Home-based childcare

Home-based childcare is when the person employed to provide care does so in your own home. They could be a:

  • Nanny
  • Au pair
  • Babysitter

There are no legal requirements if someone wishes to work as a home childcarer, unless they choose to join the voluntary element of the childcare register with OFSTED.

Home childcarers cannot offer the early years funded hours for 2, 3 and 4 year-olds.

There are no legal requirements if someone wishes to work as a home childcarer so it is very important that if you are employing a nanny, au pair or babysitter, you are making your decision based on a thorough interview process to include an identity and reference check.

Home-based childcare costs may vary throughout the county so it is important to check this information with them.

An au pair is a single person who travels to the United Kingdom wishing to learn English and live as part of an English speaking family.  They will live in the family’s house and work an agreed number of hours a week, providing childcare and domestic support around the home.  Au pairs can be arranged by contacting agencies.

We do not hold individual details of babysitters as they are not Ofsted-registered or approved forms of childcare.

The Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents offers some considerations when choosing baby sitting, as does the NSPCC.

There is no specified number of children, although any home childcarers are only allowed to work for a maximum of two families at one time.  Should they care for more than this the law states they would then be classed as a childminder.

Any concerns or complaints you have regarding a home-based childcarer would initially be reported to Ofsted but as not all home-based care is registered you may be advised to contact the police if you feel a child is at risk.  See our information on keeping children safe in childcare.