Childcare and Home Help Options

Heavenly has a wide choice of different Candidates, covering both childcare and home help. See below for a little guidance about each, to help you decide which is best for your family & your circumstances.

Please note, this is an overview only. For a comprehensive insight into each category of candidate, you will need to see our full web pages. You can access these in the tabs above or via the links in each category.

5 smiley young children on grass at a festival

Au Pairs – Childcare

The Basics (be sure to read full guidance here):

  • 18-20 years old
  • For 6 months to 1 year
  • 30 hours per week
  • Live in
  • Pocket money of £80-100 per week, plus food and accommodation and £20 monthly towards language classes.
  • Inexperienced young people on a cultural exchange

What is an Au Pair?

An Au Pair is a young person, most commonly aged 18-20, who lives with a family in another country for 6 months to 1 year. The Au Pair Programme has existed for a few decades and is a Cultural Exchange scheme based around childcare. This means that an Au Pair lives as part of a family, as a family member (not employee). It may help you to think of it as a high school exchange with childcare included.

The family benefits because the Au Pair is live-in and flexible. She/he will help with childcare (minimum 80% of their duties) and around the home as a family member would for up to 30 hours per week. These hours include any babysitting you may need.

The Au Pair benefits from the exciting experience of living in a foreign country, learning the language and the culture of that country, and is also provided with pocket money of usually £80-£100 per week. Additionally, all of our Au Pairs love spending time with children!

An au pair is taking part in a cultural exchange called the Au Pair Programme. This is a programme recognised globally (see IAPA – International Au Pair Assoc.) and is defined by strict rules. See the  BAPAA – British Au Pair Agencies’ Assoc. for rules governing the au pair programme in the UK. Many countries offer visas for au pairs, however in the UK, the candidate will need to be from the EU or a country with a Youth Mobility Visa scheme.

What’s the difference between an Au Pair & a Nanny?

An Au Pair is always foreign, is usually under 25 yrs old (90% are aged 18-20), is learning English, and has some basic experience with children. This experience often comes from their own families or neighbours, and Au Pairs will not have childcare qualifications. They live with you as a family member would and come to the UK as part of a ‘cultural exchange’, swapping childcare and help around the home, for free accommodation, meals, and some pocket money. They are not employees and are seen to be ‘on par’ with the family.

Au pairs are not usually seeking a career in childcare although sometimes the candidates might plan to become a teacher. See here for more information on Au Pairs.

Nanny – Childcare

The Basics (full guidance available here):

  • £300+ gross per week – £10-15 gross per hour minimum.
  • Short or long term contracts
  • Part time or full time
  • Live in or live out – if live in, food and accommodation is paid for by the family
  • Experienced candidates, often with relevant qualifications.
  • Employee – NI and tax will be due

Female nanny candidate

A Nanny is often native to the UK, a native English speaker, or has been a UK resident for some years. Nannies can live-in with the family or live out – we have a great selection of both live in Nannies and live out Nannies. A Nanny is someone who is specially trained, has childcare qualifications, or who has a significant amount of childcare experience. The most sought after nannies are those who have graduated from prestigious Norland or Chiltern College. However, many fantastic nannies may have other recognised nanny qualifications (CACHE, BTEC, NVQ, City & Guilds).

Nannies help with childcare and nursery duties but do not help generally in the home. For example, they might help with the cooking for the children, organise their rooms, and take care of their laundry. They can care for children of any age, sole charge, and work either full or part time, though most work 9 to even 12 hours per day. You will need to pay tax and NI contributions and adhere to employment law. We can give you more information on this.

Nannies are childcare professionals and depending on the job specifications, hours, their experience, and training they can earn £300+ per week. Nannies can look after babies, although for very young babies it may be better to engage a Heavenly Maternity Nurse. For full details on Nannies, their duties, pay, employer obligations etc., see our page here on Nannies.

Employing a candidate

Heavenly Au Pairs & Nannies can provide details of current Tax & NI tables to help you calculate potential total costs and we offer a complimentary comprehensive employment contract to paying clients. We will also put you in touch with a very good payroll company, which, for a low annual fee, takes care of payroll, employer insurance and pension obligations for you.

Mother’s Help – Childcare

The Basics (Mother’s Helps come under the Au Pair/Cultural Exchange programme):

  • Aged 18-25
  • 6 months to 1 year
  • Up to 45 hours per week
  • Live in
  • Pocket money between £170-350 – NI and Tax may be due on higher amounts.
  • Slightly more than just basic experience, or happy to work longer hours than an Au Pair.

Our Mother’s Help candidates are very popular amongst our Heavenly families. Mother’s Helps are either more experienced/older than an au pair or someone who is happy to work more than 30 hours per week – or both. This makes them very valued by our families. They can work 30-45 hours per week (6-10 hours per day, with 2 days off) and earn £170 – £350 depending on hours, experience, and the position (younger or several children needs to be paid more). They can help with both childcare and around the home, however, they are comparable to Au Pairs and should not be given Nanny responsibilities. This means that the children also need to be over the age of 2 for a Mother’s Help to have sole care.

Additionally, you may need to pay NI contributions and tax, depending on the amount you offer your chosen candidate.

