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All You Need To Know About Hiring a Nanny

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 24 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
All You Need To Know About Hiring A Nanny

Hiring a nanny may seem like a straightforward task, but there is much to consider when inviting a nanny to work within your family. Below are some basic answers to frequently asked questions about hiring a nanny.

What is a Nanny?

Nannies are professional childcare providers who work with private families in the family home. Nannies may be live in (live with the family) or live out (live away from the family home).

What do Nannies do?

First and foremost, nannies provide childcare. Usually one nanny provides care for all of the children in a household. Some nannies may also do light cooking, cleaning or run errands for the family but these services will need to be discussed in addition to childcare responsibilities.

Are Nannies Babysitters?

Nannies are not babysitters. While babysitters tend to be casual workers with no formal childcare training, nannies are professionals in this field. However, families may still need to rely on the services of babysitters when nannies have free time and are not looking after the children.

How do I Select a Nanny?

Selecting a nanny begins with interviewing candidates. Ask candidates about their education and employment history, the activities which (s)he enjoys and the tasks that (s)he will not do, and what (s)he believes makes for a good relationship with the family. You must then explain what you are looking for in a nanny, what the job will require, what you envision a typical day to be like and what working hours you will require. If you would like the nanny to travel with the family then this should also be mentioned during the interview.

If you are hiring a live in nanny, then allowing the nanny to see the house and his/her potential living area as well as explain your expectations of meal times, visitors and quite hours. When you narrow down your potential candidates, be sure to check references before making your final decision.

Are There Nanny Services to Help With Hiring a Nanny?

If advertising for and interviewing nanny candidates yourself seems tiresome, there are nanny services that can do these tasks for you. Ask around your community and investigate childcare agencies in your area and you'll soon get a feel for what type of nanny services might be available to you. These services generally vet candidates and provide you with a minimal selection from which to make your decision. Nanny schools such as Norland College and Chiltern College may also provide services for potential employers.

What do I Need to Provide for a Live in Nanny?

First and foremost, live in nannies should always be provided with a furnished, private room that has a door. If the door includes a lock then nannies should be told if the employers are keeping a copy of the key and the circumstances under which the employers would enter the room in the nanny's absence.

Nannies should also be provided with meals or the space to make their own food, time and space to do laundry and access to telephone and Internet. Any insurance that a nanny might need, such as motor insurance, travel insurance or contents cover, should also be provided by the family.

What Kind of Wages Are Nannies Paid?

Most live in nannies receive a salary though live out nannies may receive an hourly wage instead. All nanny wages must conform to national minimum wage standards, and employers should pay tax and National Insurance for the nanny as needed. Average wages depend upon the location of the nanny.

In Central London, live in nannies may average around £300 per week while nannies in other areas of London may average £280 per week and nannies in the rest of the country may average £260 per week. Live out nannies follow a similar scale of £400, £350 and £300, respectively. These estimates are based on an 8 - 12 hour work day for live in nannies and an 8 hour work day for live out nannies.

Do I Need to Provide Perks for Nannies?

There are typical perks for nannies that are not included in their pay packets. For example, having access to the employer's home and utilities are perks for which nannies do not pay. Many nannies also have access to their employer's car, transportation costs are covered by the employer, access to country clubs or social clubs are provided by the employer and nannies who travel with a family do not pay for this. Mobile phones and other communication devices are also standard nanny perks. At Christmas, most employers also give their nannies a bonus and/or gift.

Hiring a nanny need not be a hard task, though it does require careful consideration. Families considering a nanny must be clear about their expectations of and responsibilities towards nannies.

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