Ten Things to Consider Before Employing a Nanny

Published by Matt Mason,

Ten Things to Consider Before Employing a Nanny

Before employing a nanny, there are a few things to consider to ensure you are all set up to find, secure and keep the childcare resources your family needs.

These ten pointers will help you before embarking on your nanny-finding journey.  

Finding the right nanny for your family

Be clear about the skills you need your nanny to command. 
– If it’s working with babies or toddlers, be explicit. Or you require your nanny to have SEN skills or awareness – Clarify that.
– If your nanny needs significant in-role experience, make that clear and be prepared to increase your hourly rate accordingly.
– Equally, be open about whether it’s a short-hour after-school role or a role with short hours that may offer ad hoc opportunities and additional hours.  

Regarding short-hour roles, Nanny Shares are an increasingly popular choice for families.  It’s where two families unite, and a nanny simultaneously cares for all the children. 

Header card for Nanny Shares

The key benefit to a Nanny Share arrangement is that a nanny can paid more for a short-hours role as both families are pooling their salaries – making the position more attractive.

Defining focus to your search

A nanny is a childcare professional – at various levels of training and experience, who devotes their career to the care and development of children.

There’s a temptation to add elements to your search, like housekeeping (be that full or light). But every additional demand will diminish the pool of potential nannies for your position.

So, think about your priorities – if it’s a childcare professional, keep your search focused on just that to maximise your pool of potential nannies.

Another important point of focus for live-out roles is proximity. Typically, the more local the nanny, the longer the relationship lasts – especially for short hours.

Place of work and working environment

As a domestic employer, you invite someone to make your home their place of work.   And just like any other form of employment, it must be set up adequately.

A nanny needs to have a space to care for children effectively.   They need to be able to get on with what you are asking them to do.

Increased work-from-home and flexible working practices have created tensions between some families and nannies.  Where nannies were once left alone to get on with their role, they now have to manage parents who want to collaborate across the day.  This can be highly disruptive and demotivating for nannies. 

Working in Harmony Blog banner showing a cartoon family in a home who are employing a nanny

The old proverb, ‘Why keep a dog and bark yourself’, springs to mind.   This post explores some of the things to consider in more detail.

Employing a nanny for the schedule of care you need

It would be best if you took some time to define the childcare schedule you need clearly by day and by start-finish time. 

Tip:  Roles that offer 25+ hours per week attract more interest.  Wrap-around (pre & post-school) and part-time roles typically provide a more premium hourly rate as the nanny’s opportunity to earn is diminished.

Guide to part-time nanny searches Square

This post helps explain how to package a part-time so it appeals to more nannies.

Qualifications and experience levels

The more qualified or experienced a nanny, the greater the salary they can command. 

The two primary things we encourage families to request are:

A nanny should have an enhanced DBS (or PVG in Scotland) – preferably on the update service. 
NB: Scotland run a different checking process called a PVG that follows a similar approach.

This is a criminal record check to ensure they can work with children, and it’s central to safeguarding.  

If a nanny does not have this in place, you can ask your nanny to secure one – it takes no more than ten days to complete the check.

NB: It’s not uncommon for a family to pay for this if they ask for an update.

Enhanced DBS Blog Banner square for the Special offer with Personnel Checks

We can help your nanny secure an enhanced DBS check for £59 through our partnership with Personnel Checks.

Paediatric first aid training
We think this is another no-brainer.  Again, we can help a nanny get this in place at relatively short notice through our partnership with Safe & Sound. 

Army of Nannies Childcare Partner Safe & Sound for Nanny first aid trainingnce

Even a six-hour course can ensure the basics are in place should something unforeseen happen.

Other accreditations and qualifications to consider

Childcare qualifications
Many career nannies will have childcare qualifications. 
It’s easy to do online research to help you check or identify the qualifications a nanny needs to meet your family’s needs.

NB:  If you’re looking for a specialist (e.g. A doula, maternity nurse or sleep consultant), you will likely look for specific skills, qualifications and experience.  And these will command a premium when it comes to pay.

Continual Professional Development (CPD)
See if the nanny keeps her childcare skills up-to-date by asking what courses they completed within the last 18 months. Some families may also build a training budget into the contract to support a nanny’s CPD.