Childcarer in a leather jacket and beanie on with her young charge

Junior Nanny – Childcare

The Basics (Full guidance here):

  • £250+ gross per week – must meet minimum wage requirements.
  • Short or long term contracts
  • Part or Full-time
  • Live in or live out – the family provides food and accommodation with live in roles
  • Candidates will have previous experience with children or a relevant qualification.
  • Employees – Tax and NI will be due

As you can see, there are many similarities between a Nanny and Junior Nanny. A Junior Nanny is someone with more experience than a Mother’s Help but not as much as an experienced Nanny. Often they have training/qualifications and some experience, but not yet the considerable amount of experience which will make them a fully-fledged Nanny. Junior Nannies still focus on childcare, rather providing than help around the home.

Junior Nannies might work part-time or full time and live out or live in with the family. Some of Heavenly’s Junior Nannies have good childcare experience and training but are not native to the UK; many come from Australia and New Zealand. Some have trained as nannies and have the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) certificate (Australia) or the New Zealand National Nanny Certificate (NZ).

Housekeepers – In home help

The Basics (Full guidance here):

  • Help with running a home, rather than providing childcare
  • £300+ per week
  • Live in or out – Food and accommodation are included in live in roles
  • Employees – Tax and NI will be due

A housekeeper’s duty is to look after the family/household. This covers tidying, cleaning, preparing meals, running some errands such as to the dry cleaners, grocery shopping or ironing. Housekeepers may agree to assist with very occasional babysitting, but if you needed this more regularly, we would suggest looking at Nanny Housekeepers (more below!) instead. In some larger households, there is more than 1 member of staff executing the housework and the Housekeeper may delegate to and be in charge of part-time cleaners and other domestic help.

Many of our families require a housekeeper with good experience of housework and cooking. The housekeepers often come from Eastern Europe and are hard working and experienced in cleaning and cooking, sometimes they have university degrees but often their level of English restricts them from other higher earning careers. Hours vary, as most families do not require 10 hrs per day and the candidates usually live-in. They are paid £300-£500 per week, sometimes more, if the work or hours are particularly demanding, or if they are living out.

Nanny Housekeepers – Childcare and home help in one

Female candidate with a black top on and dark hair, who is happy to help with childcare

The Basics (full guidance here):

  • £350+ gross per week
  • Much the same as a Nanny, but with housekeeping duties
  • Experience within childcare and home help

Nanny housekeepers are increasing in popularity. Our Nanny Housekeepers have enough experience and skills to look after your children and your home, although they cannot focus on both at the same time. They normally fit in the household duties around the children’s nursery or naps. A nanny housekeeper is often paid more than a nanny, who traditionally only takes care of children and child-related housework (meals, washing, ironing for children). Nanny Housekeepers also tend to work more than 40 hours per week to cover both the childcare and home help aspects of their role.

Maternity Nurse – Specialised Childcare

The Basics (please get in touch for more information):

  • Normally short term (up to 3 months) and booked in advance
  • £160 per 24 hours
  • Live in or out
  • Experienced, and normally qualified candidates.
  • Employee – Tax and NI will be due.

A Maternity Nurse has special training to help with newborn babies (aged 0-3 months). They can be life-line for new mothers as they support and teach new mothers all aspects of baby care and will also have training and experience in problems such as colic, latching on difficulties, nappy rash, sleep and mastitis (for the mother).

Maternity Nurses are employed for short periods of time, 1-12 weeks, with 4-6 weeks being most common. They will work through the night and can therefore be a huge asset to a first time mother and mothers juggling older children/ toddlers. Families expecting twins or triplets will usually opt for a maternity nurse if they can afford it. Maternity nurses are not cheap, but the help and support at a crucial time make them worth it! They charge from £160 per 24 hrs. Please note, Maternity nurses only assist with childcare and do help around the home.

Elderly Companions/carer – Home Help for Elderly

The Basics (Full guidance here):

  • Live in or live out – generally live in
  • Experience from similar companionship roles
  • Help with housekeeping
  • £220+ gross per week
  • Part or full time – 25-60 hours per week
  • Employee – Tax and NI will be due

Heavenly Companions are wonderfully caring companions to the Elderly. They is not always specially trained or qualified to care for elderly people, but will often have gained experience from having looked after their own grandparents or ageing parents. They live-in and knowing that someone capable and able bodied is at hand in case of any problems, falls or other emergencies, is a comfort to the elderly person/couple and their families. In addition to this, the Home Help will assist with the housework & washing, cook simple meals, help care for pets, help with the shopping or other errands (such as driving to the doctor, or collecting dry cleaning).

Some of our Elderly Companion/ Home Help carers do have training or experience, for example in a care home or as a Companion. In these instances they will often have experience with making sure the Elderly person/s takes the correct medication on time, although they cannot administer medicines themselves. Many of our applicants also have experience dealing with dementia/ Alzheimer’s. In these instances, the Elderly Companion understands how this illness can change a person’s personality along with their eating and sleeping patterns, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that most of them are very patient, kind and giving people.

Our Companions work 25-60 hrs per week and come from countries within the EU, which means they are allowed to live and work in the UK without restriction. Get in touch for more details!

Thank you Wendl Hammond for Photo of 5 smiley children