What's the difference between a Childminder and a Nanny?

Here we compare childminders and nannies to help you decide...

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What is a childminder?

A childminder is a self employed small business person who works from their own home with children from various different families. To register with Ofsted as a childminder they must be over 18 years of age and care for children in their own home for more than 2 hours a day for reward or payment. There are certain instances when Ofsted registration is not required, which are set out in this factsheet from Ofsted.

A childminder...

• Is self employed;

• Sets their own fees and terms and conditions;

• Writes their own documentation, including policies and procedures;

• Is registered with Ofsted in England, CSSIW in Wales and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland;

• Must have minimum qualifications including an Introduction to Childminding course certificate to care for children within the EYFS (Early Years Register). Some childminders who registered many years ago may not have formal qualifications, but they should be able to show evidence of ongoing professional development such as attending regular courses. Childminders who wish to care for older children (over 5s) on the Childcare Register must be qualified to level 2 or have prior qualifications in the Common Core;

• Must have up-to-date paediatric First Aid and safeguarding training;

• Must have an Ofsted registration certificate (in England) which covers the Early Years Register (EYFS) to care for children under the age of 5 and the Childcare Register to care for older children;

• Will normally have a CRB (now known as DBS) check - unless they were registered before these checks were introduced (October 2005) in which case Ofsted will hold a Police Check for them;

• Must remain within statutory ratios of a maximum of 6 children under the age of 8 at any one time;

• Must have valid Public Liability insurance;

• Must share information with parents about the EYFS and Childcare Registers;

• Must comply with the statutory requirements of the Early Years and Childcare Register.

What is a nanny?

A nanny is a person who is employed to care for a child in their own home. There are different types of nannies including:

• Daily / live out nanny - who comes to the family home each day;

• Doula / nurse - who lives with parents of new babies and provides support;

• Live-in nanny - who lives with the family, usually in a flat or annexe;

• Mother’s help - who comes into the family home every day and cares for the children, alongside doing some light housework;

• Nanny share - a nanny whose time is shared by and who is paid by different families and looks after the children in different houses by arrangement with the families.

A nanny...

• Is employed by one or more families to care for their child/ren;

• Cares for children in the child’s house;

• Does not necessarily have any formal qualifications. However, when parents are looking to hire a nanny childcare.co.uk recommends that they look carefully at the nanny’s commitment to ongoing professional development – have they attended courses and training?

• Should have an up-to-date paediatric First Aid qualification (within the last 3 years);

• Should have up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding procedures;

• May be registered with Ofsted but registration on the Voluntary Childcare Register but this is not a requirement. If a nanny is registered with Ofsted parents can claim Tax Credits (if eligible);

• Does not have any statutory limits on the amount of children for whom s/he can care;

• Should have insurance;

• Should have a CRB (now known as DBS) check before being left on their own with children;

• May offer extra services such as light housework and babysitting duties as well as providing day care;

• Should provide information about the types of activities children will do while with them;

• Should be able to provide references to show they have worked with and have experience of caring for young children and babies;

• Might go on holiday with the family to provide care for the children;

• Will expect holiday pay and other benefits as part of their contract.

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