Employing a nanny might be your best option if you work long hours - and have a well-paid job! Nannies either live in or come to your home each day. To find a nanny, contact a local agency, look at advertisements in The Lady magazine, or get in touch with local colleges that are running childcare courses.
It is not automatic for a nanny to have a police check run on her. If you are using an agency, check whether it arranges for police checks.
Katherine, a solicitor, returned to work full-time when her daughter Imogen was six months old. "I wanted Imogen to have the best one-to-one care and to me this meant a nanny." Katherine interviewed 20 nannies. "Beforehand, I made a list of key questions. The questions the candidates asked also told me a lot about them! I then made a shortlist of four and my husband and I interviewed them together."
Katherine and Andy chose Julie who was NNEB (National Nursery Examination Board) qualified and had over 10 years' experience. "Her views were very similar to our own and she felt just right."
• Having someone come to your house, or living-in, eases the morning rush.
• Nannies will cook for your child and do their washing and ironing.
• You can learn a lot about childcare from an experienced nanny!
• Cost - a nanny is expensive and you will have to pay tax and National Insurance on top of her salary.
• Sickness - what happens when your nanny is ill?
• Having someone living in your home can make you feel very exposed. You see her ups and downs and she sees yours!
Always check out your nanny's references and jot down a list of questions to think about before you decide.
• How much previous experience does she have? What about her qualifications?
• Does she have a driving licence? Will you be lending her your car?
• What are her views on discipline?
• Can she cook - how much does she know about children's nutritional needs?
• What about her social life - will she invite friends/boyfriends round?
Once your nanny has started working for you, communication is vital. Always make time to talk through her day with her.