A nanny is a professional childcarer who works in your home, caring for your child or children.

There are many advantages to employing a nanny, including:

  • your child or children can form a close, one-to-one relationship with their carer in your own home and is already comfortable in their own surroundings
  • you have a high degree of control over your child’s routine, diet, activities and play environment
  • nannies can offer more flexible hours than some other forms of childcare, including evening babysitting, looking after your child when you’re away, or even going with you on holiday
  • you and your child don’t have to travel to the childcare setting
  • your child is cared for in their own community and can easily take part in local clubs and activities
  • they can offer extra support for disabled children with tailored care, specific to the child’s needs.

Unlike childminders, nannies do not need to be registered and inspected. Many though choose to join the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register (in England) or CIW's Approval of Home Childcare Providers Scheme (in Wales).

Find out more about choosing childcare in our Finding Childcare Bundle.

Payroll and employment

Unlike registered childminders who are usually self-employed, and nursery workers who are employed by their nursery, nannies are employed by you directly to care for your children. This means that you will become their employer and be responsible for their tax and national insurance contributions, as well as their holiday, sickness, pension and any maternity pay. You will also need to have the correct types of insurance, including employer’s liability insurance. Contact your insurance company for more information.

When deciding how much to pay your nanny, you need to bear in mind:

  • their experience and training
  • how many children they will be caring for
  • the hours you want them to work
  • the area in which you live
  • whether they will live in your home
  • if they will receive “benefits in kind” such as the use of a car.

There are regulations covering the payments of benefits in kind, and employers should be aware of any special tax provision they need to make and responsibilities under minimum wage rules. There is advice for employers at

The contract

Having a properly written and signed nanny contract is vital and forms part of your responsibility as an employer. You and your nanny should spend time reading the contract together carefully before signing. Note a date on which to review the contract – usually every six to 12 months.

PACEY produces a template nanny contract designed by solicitors which you can complete with your nanny at the beginning of the arrangement.

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