What does an after-school nanny do?

The ins and outs of hiring an after school nanny

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An after-school nanny usually:

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·      Picks your child up from school or nursery

·      Takes them to activities such as ballet or football, or arranges and supervises playdates

·      Makes their evening meal, whether that’s a light sandwich or a cooked supper

·      Helps with homework, reading or music practice

How many hours would you expect an after-school nanny to do?

An after-school nanny (or ‘manny’ – many people are finding that men make excellent childcarers, too!) usually works from around 3pm, until about 6 or 7pm.

If you need someone to work full days during school holidays, make sure they’re available to do this before employing them.

What’s the best way to find an after-school nanny?

There are lots of places to look, including:

·      Websites like Gumtree, which tap into a huge and flexible labour market.

·      Word of mouth – do you know anyone who has a nanny who only works in the mornings, or a mum with older children who would like just a few hours’ work a day? 

·      Students are often looking for part time work such as this, especially those studying childcare, psychology etc.

·      Nanny agencies can be useful, but you will have to pay for their services.

·      Your local nursery, gym creche or baby group – there are often experienced childcare workers who work morning shifts and may do a little moonlighting at other times.

·      An au pair is another option, but this would almost certainly be someone who lives in. 

What qualities should an after-school nanny have?

It can often feel daunting to find someone who you trust to care for your children, but I have found that if you follow your instincts, you won’t go far wrong.  In the younger age group, you may prefer someone who has childcare qualifications, but for kids from five upwards, I believe that what is most important is that they are 100% reliable, trustworthy and sensible, with a genuine interest in children.  

In fact, you often gain unexpected benefits – your nanny plays the violin or is a fantastic cook.  And of course you can always look for specific things such as a someone who is a speaker of a particular language you would like your kids to learn.   It’s fantastic when someone really connects with your children, and is willing, happy and able to do all the things with them that you don’t have time to do on a daily basis, even if that’s just kicking a football around the back garden.

Whoever you choose, it’s essential to follow up references.  UK residents may already have a CRB check, or you can arrange one.  But remember that this won’t give you any information on someone who’s recently arrived in this country.  

It’s really important to be very clear from the outset on the hours you need the nanny to work, the level of English you require, whether you need them to have a driving licence etc.

And finally, in my experience, it’s a fact of life that after-school nannies often don’t stay long – students change their timetables, youngsters from abroad decide to go back home, nannies get another job with longer hours.  If you achieve a year with the same person, you are doing well.  For this reason, I always manage my children’s expectations by explaining to them that so and so is looking after them ‘for a little while’, and as long as they understand what is going on, they seem perfectly happy with this.

Does an after-school nanny need to be registered?

An after-school nanny provides care in your own home, and so they don’t need to be registered with Ofsted.  However, they may be able to register under the voluntary scheme, which means you can use childcare vouchers to cover some of the cost. You can find out more on the Ofsted website.

What’s the approximate cost of an after-school nanny?

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The going rate is approximately £7-10 an hour. 

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