Types of Childcarer
A Nanny is someone experienced and/or qualified in childcare. In hiring a nanny you should feel confident that you have total trust in this person to take sole charge of your children in your absence.
Without encroaching on your parenting role and unique relationship with your child; the nanny can step in and undertake a day-to-day caring, nurturing, educational and stimulating relationship with your child.
The nanny will typically undertake full nursery duties ranging from preparing nutritional meals; sterilising and preparing bottles; changing nappies; doing school runs; supervising homework; children's laundry … in short everything you would do yourself on a daily basis for your child.
However, their role should not automatically include that of housekeeper or cleaner. Whilst you may do that yourself, your nanny is employed as a childcare professional to focus on the care of your children. The nanny has no other responsibility in the home unless agreed upon beforehand, and some employers do ask for some help with family washing and ironing for example.
Some Nannies are employed as Nanny/Mother's Helps meaning that they work in shared care roles working alongside a home based parent.
Nannies can live in or live out, coming to work on a daily basis. A nanny share is where two families share the employment of a nanny usually on certain fixed days of the week.
Nanny salaries vary significantly from one county to the other, with the general rule of thumb being that the closer to London, the higher the salary.
Should you wish to have advice on salaries in your area please contact us for further information.
Maternity nurses are usually trained and/or experienced nannies who have relevant experience with newborn babies. “Maternity Nurse” is an industry term and does not have any medical connotation, nor does the nurse have a clinical or diagnostic role.
The main focus of the Maternity Nurse's role is on the wellbeing and care of the mother and newborn. They are there to offer guidance and support and to help establish good sleeping and feeding routines. They are not expected to look after other siblings unless specifically agreed prior to the commencement of the booking.
In classic maternity bookings, the maternity nurse lives in and is on call 24 hours a day, working five or six days a week. They are usually employed on a short term basis for several weeks immediately following the birth of your new baby.
Some maternity nurses will accept nights only bookings where they can provide a much needed break to exhausted parents.
Other maternity specialists are Doulas who more typically work during the day providing help as and where needed with both the newborn and siblings. They are often prepared to lend a general helping hand to the mother at home.
The main focus of the Maternity Nurse's role is on the wellbeing and care of the mother and newborn. They are not expected to look after other siblings unless specifically agreed prior to the commencement of the booking.
Whether you are a first time mother, or are expecting your second or third baby, a good maternity nurse can supply physical and emotional support during the first few exhausting weeks following the birth. If you are breastfeeding, the nurse can bring the baby to you in the middle of the night; wind the baby following the feed; change the baby and then resettle the baby for the night. If you are bottle-feeding, the nurse can do all the night feeds for you. A good maternity nurse is empathetic and discreet and will do as much or as little as you wish her to do in helping you care for your newborn.
With new mothers, the maternity nurse can show you the ropes and provide an extension of the guidance and support you will have received from the midwives in hospital.
In joining a family with one or more siblings, the maternity nurse can help you ease the new addition into family life. They can also help with any sibling jealousy and allow you to re-establish your relationship with your other young children. This will give you the opportunity to regain your strength following pregnancy and recent childbirth and give you the opportunity to enjoy your new baby.
Maternity Nurse salaries are usually unaffected by the location of their bookings.
As a general guideline for experienced nurses, daily (24hr) rates range as follows: £200+ for singletons; and £240+ for twins. Doulas & Night Nurses usually charge around £17 - £22 per hour.
Au Pairs are not formal employees. The Au Pair Scheme is a cultural exchange for young people. They are here to immerse themselves in the British way of life and learn the language.
An Au Pair is not qualified in childcare. They usually have some babysitting experience. We do not place Au Pairs in families where they would be expected to have sole charge of an infant or a child under the age of 2 years.
Au Pairs live as part of a family, in return for which the family typically have help with the children and light housework for 5 hours per day over 5 days a week. They can work up to 30 hours a week to include any evening babysitting hours. They must have 2 days off (usually the weekend.)
Typical duties include:
- Help first thing in the morning e.g. getting children up and dressed; making their breakfast; taking them to school.
- Cleaning up after breakfast and light housework whilst children are at school e.g. hoovering, taking washing out of the washing machine; emptying the dishwasher and ironing of childrens' clothes.
- Preparing childrens tea/supper. Supervising homework. Helping with bedtime and bath routine. Cleaning of windows, skirting boards etc are not acceptable.
The Au Pair is provided with board and lodging and should always have his/her own bedroom. It is also usual to provide a radio, desk and if available, a television for their room. Weekends are usually free or they must be given two days off during the week in lieu.
They should be allowed time off to attend English classes if desired. Some families also pay or contribute towards the costs of English lessons. It is important that the Au Pair be allowed time to attend classes.
If the family requires a driver, it is important that the Au Pair be given time to practice his/her driving. Some families pay for some refresher lessons, others simply accompany the Au Pair until they are familiarised with driving on the other side of the road; learn the key routes etc.
Some families living in remote areas, without a car for the Au Pair's use, should consider help with travelling expenses.
Au Pairs are usually aged between 18 - 30 yrs and are considered by the Home Office to be a special form of student, they therefore do not require a work permit and only receive pocket money. Most Au Pairs work 25 - 30 hours a week for which we recommend they be paid a minimum of £90 pocket money (per week). Au Pairs may be asked to babysit a couple of evenings a week as part of the 30 hours.
Depending on the Au Pair's length of stay, paid holiday should be given pro rata with 4 weeks per year plus the 8 Bank Holidays being the recommendation for a 12 month period.
Most applications from Au Pairs seeking long term placements are received from May onwards to commence in September; and from October onwards to commence in January. Equally we also have many applicants who wish to start in June/July and stay for the summer months only.
An Au Pair should be treated as a member of the family, not as an employee or a servant. Communication and consideration on both sides are very important for a successful placement.