One of the first thing we had to look into before moving to the UK, was the childcare system. As we both work full time, we had to find someone to look after our kids. We had different options: nurseries, childminders, nannies… We opted for nannies for different reasons:
- More flexibility and familiar environment for the kids.
- No extra time for drop-off and pick up everyday.
- No solutions needed every time the kids were sick.
- Baby-sitting available.
- More expensive than the other options.
- Need to find a solution if the nanny is sick (in case of a nursery).
Finding a nanny
To find a nanny, we registered in childcare.co.uk and paid a monthly subscription to be able to contact the nannies on the website while still in France. The website is also very useful to find babysitters, childminders, aupairs…
We contacted several of them by email and selected a couple for interviews before moving to the UK.
Once settled, we had the interviews. The kids were around which made it easier to see how comfortable everyone was. We asked for their certification, their ofsted registration (mandatory for the childcare vouchers and tax free childcare scheme), references and discussed for about an hour or so before choosing our nanny.
Contract and payslips
We found examples of contracts online and drafted one that we submitted to our nanny.
Being new in the UK and unfamiliar with the tax system, we decided to pay a fee to register with nannypaye and have them handle the slips, the tax, the NEST account. We have been using them for more than two years and they were pretty responsive and helpful, able to amend the slips when the contract changes and give us explanations when needed.
Childcare vouchers and Tax free childcare
To help with the childcare expenses, different schemes are in place.
We initially started using childcare vouchers as they were available through my work. I received vouchers in place of a portion of my salary. They were available on a online account that I used to wire the money to my nanny.
But in 2017, a new tax free childcare (TFC) was released and was more beneficial for my household. We quit the vouchers scheme and starting using the tax free childcare scheme instead.