in with a mother who works part-time. Or is a nanny who nannyshares with another family so is with you on a part-time basis.
A live-in nanny will share your home (or accommodation in the same vicinity as your home) and is a nanny for whom you provide the food and pay all expenses.
A live-out nanny will live away from your home and pay their own living expenses. They usually work a 10-11 hour day.
An after-school nanny will care for the children after school, this includes school pick up, overseeing homework, feeding, and if required, bedtime.
Nanny sharing is where two families share a nanny. Good for all parties; it is more reasonable for the families and gives the nanny a greater return, plus the children have the social interaction that they may not have had otherwise.
‘Mannies’ is the term coined for male nannies; could perhaps be a great option for an all boy family that want to play football constantly?!
Night nannies will come in and do the night shift with the child/ren, giving the parents a break when the night time hours are fraught or will offer cover when both parents are away/work at night.
Maternity nurses come under their own title really, not a nanny at all. Theirs is a specific role in helping a newborn to settle in to a routine.
What can you expect if you hire a nanny?
A trained nanny is a professional. She will have in mind exactly what she will and will not do in your household. Normally, she will consider her duties to be: laundry (children only), cleaning (children’s bedrooms and playroom only), and cooking (children only). Of course there are qualified nannies who are willing to be flexible as well as au pairs and untrained nannies who offer housework plus childcare. You can expect your live-in nanny to babysit for you two nights a week at no extra cost (Mon-Thurs). Most nannies now offer weekly or fortnightly menus and some will do development profiles on your child/ren for you.
Finding the right nanny and what will it cost me?
Eden charge a finding fee which is a percentage of the nanny’s overall yearly salary. Reference and DBS checking and nanny insurance are included. Eden will handpick a number of candidates for you to interview that are pre-matched to your requirements, e.g. a dog lover or a bilingual nanny.
What training does a nanny have?
CACHE level three (Diploma in Childcare Education) is a two year training which provides a nanny who understands the development of children up to eight years and works with children and their families to promote the care and education of the child.
Some nannies, such as the prestigious Norland nannies are highly trained while others have no formal training at all but may have years of experience.
When deciding what’s best for you it may help to consider the age of your baby/child/ren. Look at what experience the nanny has and what age charges she has previously cared for. Be sure to ask about her references as well as if she has current first aid training.
Does a nanny have to be registered?
Usually families will pay the cost of their nannies becoming registered with Ofsted as they will benefit from tax relief, but it is not essential.
What does a nanny charge?
Salaries vary regionally, and are higher for live-out nannies, but at the time of going to print, daily nannies in central London have the highest average salary at £500 – £700 net per week, based on their position and experience. Their live-in counterparts earn £400 – £700 net per week. Salaries can go up to as high as £900 net per week for a daily in London. Also, some live-in nannies will do a six-day week or overnights, earning themselves more.
Net v Gross
Bear in mind that nannies generally quote a salary in the net amount. As a general guide a salary of £400 per week net will cost you approximately £600 per week gross including national insurance and a salary of £500 per week net will cost you approximately £760 per week gross including national insurance.
Is it true you have to pay your nanny’s tax and national insurance?
Yes. It is the employer’s responsibility to pay tax and national insurance. External company Nannytax.co.uk exists to help on all matters of payroll for you for an annual subscription of £270.
Do you need to take out employer’s liability insurance?
Yes. It is a legal responsibility that you have employer’s liability insurance and provide a safe work place for your nanny. You can extend your existing household insurance so that it covers you to have someone work within your home.
What about nanny insurance?
Not all nannies have insurance but some will ask their employer’s to pay it for them. The average cost is between £70-£100 per year. If a nanny is registered with Ofsted, then they are required to have it.
What should you check when hiring a nanny?
Talk to at least two former employers, and if you can, check references going back over the last five years. Ask to see a certificate if they are qualified as well as a current first aid certificate. You should also make sure that they have had a CRB and ask to see proof of this along with the childcare register paperwork if applicable. As well as a passport or work visa if they are not from the UK.
How do you draw up a contract for your nanny?
It is a wise idea to have a contract so that both parties know exactly where they stand as far as salary (and salary review), job description including hours/days, duties, time off (bank holidays), sick pay, holiday pay, allowance, disciplinary action, notice on both sides.
Can you use childcare vouchers to reduce the cost of your nanny?
To do so you must employ an Ofsted registered nanny. You also need to be employed and your employer must set up the childcare voucher scheme. For more information, go to www.nannytax.co.uk