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Do people who mind children in the children's home have to be registered?

15 replies

Tricey · 11/09/2007 12:51

If someone is taking care of two children in their own home for 8-10 hours a day and 5-6 days a week, do they also need to be registered? Not speaking of an Au Pair, but a woman or man in their 30s and up, etc..

Thanks in advance.

OP posts:

goingfor3 · 11/09/2007 12:55

If you look after a child in their own home you are a nanny not a childminder.


Tricey · 11/09/2007 13:02

Thanks. Wasn't sure. Also wasn't sure if nannies had to be registered too.

OP posts:

jura · 11/09/2007 13:06

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eleusis · 11/09/2007 13:12

yep, what you describe is a nanny. No registration required. But, the parents do have the never ending joy of being employers.


Tricey · 11/09/2007 18:51

Thanks everyone.

OP posts:

nannynick · 11/09/2007 18:54

Is there any particular reason you are asking the question? For example, are you considering taking someone on to care for your children, are you concerned about care provided for a family you know etc.
Location can sometimes make a difference with things, so if you are somewhere other than in England, then please do let us know so that those of us with knowledge of this subject can check the relevant legislation.

In England, nannies are usually not registered - think the figure for registrations under the Childcare Approval Scheme was something between 5000 and 7000. That scheme is currently being replaced, by OCR (Ofsted Childcare Register) which I expect only some nannies will join. Registration of nannies currently benefits the employer of the nanny, as then the employer can use Childcare Vouchers / Tax Credits.

As a nanny myself, I am registered with the Childcare Approval Scheme plus undergoing registration under Ofsted Childcare Register. Like a childminder, I have public liability insurance plus business use insurance cover for my car.

If anyone is interested, when there is a nanny share, a quirk of English law means that if the nanny works for 3 families at the same time (i.e. works from one house but cares for children from 3 families) then they must register as a Childminder. In reality I doubt many nannies, if any, work for 3 families at the same time.


Tricey · 11/09/2007 19:08

Hi NannyNick - Really asking to know what the laws are; we are not nannies here, but are parents. : ) We were told there are roughly three different 'types' of childcare in England: au pair / mother's helpers; nannies who work specific hours, live in or out; and foreigners with visas for domestic employment who often live in and work 6 days a week. Is that correct? Did not know which laws applied to whom, etc.. Cheers.

OP posts:

nannynick · 11/09/2007 19:26

Types of Childcare in England

The following have to be Ofsted registered if running for 2+ hours:
Day Nursery
After-School Club / Breakfast Club / Holiday Playscheme (some sports ones I think are exempt)
Childminder (person caring for children at their - the minder's - home)
Pre-School / Playgroup

Relevant Legislation for the above is:
Children Act 2006 (and previous versions of The Children Act, especially The Children Act 1989)
Care Standards Act 2000

In-Home Childcare does not need to be registered, this includes:
Au-Pairs (see UKVisas INF 16 for Rules of the Scheme)
Mothers-Help, Nannies, Home-Help, Maternity Nurse, or any other job title someone may have who care's for children at the child's own home.
Household Staff (those working in the UK for a short period on a Overseas Domestic Workers visa (see INF 17)

Hope that is of some help. Is there a particular type of childcare you are thinking of using?


Tricey · 13/09/2007 13:34

A great help, Nannynick. Thank you.
Not set on any sort of help, considering Au Pair.
I had an English nanny friend who was emphasizing that there was a BIG difference between a 'proper' her words nanny and a nanny who came over from elsewhere as a domestic helper (doing all chores and babysitting/care, etc.). She felt very strongly about this. Is that the consensus here too?

OP posts:

Tricey · 13/09/2007 13:40

Hmm, maybe not an au pair! I'm seeing at the link that only nationals these countries are eligible? I have au pair connections from elsewhere and would rather not go with a complete stranger, so we'll see.

Faroe Islands
San Marino
Nationals of Romania and Bulgaria will need an accession worker card from the Border and Immigration Agency before taking up an au pair placement.

Although European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are not included in the au pair sc

OP posts:

MrsMarvel · 13/09/2007 13:45

Your local council should have a children's information service with details of local childminders and nannies.


Skribble · 13/09/2007 13:50

I think you have to consider how much sole care this person would have of the children or if they would be amusing them while you are there.

You could employ someoneas a mothers help. they work alongside you most of the time and will do both domestic and childcare duties. Perhaps some babysitting. Hours can be as few or as many as you are willing to pay for but will cost you more than an au pair on an au pair scheme.

If this person will have sole charge on a regular basis especialy for under 5's you are best to get someone with somesort of qualification or experience.


nannynick · 13/09/2007 18:21

MrsMarvel - Children's Information Service only provides details about Registered Childminders, Pre-Schools, Day Nurseries and After-School clubs. Good local authorities also provide additional information such as Toddler Groups. No local authority to my knowledge (or ChildcareLink) is able to provide listings of nannies - be they Ofsted Registered / SureStart Approved or not. Legislation changes in Sept 2008, but from my discussions with my local authority so far indicate that they do not know how the new legislation will be implemented, and ChildcareLink can't process the information from Ofsted's computer system for some DfES contractual reason!

Tricey - I agree with Skribble, the type of childcare you need will depend a lot on what is required, age of children plus time of day and location may play a part.

Mothers Help / Au-Pair (not under au-pair scheme) / unqualified nanny - can be suitable for school aged children who require a few hours after-school care. But for younger children, someone with experience of younger children plus a childcare related qualification (including First Aid) is probably best - especially if they are left with the children for periods exceeding 2 to 3 hours.

How old are your children? Do they require a lot of supervision, or do they just need an adult around to keep an eye on them should anything untoward occur?


Tricey · 14/09/2007 11:52

Thanks for that. Several friends have been meeting candidates who describe themselves as 'nannies' too but their background has been as domestic helpers' from overseas, etc.., and the term Mother's Helper seems to fit well instead. None of us could justify leaving our children home with them and going off to work full-time, not with kids under 5 or so.

Do many parents look thoroughly enough into the backgrounds of their caregivers....i.e. qualifications beyond first aid, etc.? And what kind of checks can one do if hiring someone who presents a c.v.? I imagine one would have to follow their insticts as well, but we've lived in many places where candidates pay people to pretend to be references.

As for a Mother's Helper, does anyone know the going rate for one?

Nannynick, you're extremely helpful! You'd do well with your own website.


OP posts:

nannynick · 14/09/2007 19:02

CACHE childcare qualifications can be checked - details plus general guidance on checking job applicants. I would expect that other examination boards offer a similar service to check that a certificate is valid.

A CV is only a guide, it gets someone through the door - it is at the interview that you get to see the paperwork the applicant claims to have.

References can always be tricky, don't rely totally on them. Someone working in childcare for a period of time will typically have built up a portfolio of written references (from families, nurseries, youth organisations etc) which will give you a feel for that person. Yes, it is possible that they are all made up, but your gut instincts I hope will alert you to something fishy.

When interviewing staff, I would say go with your instincts a lot. Also see how they interact with your children, as your children may indicate if they like/dislike a person. Cats can also be a good judge of character, so if you interview someone and your cat decides to lay on their lap, seriously consider hiring them (anyone else find that cats are good at judging someone character).#

Not sure about mothers help wages I'm afraid - though my feeling on mothers help's is that they work along side the mother, so provide shared care, whereas a nanny could provide sole-charge care.

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