There are several different types of home based childcare and families often confuse the terms and are not sure what they offer and how one differs to another.

Choosing your  home based childcare and finding what works best for you and your family .

Nanny – a qualified and experienced child carer who will either live in with the family or visit daily as needed to provide childcare for the children within the family .  Not all nannies are qualified but will have many years childcare experience behind them that supports their profession. Some nannies will Live In with their families if a good standard of accommodation can be offered. 

Nanny housekeeper – a nanny who is happy to provide additional support with housekeeping and some cleaning though this will vary from person to person in terms of what level of housekeeping they are willing to undertake. They also do wraparound care by getting the children up and off to school in the morning before returning to the house to do the housekeeping and make ready for the afternoon school pick- ups.

After school nanny – this type of help will be as described and is afternoons only usually starting around 2.30pm and working until 6.30 / 7.00pm providing after school care and help with tea, homework and the evening routine.

Childminder – a qualified child carer who works from her own home providing childcare for multi working families between 7.00am  and  6.30pm Monday to Friday.  She will do activities and go out and about with the children during the day, will pick up children from school in the afternoon and take them back to her house for tea and playtime before they are collected by their parents at the end of the day.

Proxy Parent- a nanny who will come and care for the children 24 hours a day while the parents are away. they will be totally responsible for everything needed within the home and the childcare.

Night Nanny - a nanny who comes in to work over night to help with a new baby or young child who is struggling to form a good sleep routine. they usually work from 7.30 pm through to 7.00am. 

 Maternity Nurse- a qualified baby specialist who will come to the family home immediately after the new arrival and will work 6 days a week and be on duty for 24 hours a day. They are there to establish a sleep and feeding routine and allow the mother time to recover from the delivery. the maternity nurse will usually only stay for a few weeks. 

Au Pair – a live in foreign language student who provides cleaning and help with childcare during the week. Ideally she should work no longer than 5 hours per day and does this in return for board and lodging and a minimal wage. This type of help will be younger and unqualified.  Usually they start with the family intending to stay around a year.

Babysitter – person familiar to the family or via an agency who comes and looks after the children while you go out for the evening. they are usually a family friend or neighbour who comes and sits with the children before they go to bed. They are usually unqualified and work on an ad hoc basis .


Linnea Tormajer. hummingbird Housekeepers and Nannies 

Different types of home based childcare and what works best for you and your family
Kerry Barnham
Posted by
Kerry Barnham on 22nd Nov, 2016