Updated: Oct 31, 2020
It is relatively easy to complete a DIY Nanny search as parents, using free sites to advertise such as Childcare.co.uk or Care.com. Although do you really know what you are looking for?
No, this is not a hard sell post. This is to ensure your children are safeguarded as much as possible!
I am sure you wouldn’t eat in a restaurant, if you knew their Food Hygiene score was 1 and they had never cooked a meal before?
Therefore, why would you let someone with no childcare experience look after your most precious little ones with no experience, document checks or qualifications?
As an agency, checks and documents are verified prior to any information being sent to a client.
We ensure all of our registered Nannies are on the Enhanced DBS yearly government update service. Not just the paper copy of a DBS.
A DBS is similar to a CRB. CRB’s stopped circulating, as they were only valid on the day they were printed. An Enhanced DBS is advised to be on the update service and at Little Steps Nanny and Events Agency, we only register nannies who hold a DBS on the update service. This is to ensure they are clear and hold no convictions. A printed DBS without the update service is not accepted by Little Steps Nanny and Events Agency, as this is again, technically only valid on the day of printing. There is no updated evidence. Whereas with a DBS on the update service, I will check any updates prior to the nanny attending an interview.
This is basic safeguarding knowledge and forms one of our main checks.
When using a DIY service, would you know how to check a Nannies Enhanced DBS on the government update service? Do you know why we request childcare professionals hold an Enhanced DBS and not a Basic DBS? Did you know that CRB’s are no longer in circulation? Before reading this article, were you aware paper copies are not updated when a nanny convicts an offence? DIY sites do not check or verify a DBS.
Furthermore, as a Nanny Agency, we check all qualifications. We only accept original documents, not photocopies or scanned documents. We require proof of these qualifications at our original interview. We do not accept scanned documents or photocopies, because, let’s face it, we all know how good photoshop is these days! We are aware of the common qualifications in Early Years and the Childcare Sector and we also look for the genuine hallmarks.
Do you know the difference between a CACHE Level 2 or a CACHE Level 3 in Childcare and Education? Or a City and Guilds Early Years Practitioner and Early Years and Childcare? Maybe an NNEB? Or a Level 5 or 6 in Early Childhood? Or a Common Core Skills?
Furthermore, do you know how to check references? Do you know which questions you should be asking? Also, how many references should you obtain? Should you have verbal references, or should they be written?
Little Steps Nanny and Events Agency follows safer recruitment practice and only undertakes written references, directly from the previous employers of the nanny. We do not accept written references from the nanny, only direct from their employer; even if their references in their nanny portfolio are beautifully written.
If you use a DIY service to find your nanny, how can you ensure you are asking the right questions from their previous employers? Or would you accept the written ones in their nanny portfolio? How can you tell if they are genuine?
There is then the debate of Net or Gross wage. Do you know the difference?
At Little Steps Agency we support the #GoGross campaign and advertise all nanny vacancies in gross wage or salary. Do you know the average hourly rate or salary for your area?
Talking of nanny hourly rates, shall we also discuss Nanny Shares and their cost?
A Nanny Share is whereby both clients/families are required to pay the nanny the minimum wage each. It is effectively both salaries combined. It is also worth noting that each year, this is likely to rise so the nanny would require a pay review. Many families consider this option for a temporary summer holiday placement or as a permanent placement when the children are very young. It is a great way to spread the childcare costs for a nanny, but it is often not comparable to a childminder, as both roles are very different.
Seeking an OFSTED registered nanny? Can you find one? Are you looking to use the 15 or 30 free hours with your nanny? Or are you looking to use Childcare Vouchers or maybe the Tax Free Childcare Scheme?
I am afraid with an OFSTED registered nanny, you are unable to use any type of 'free hours'. You can however use the Tax Free Childcare Scheme and Childcare Vouchers. We can discuss the OFSTED registration process with you. It is worth noting there is a fee for a nanny to become an OFSTED registered nanny and we advise the client to pay this. The cost is around £105.00 and can take around 12 weeks to be processed by OFSTED (depending on the time of the year).
Lastly, amongst our other checks and childcare related questions at the interview stage with our nannies, we also offer our clients and families a lot of support. We can recommend payroll companies, provide you with interview questions, provide you with an offer letter template, help you work out annual holiday entitlement and are here to answer your questions.
If you would like further help or decide to use a Nanny Agency, and you are based in Surrey, Berkshire or Hampshire then please do get in touch with us. You can also find more information over on our website at https://www.littlestepsagency.com/useful-information
*This blog has been written by Little Steps Nanny and Events Agency and whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information included in this article is accurate at the point of release, this should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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