Finding a nanny

There are no laws to cover childcare that takes place in your own home. It is down to you to find a nanny, to check their suitability and to arrange contracts and wages. No financial help is available for hiring a nanny.


A nanny is paid by you to look after your child in your home. They can live in or come to your home for set days and hours. Some may have nursery nurse training or childcare qualifications but they do not have to.

Nannies are not inspected or registered by Social Services unless they care for children from more than two families. That means it is down to you to interview them and check their references.

Nannies can be convenient and flexible for your family and will allow you more say in your child's routine. They are especially useful if you have more than one child.

However, you are responsible for employing them and sorting out contracts. It can be hard to build a lasting relationship as there is a chance that the nanny will move on.

There is no help for costs of nannies through the Working Tax Credit.

Advertising for a nanny

There are ways to find a nanny.

You may want to place an advert in:

  • a magazine
  • your local newspaper
  • notice boards at places like primary schools
  • your local newsagents

Your advert needs to spell out the hours, duties, ages of children and the area where you live. For safety reasons, don't give the children's names or your actual address in the advert.

It should also ask those who apply to give their age, experience, qualifications, work history and a letter saying why they would like to apply for the post.

You may prefer to ask them to write to a box number at your local post office rather than giving out your telephone number. However, this may reduce the number of people who apply.

Things to check with nannies

  • references - even if an agency has already done so - contact by telephone at least two previous employers
  • that the nanny has a first aid certificate or other qualifications
  • that they are registered with Social Services if they are looking after more than two families' children
  • that the nanny understands your expectations (hours, job description, length of employment) - you should consider drawing up a contract to cover these details


As the nanny's employer, you must pay their tax and national insurance as well as wages. You must also have employer's liability insurance. The Inland Revenue can help work out the tax and divide for nanny shares.

Child safety

Making sure your child is safe, well-cared for and happy, is vital concerns for any parent. Employing a nanny is an important responsibility.

It is up to you, as parent and employer, to make sure that you are hiring a nanny who will look after your children well.

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