Childcare Options

Nanny
This is a professional childcarer who may or may not have a formal childcare qualification but will have experience of looking after children. Their primary responsibility is the everyday care and welfare of the children and nurturing them emotionally, physically and intellectually. Any domestic duties are normally related to the children, such as washing and ironing for the children, tidying the children’s rooms and preparation of healthy balanced meals. Work is normally during office hours and is unsupervised (sole charge). A nanny may live in with the family or live out.

Mothers Help
A Mothers Help is a cheaper version of a nanny because they will be newly qualified or have no qualification and little experience. Their role is to assist a parent in caring for the children and doing some domestic duties (i.e. light housework, washing and ironing, helping to prepare family meals.) The mothers help is usually supervised although may be left in charge of the children for short periods. After a few years of working as a mothers help they may “graduate” to being called a nanny.

Live in or Live out?
Live in nannies or mothers helps must have their own bedroom and at least shared use of a bathroom. It is also good to provide them with a TV and kettle for their personal use. Additional perks such as a video, their own phone line and a room for them to entertain occasionally is also desirable. A live in nanny’s working day (11 hours maximum) is generally slightly longer than a daily, they can be more flexible with their hours and they will usually offer to do a couple of nights babysitting a week. Some may agree to work at weekends, but both babysitting and weekend work must be agreed beforehand. Live in help is particularly good for those who work long hours or have irregular working hours. However, lack of privacy, higher household bills and the “dependant” factor may not suit everyone.

Daily live out nannies will tend to work an average 10 hour day and command a higher salary than live in help. Babysitting can be arranged for an additional sum. Their hours are not normally as flexible as a live in nanny but they are more established in the area and less likely to move on than live in nannies.

Nanny Share
A nanny may be shared by two, or even more families as a more cost effective method of employing a nanny. The nanny may spend alternate days with each family or look after all of the children together in one or both houses. Both families share the expenses and although the nanny will be paid more for her extra efforts, it still works out cheaper for each family. Excellent communication, consideration and honesty between all concerned is essential to maintaining a successful share.