A Guide to Childcare from Childcare.co.uk

Childcare.co.uk – the UK’s largest online community of parents and childcare providers – explain the different options: childminder, nanny, nursery, au pair and babysitter, including the average cost and what other people are opting for

For daytime childcare, parents generally have these options:

Childminders provide care for up to six children in the childminder’s own home. Childminders in England must be registered with Ofsted and have first aid and safe guarding qualifications. Their homes are inspected by Ofsted who grade them and publish inspection reports online. They start from as little as £3 per hour.

Nannies provide care in the parent’s own home. Generally nannies will only do childcare duties but sometimes may help out with other things such as cooking or washing for the child. Nannies are not required to be Ofsted registered but they can voluntarily register. Nannies can be full or part-time and can live-in with the family or live-out. This will cost upward of £7 per hour.

Nurseries are generally larger establishments operated by commercial organisations. They care for many children at the same time and employ staff. They also must be registered and inspected by Ofsted. The cost varies across the country, but anything from £45 a day is quite normal.

Au Pair
An au pair is usually someone from another country with no childcare qualifications. They are paid a minimal amount of money each week to help out with the children and household duties, in return for the host family providing accommodation and food. Au pairs start from around £85 per week but parents provide accommodation and food.

Provide care, usually in the evenings, in the parent’s home for a few hours whilst the parents are out. Many childminders and nannies also offer babysitting services in the evenings. Generally, babysitting rates seem to be between £6 per hour and £8 per hour but a babysitter in London or some other areas may charge as much as £11 per hour.

Generally the most popular options for daytime care are childminders and nurseries. Nannies tend to be more expensive than childminders and nurseries and so are not always cost effective for every family.

Around 40% of our parent members looking for daytime care are seeking childminders, 22.5% are seeking nannies, 25% are seeking nurseries and 12.5% are seeking au pairs.

VIsit childcare.co.uk for more information about checking your childcare provider’s reports and qualifications…