Your questions about nannies
We recommend you allow several weeks to find a permanent nanny or a few days or more to find a temporary nanny, depending on the expected duration. Emergency cover is different, as the process for finding and placing an emergency nanny is accelerated.
After you've shortlisted the nannies you wish to meet, and you're ready to start interviewing, it's time to set aside a day when you and most of your family members can meet the nanny. If you're using an agency, they can help you with everything from providing questions and selection criteria to handling the logistics of scheduling interviews and more. If you're not using an agency, we suggest you arrange an hour with each candidate and make sure you ask the candidate to bring any paperwork you are expecting to see.
Live-out nannies typically work 10 to 12 hours per day Monday to Friday; live-in nannies tend to work slightly longer hours up to 12 hours per day Monday to Friday, including a couple of nights babysitting. Both live-out and live-in nannies start work early in the morning through until 6 or 7 pm, or even 8 pm.
There is a minimum amount of 4 contiguous hours per day.
Nannies can work part-time or full-time. Either way, we recommend you start looking for a nanny a week or so earlier in advance as the supply for part-time nannies is usually much lower than the market demands. Most nannies prefer full-time engagements, but as long as you factor in a bit more time for your search as there are still plenty of nannies who will opt for part-time work either because the hourly rates are normally higher than for full-time positions, or because it suits the individual nanny's lifestyle.
A temporary nanny will provide professional childcare for your family on a part-time or full-time basis for as long or as short as you require. Whether you need assistance for one or more days, or weeks, or months, also years.
A live-in nanny will babysit up to twice a week, but live-out nannies don't usually babysit.
In the UK, a nanny is either or both a qualified and experienced professional whose job is to assume the responsibility of childcare for one or more children within a family environment, by living with the family or travelling to the family. Take a look at our Good Nannies Typically View Things The Same Way article here.
A nanny provides professional childcare who usually works during the day and has sole charge of a family's children throughout the day. Babysitting is what happens when parents go out for, say, a dinner in the evening and someone will sit in the family's home, probably watching television or similar, while the baby sleeps. In the UK, a babysitter is often a young girl working ad hoc for pocket money.
A junior nanny is any individual who is in training and not yet qualified to assume sole charge of children, or has little or no experience and trying to get shared or supervised childcare experience to grow and develop their skills, confidence, and expertise.
The minimum accommodation the family should provide for a live-in nanny is their bedroom and bathroom. `You'll need to be aware that when the nanny clocks-off for the day that they're no longer on duty, and the children should be discouraged from knocking on the nanny's bedroom door once their nanny has finished for the day.
You should always check references as part of the final step of the hiring process, regardless of whether someone else has taken up same checks. It's by speaking with ex-employers that allows you to decide the suitability of the nanny you're about to employ.
All nannies must hold an up-to-date Paediatric First Aid Training certificate or willing to undertake the process of completing or renewing one.
A nanny share is when two or more families partner together to hire a nanny to care for their children. We cover nanny sharing on our Childcare Options page here.
A Maternity Nurse is a professional whose job is to provide postnatal care to the baby, after being born, and to give postpartum support and care to the mother, after childbirth. A Maternity Nurse can help families with issues connected with building routines and schedules and the challenges families face during the early period after the birth of the baby. Maternity nurses can live-in or live-out and are usually booked months in advance, so it's important to book early.
How to hire a nanny and become an employer
Once a nanny has accepted an 'unconditional' job offer, they're in a legally binding contract of employment with you, their employer. As an employer, you must provide a written statement (usually in the form of a contract) that outlines the main terms of employment to your nanny within two months of their starting work for you, if their employment contract lasts at least one month.
A written statement of employment must include at least the following:
- Name of the employer and employee
- Job title
- Start date of the employment
- Remuneration and intervals when paid
- Hours of work (if flexible: maximum hours to be worked in any one week)
- Overtime requirement and method of payment (additional pay or time off in lieu)
- Holiday entitlement
- Sickness entitlement
- Pension arrangements
- Place of work
- Duration of any temporary contract or the end date of a fixed-term contract
- Length of notice on both sides to terminate the contract
- Details of discipline and grievance procedures
When you hire a nanny, you are required to:
- Register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
- Deduct Income Tax & National Insurance contributions
- Deduct employee pension contributions and pay employer contributions
- Pay HMRC any other deductions such as student loan repayments or child maintenance
- Contribute to your nanny's Pension (Employer Contribution)
- Set up and operate a Real time information (RTI) compliant Pay As You Earn (PAYE) payroll system
- Provide your nanny with regular payslips
- Keep payroll records on your nanny's behalf
- File an employer's annual tax return
All employers who employ staff under a contract of employment must see evidence (original documents) from the candidate of their right to work before employment starts and to check it and retain a copy. Assumptions should never be made about any individual’s right to work, as the employer must satisfy themself as to the right to work - irrespective of whether a third party, such as a recruitment agency or professional consultant, carries out the same check.
If you would like to be sent our free Right to Work Checklist please let us know.
If you would like to be sent our free Right to Work Checklist please let us know.
You will need to set up and operate a Real-Time Information (RTI) compliant Pay As You Earn (PAYE) payroll system to make sure you’re fulfilling your legal obligations and making payroll filings with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in real-time. We advise that you use a specialist nanny payroll company and, if you need it, we can recommend several reputable services.
In London, the typical average hourly rates for an experienced nanny range from £11 to £15 net per hour. The rate you pay depends on your family’s demands. Take a look at our Nanny Costs page for more information about how much to pay a nanny.
Yes. Like any other employee, if you’re too ill to work for a period of four days or more and aren't self-employed you will be entitled to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Details for eligibility can be found here.
Yes. From the first day of hiring someone in full-time or part-time employment or on a zero-hours contract, the statutory annual leave entitlement is 5.6 weeks'; which is commensurate to the number of working days per week and can include the 8 UK bank holidays. More about annual leave entitlement can be found here.
If you require your nanny to accompany your family to work abroad, you should agree upon the terms in the Contract of Employment. In any case, you should expect to pay for your nanny's travel, accommodation, including medical and travel insurance, and car insurance (if applicable), and provide adequate food and water for every mealtime unless you agree to alternative arrangements.
Nannies can voluntarily register on the Voluntary Childcare Register (VOCR), which has benefits for both the nanny and the families for whom they'll work. A nanny who has completed their registration will have attended Common Core Skills and Knowledge training, done an Ofsted compliant Paediatric First Aid, hold an up-to-date DBS Certificate, and own Public Liability Insurance. Parents who employ an Ofsted registered nanny may be able to get some financial assistance with their childcare costs, potentially saving up to £2k per child per year.