Employing a Nanny


At Nannies Matter, we understand that hiring a nanny can be a daunting process, particularly if you have never done it before. That is why we're here to help with our guide on how to hire a nanny. Our step-by-step process, along with a couple of extra little tips, will make the whole process as smooth as possible.

We have 20 years of experience in placing professional nannies in households requiring assistance, so we know exactly what to look for, even if you are not sure yourself. 

To speak to a member of our team about your nanny needs, call Nannies Matter today on 0800 121 4881 or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch.

Understand What You Need

Before you contact a nanny agency or publish a vacancy advert, you must first ask yourself, “What do I need?” Consider the following questions:

  • What is the nanny’s role?
  • Will they help with the children, the housekeeping, or both?
  • What times of day do you need help?
  • Do you want a live-in nanny?
  • What salary will you offer?

Having the answers to all of these questions will help to save time vetting any unsuitable candidates and will ensure that any nannies you speak with will be perfectly suited to your needs.

Contact a Nanny Agency

With a seemingly endless choice of candidates, sometimes it can be hard to find the right nanny for you.

Without the help of a professional agency, you might be unaware of the best way to find trusted childcare providers. This can result in you being more likely to settle for a candidate that is available, rather than someone who is perfect for the job.

Nannies Matter will take the time to understand your requirements. Get in touch and we will help you to determine exactly what kind of support you need and then introduce you to a handful of candidates that are best suited to your and your family's needs. All you need to do then is interview them and decide who will best fit the role.

The Interview

The style of interview you conduct should reflect your household and personality. So, if you have a laid back attitude, you can keep things informal and casual. However, if you want to maintain rules and structure, a formal interview will set the tone with the candidate.

Remember, the interview is not just a chance for you to make your decision - each prospective nanny will also be taking in their surroundings and deciding if your home is the place where they want to work, so try to make it as inviting and welcoming as possible.

Before the interview, you should prepare a checklist of the qualities that you are looking for in a nanny. Here are some examples of qualities that we think a nanny should have: 

  1. A nurturing personality
  2. Flexibility
  3. Trustworthiness
  4. Punctuality
  5. Patience
  6. Positivity
  7. Organisation
  8. Good communication

Consider involving your whole family in the interview, to see how each nanny candidate interacts with your children and get a sense of their approach.

What Qualifications Should I Look For in a Nanny?

While formal qualifications are not necessary for nannies to effectively carry out their duties, they can provide reassurance and signpost a nanny's commitment to childcare.

  • Childcare qualifications: Look for candidates with recognised childcare qualifications such as CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce, NVQ in Childcare and Education, or a BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development.
  • First aid certification: a nanny who holds a valid Paediatric First Aid Certificate is trained to handle emergencies effectively.
  • DBS check: a DBS check (or Disclosure and Barring Service check) is a legal requirement for nannies. This check will reveal any criminal records and ensure the candidate is not barred from working with children.
  • Experience and references: look for nannies with extensive hands-on experience, and seek positive references from previous employers if possible.
  • Specialist training: If your child has specific needs, such as learning difficulties or medical conditions, consider a nanny with relevant specialist training or experience.
  • Soft skills and attributes: a good nanny should possess excellent communication skills, patience, creativity, and a genuine love for working with children. During the interview process, assess these attributes to ensure they align with your family's values and expectations.

Your requirements might differ to those listed above so it is important to take the time to understand exactly what you need from a nanny before arranging any interviews.

To avoid time clouding your judgement, create a checklist and tick the qualities you believe the candidate possessed straight after each interview. This, along with your gut instinct will help you decide who to choose in the end.

Read our ‘How to interview your nanny’ guide for more details on the format of an interview and lists of questions to consider asking.

How Do I Conduct a Background Check on a Nanny?

You can request for a DBS check to be carried out by an umbrella body registered with the DBS or through a nanny agency. Alternatively, working with a specialist nannying agency like Nannies Matter means you do not have to arrange this yourself - we conduct thorough background checks on all of our candidates before they are eligible for childcare roles.

What Should Be Included in a Nanny Contract?

Once you have found the perfect nanny for you, it is time to draw up an employment contract that will detail the terms of employment for both parties. A comprehensive employment contract establishes clear expectations and responsibilities for both you and your new nanny.

Do not worry about this element of the process if you work with Nannies Matter. We will help you out with all the official documentation, meet all the legal requirements, and leave you and your family's nanny to settle into this new chapter of your lives. Here are the key elements that will be included:

  • Job description: this will cover childcare tasks, housekeeping duties related to the children, and any additional responsibilities like driving or tutoring.
  • Working hours: includes start and finish times and information on any flexibility required. This should also account for overtime expectations, and how these will be compensated.
  • Salary and payment: details the nanny’s salary, payment frequency (weekly or monthly), and method of payment. It will also include information on overtime rates, bonuses, and any other financial arrangements.
  • Holiday entitlement: the annual leave entitlement in accordance with UK law. We will specify how holiday requests should be made and any restrictions on when leave can be taken.
  • Sick leave and absence: the procedure for reporting sickness and the entitlement to sick pay, if applicable. This section will include any requirements for providing medical certificates.
  • Notice period and termination: this will specify not only the expected notice period, but any conditions under which immediate termination might occur, such as gross misconduct.
  • Confidentiality and privacy: a clause that mandates maintaining the confidentiality of the family’s personal information and respecting privacy within the home.
  • Code of conduct: expectations regarding the nanny’s behaviour, including dress code, use of mobile phones, and social media activity during working hours.
  • Health and safety: any health and safety procedures that must be followed, such as emergency contacts, fire safety, and first aid protocols.
  • Training and development: training requirements or opportunities for professional development that the employer will support.
  • Accommodation (if applicable): if the nanny is a live-in nanny, detail the living arrangements, including provisions for meals, utilities, and any house rules.

The employment contract is an essential part of the hiring process and it is vital to get it correct. At Nannies Matter, we are experts in the legal obligations of both employers and employed nannies. We will discuss your needs and expectations and draft them into a fair and beneficial contract to be shared with your new nanny.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Employing a Nanny?

Employers and employees have various rights and requirements when it comes to beginning a new role. We have outlined some of the most important of these, but the ones you will need to consider vary from case to case. We understand that this can be immediately daunting, and we will discuss these legal responsibilities in more detail when you begin the process with us.

Ask yourself the following questions and consider the processes described below to remain in compliance with the law.

  • Right to Work: does the nanny have the legal right to work in the UK?
  • Minimum wage: does the pay you are offering align with the UK's National Minimum Wage requirement?
  • Tax and National Insurance: you are responsible for deducting Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from the nanny’s salary through the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system. To do so, you will need to register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
  • Pension contributions: have you enrolled your nanny in a workplace pension scheme? This is required under the automatic enrolment rules.
  • Holiday entitlement: provide paid annual leave in accordance with the statutory minimum, which is 5.6 weeks per year for full-time employees.
  • Sick pay: is your nanny eligible for Statutory Sick Pay? Will you make sure they receive it if they take time off ill?
  • Insurance: do you hold Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover any potential claims from the nanny due to accidents or injuries sustained while working?
  • Health and safety: have you conducted a risk assessment of your home? You may need to provide training and equipment for the nanny to perform their duties safely.
  • Record keeping: keep accurate records of the nanny’s pay, tax deductions, holiday entitlement, and other employment-related information.
  • Working time regulations: comply with the Working Time Regulations, which include limits on weekly working hours and provisions for rest breaks.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about your nanny needs, call Nannies Matter today on 0800 121 4881 or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch.

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