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Childminder, Nanny, Au Pair...What's the difference?

(9 Posts)
Greenkit Sun 16-Mar-14 15:35:09

Question from my daughter really, she will be 18 in August and is almost at the end of her Level 2 Childcare course. In September 14 she will be going on to a Level 3 apprenticeship, which lasts 2 years, by then she will be 20. For the past 18months she has been babysitting for two couples, both have two children at the same age 2 and 4, she will do evenings and has been working all weekend with one of the couple’s children. She is using this money to pay her driving lessons.
She is really great with the children and sees it as a career choice for the long term, she would like to work overseas with a family or in the UK, but her ultimate goal is to open her own nursery.
Anyway, I wanted to gather some information for her so she knows the difference between a Childminder, Nanny and Au Pair as neither of us really know. What is the difference in pay, working hours, responsibilities, with her qualifications what would be best for her?

Any advice, tips both from families and those working as, would be great

mousmous Sun 16-Mar-14 15:46:42

childminder = self employed, looks after dc in his/her own home. might also take on older dc for before/after school care

au-pair = employed by the family. (usually) untrained live-in nanny, often doing not many hours. often very young, between school and further education.

nanny = employed by the family. often but not always trained. work, depending on the contract all the hours the family need.

sorry, can't help about wages.

busyDays Sun 16-Mar-14 16:02:30

As young daughter is quite young with not that much experience and she wants to work abroad it sounds like a job as an au pair would suit her best. After one or two au pair jobs and once she has her qualification she should have enough experience to go for a nanny job. Nannies earn a lot more than au pairs but also need to have the experience to go with it. They also tend to work much longer hours. As an au pair she would effectively be working part time so would still have plenty of free time to explore whichever new country she finds herself in.

Childminding is more suited to mums who want to stay home with their own children and who have their own house/flat to work from.

Greenkit Sun 16-Mar-14 16:20:15

Thank you for the replies smile

If it makes a difference and makes it clearer, she wont start any proper job, until she has completed her Level 3 in 2yrs time. She is however expanding her babysitting business, to gain experience.

mrswishywashy Sun 16-Mar-14 17:08:58

If she is looking at becoming a career nanny I'd recommend getting her level 3 as she is doing but also look into doing TFEL courses especially useful for overseas jobs in Russia or the ME. Keep up with first aid skills and all the regulations. Start a portfolio to include ideas and activities for all areas of development and also meal plans. Some of the high profile families expect nursery standard. She could maybe about six months before finishing her apprenticeship contact some of the London based agencies that place nannies overseas and they may allow her to sign up for junior nanny positions which would be a great start.

Au-pairing in America would also be a good opportunity for experience and she could then look into nannying in the UK after the first year or even in Europe.

For definition I believe in the UK childminders are self employed and work in their own homes; au pairs (usually minimal experience) are treated as a big sister/brother and only paid pocket money and a nanny could be qualified or well experienced.

Hopefully she is self employed for her babysitting earnings.

Greenkit Tue 18-Mar-14 15:16:56

She doesn't get much babysitting just pocket money but enough to pay her driving lessons. Does she have to register this?

Good advice re TFEL (Although I have no idea what it is) and making a portfolio

ConfusedPixie Wed 19-Mar-14 06:53:48

An aubpair is a young foreign girl who is usually untrained, very important to note!

She could try to get a mother's help job and do her qualification independently? A lot of local councils will at least part fund it but if not cists £1200 through Mnt paid in three installments. I lived in (in an au pairr role in the UK, so she can take one in the UK hut won't really be an au pair!) and did it that way (council funded) though didn't complete. By the time I came to finish it it had changed to the cypw so I just paid for it myself!

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Mar-14 09:46:41

TEFL- teaching English as a foreign language.

A year as a sort of au pair plus would give her really good experience. A traditional AP role not so much. Some agencies advertise junior nanny roles too which would be suitable.

Jiina Fri 21-Mar-14 14:52:06

With a level 3 and a couple of years experience, she could apply for jobs on cruise lines or holiday companies. Sometimes the owners of private villas will hire a nanny to live at a property full time to take care of the children of different families who hire it.

TEFL is always useful. If she really wants to work overseas, perhaps some other basic language courses (Russian, Arabic, Chinese) would be helpful for her?

Does she read any of the sector magazines, like Nursery World or Early Years Educator? (They're all available in WHSmiths) Apart from keeping her up to date on what is going on in the sector (really important right now, given the changes the government keeps making), they also have job adverts at the back, often for companies like Disney Cruise Lines, which might help her to get an understanding of her options and what they would be looking for. (Most of them are looking for something along the lines of 'L3 qualification and at least 2 years experience, or similar, so having done a 2 year apprenticeship she may well be eligible). The Lady magazine is the legendary one for nannies and mother's helps, etc (and sometimes has overseas nanny jobs advertised).

I wouldn't go for au-pairing if she has qualifications and wants to do childcare as a career, as they are meant to be in a country to learn the language and culture, with childcare and light housework as a side duty to help earn their keep.

I think it's a bit of a 'horses for courses' situation between childminders and nannies, tbh. (I'm a childminder)

Childminders work from home, so you obviously have to actually have somewhere to work from, whereas nannies work in the family's home (though the nanny might well live out somewhere else).

Nannies work the hours set out in their contract with the family, and childminders set their own hours. The hours a nanny works might be quite antisocial, especially if the family mainly want evening childcare. But then a childminder might chose to work later into the evening and even offer overnight care (like I do). But then again I usually charge more for this, because it's outside of 'normal' working hours, whereas for a nanny it would just be their regular contracted hours.

In terms of wages, childminders are self employed, so set their own fees, whereas nannies are employed by the family and will be paid whatever the family has set as the wage. It means that childminders pay their own tax though, whereas nannies are part of the PAYE scheme (useful if you don't like doing tax, because god knows it a faff)

Nannies don't have to follow the EYFS, or be registered with Ofsted (though some will, on the voluntary register), whereas childminders, on top of actually looking after the child, then have to sit down and find time to do their planning (general and for each child), fill in each child's learning journal, fill in any forms (accident, injury, medication, etc), and then find the time to do their business paperwork! That said, having done the L2 and moving on to the L3, your daughter should be well aware of all of this! wink

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