A home childcarer is a person who provides care for children in the parents own home. Parents can also share a nanny with another family. Nannies and au pairs are the most common examples of home childcarers.
Home childcarers do not need to register with Ofsted but can choose to register on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.
Home childcarers can often provide quite flexible childcare, fitting in with unusual working hours, or they may even live-in. Some may also agree to do additional jobs around the house, such as cleaning or cooking.
Home childcarers are employed by the parents. In addition to paying their wage, you will also need to be responsible for their tax and National Insurance contributions, as well as things such as sick pay or holiday pay, providing them with a mobile phone for emergencies, or adding them to your car insurance to drive the family car.
Wages for home childcarers will vary depending on their experience, the number of hours they are expected to work, whether or not they live-in, and other factors.
As an employer you will also need to take out employer’s liability insurance. For your peace of mind you should also ensure that your home childcarer has public liability insurance. They may already hold this. If they do not you should discuss who will pay for this: will you as the employer pay for this, will they, or will you split the cost 50/50?
Most home childcarers will likely hold a recognised childcare qualification or nursery nurse training, but this is not compulsory. There are no legal requirements regarding people who are employed as home childcarers. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the home childcarer you employ is suitable to look after your child or children.
In order to be eligible for help with childcare costs (such as through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or through employer supported childcare vouchers) the home childcarer will need to be registered with Ofsted. For further details about the Ofsted registration process see the guide for home childcarers.
Here are some suggestions for what to look for or ask when interviewing for a home childcarer: