What is the Difference Between a Childminder and a Nanny?


Published on November 22, 2019

Are you trying to figure out the best type of childcare for your family? Perhaps you are planning on going back to work soon and have considered a childminder or a nanny because of the flexibility offered.  There can be a number of advantages to using a nursery.  But what is the difference between a childminder and a nanny and how do you figure out which is best for your family?


A childminders work in their own homes, usually looking after a few children from different families. Typically they are usually self-employed and are required to be Ofsted registered. Also, they should all be first aid trained and most will usually have a related childcare qualification and a DBS. Furthermore, childminders are required to have the minimum qualification including an Introduction to Childminding course certificate to care for children within the EYFS.  Because of the fact that a childminder is typically self-employed, they will set their own fees and terms and conditions. They also have a certain number of children they are allowed to look after at one time, so often they are fully booked, and it can take a while to find a good child minder who has space.

It is a good idea to visit a few childminders before making your decision. You will be able to see what their home is like and what the atmosphere is like with the other children they look after.  This provides a great opportunity to look around their house and the areas that your child will be using.

When looking for a childminder you should check these things:

  • Their fees
  • They are registered with Ofsted
  • They have qualified in an introduction to childcare
  • Their First Aid certification
  • Their DBS certificate
  • How many children they currently look after
  • Their liability insurance


A nanny usually work in the home of the children they are looking after and will normally work for just one family at a time (unless you opt for a nanny share). Remember that nannies do not have to be registered or be inspected by Ofsted.  Most nannies are typically trained and have relevant qualifications.  They do not have to have qualifications to become a nanny. There is no legal requirement for them to have a DBS.  However most families will request a DBS and look for relevant qualifications.

As well as interviewing your nanny, it is a great idea to do a trial for a day or two, or even a week. This way you can see how well they get on with your children and what their childcare style is like.

When looking for a nanny you should check these things:

  • Any qualifications they have relating to childcare
  • Their First Aid certification
  • Their DBS certificate
  • References from previous families
  • Whether they are happy to do extra things such as cooking and housekeeping

You should have an idea of what you are looking for before you start your search. What qualifications are important to you? Would it be helpful to have someone in your own home who can also do housekeeping duties? Or would you prefer your child to be around other children whilst in childcare?

Once you have made a decision and are ready to start looking,  you can find a childminder on your local Children’s Information Service (CIS).  They can provide you a list of registered childminders in your area.

If you have decided that hiring a nanny is right for you it is a great idea to use an agency. References, DBS, and qualifications are checked by an agency which gives you peace of mine.  They ensure that you only meet fully vetted nannies.

How can Polo & Tweed Help?

Polo & Tweed have a thorough vetting process – giving you peace of mind that the nannies we introduce you to have been fully vetting by us personally. If you would like to talk about your options or get some advice on hiring a nanny you can contact us here.

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