Nanny Insurance
Like first aid training, this is all about planning for the unexpected.

Army of Nannies Childcare Partner Morton Michel for Nanny Insurance

Through our Partnership with Morton Michel, a nanny can quickly implement a Nanny Insurance policy before appointing your nanny.

When it comes to experience, consider the demands of the role you offer. 
If it’s an after-school role caring for older children, you may feel comfortable with a junior nanny with an eDBS and first aid in place.  In this case, your salary will likely be below the average salary in your area.

However, if it’s a full-time sole charge for baby twins, you’ll likely request significant in-role experience and perhaps childcare qualification.  And this would place the salary above the average in your area.

The rate of pay you are offering

As for identifying the average salaries in your area, when you start to search on our site, we’ll advise you of the average salary for a full-time role that you can use as a starting point.

NB:  If you search Nanny Salary Index online, you’ll find a yearly guide that shares average salary data across the country. 

We suggest families offer a gross pay range that allows you to offer a pay rate dependent on skills, experience and qualifications.

NB:  During the process, don’t get sucked into agreeing on a pay rate based on net pay.  It can expose you to additional costs dependent on the nanny’s tax code.  Keep the conversation in gross terms to avoid surprises.

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This quick quiz will help you understand your responsibilities when it comes to paying your nanny:

How to pay your nanny

The family must declare the role to HMRC if a nanny earns more than £123* a week (this changes every tax year) from one or more positions.

Even if the Nanny position is temporary, part-time or a nanny share role, domestic employers are obliged to pay Income Tax and NIC if the role results in the nanny earning more than £123 per week.

The family is responsible for setting up and operating a PAYE scheme for their nanny. The employing family make all the Income Tax and NIC deductions from the nanny’s gross earnings and then pays them to HMRC on the nanny’s behalf.

Many families use Nanny PAYE specialists to make this as effortless as possible.

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We recommend NannyPaye.  For a small monthly fee, they can manage your HMRC responsibilities.

They are the Nanny tax experts, and they provide excellent customer service.

Setting minimum requirements and expectations when employing a nanny

Early in the process, list everything you’d like your nanny to help you with.  From the school or nursery pick-ups and drop-offs to the bedtime routine and everything else in between.

Start to list them out, as it will help you create your employment contract.

When you start to talk to nannies, use this list for your initial advert and to guide conversations at the interview stage.

Contracting your nanny

For both parties, it’s wise to have a contract between you and your nanny. It gives you a point of reference should there be a dispute, the position ends, or the nanny decides to move on.

Furthermore, many nannies will not work for a family unless there is a good contract in place as it brings them (and you) protections.

The contract should set out all the aspects of the employment, and there should be an opportunity for other parties to give feedback and negotiate. And – most importantly – it should be fair.

You can do this without support (there are many templates online), or if you’re using a PAYE partner or traditional agency, you can rely on their contract.  But be prepared to adapt the contract to your family’s and nanny’s needs.

Again, we recommend NannyPaye – they have an excellent contract available and can support you to its completion for a nominal fee.

How to find your nanny

You’ve worked out what childcare you need and when you need it.  And you’ve outlined the key responsibilities of the role and the experience and pay level.

And you’re ready to start your search and begin employing a nanny.

A whole host of options are available to you, from self-driven searches to employing a premium nanny agency that can offer you a full-service solution for a fee – typically a % of the first year of salary.

This post explores the options that are open to searching families.  And it explains what we – Army of Nannies – bring as a self-service + platform.

Nanny Search blog banner Square. An image of two children on stone steps looking at a clip board

This post explores the options that are open to searching families.  And it explains what we – Army of Nannies – bring as a self-service + platform.

We sincerely hope you put us in the mix!

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However, if you’re looking for a full-service traditional agency, we have a selection of excellent agencies that we are delighted to recommend. And they have all gone through our vetting process.

Please get in touch to find out more: hello@armyofnannies.com

Other resources to help and support you when employing a nanny

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The Questions to Ask at an Interview When Employing a Nanny

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Family Checklist for Appointing a New Nanny.

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A guide to onboarding and welcoming a new nanny.

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