Nannies and other home-based childcare 


Nannies are employed by families to care for children in the family home. They can live in or out of the home and may have qualifications in childcare.

Au pairs

Au pairs are usually single young women (occasionally men) from overseas. They come to the UK to study English, live with a family and help out in the home.

Au pairs rarely have childcare training and are not registered with Ofsted, so are generally considered inappropriate to care for a young baby but they can be a good option when it comes to providing affordable after-school care.


As an employer of a nanny, you must provide:

  • wages (from £132 to £400 per week) depending on hours worked, their experience, where you live and whether they live in
  • their tax and National Insurance contributions
  • holiday and sick pay
  • a mobile phone for emergencies
  • car insurance (adding them to your own policy) if you want them to drive the family car

An au pair must be provided:

  • two days off a week
  • a weekly allowance (around £50)
  • meals
  • their own room 


Nannies work according to your needs, within reason. They are paid based on hours worked.

Au pairs work for a maximum of five hours a day, five days a week.


They are not registered with Ofsted but may choose to be registered with the Ofsted Voluntary Register (OCR).

The OCR helps parents with their childcare costs through the childcare section of working tax credits if they qualify for it.

Care registered on the OCR will be inspected by Ofsted randomly or following a complaint. Ofsted will notify providers of the results of the inspection but it will not produce an inspection report.