Infants Guide for Expats:
Full-time, live-in nannies or au pairs are expensive in London and most parents opt to use daycare centers or seek part-time help. An invaluable resource for finding a solution that best suits you is Simply ChildCare, an online service full of adverts from parents seeking childcare and from carers (nannies, childminders, mother’s helps etc) offering childcare.
A full-time nursery care runs about £200 per week per child, while a nanny who lives out can expect up to £500 per week. You can cut costs by sharing a nanny with another family – Simply Childcare also helps find nanny shares. For more information on prices consult http://www.littledarlingsnannyagency.co.uk/salary.htm
Daycares and Nanny Resources
Bear in mind that Brits are obsessed with education, even at this level, so you will have no problem finding information once you are in London, just by talking to other parents. However, it is always better to back up word of mouth with facts. The education system is overseen by a government organisation called Osfted which inspects regularly all establishments caring for children. it is a good idea to read their reports.
There are lots of different types of nurseries – big ones, small ones, ones owned by national corporations, small independent nurseries, council-run nurseries, and nurseries that may be affiliated to local schools. Each will offer something different, and what meets your needs will depend on your family and your requirements. Your first port of call is mumsnet.
Finding a Nursery/Daycare
http://www.mumsnet.com – One can’t think mums network without thinking “Mumsnet”. This is influential website even has the reputation to win general elections for a party or another besides it is a mine of information. Moreover, Mumsnet has a local pages full of information for your chosen area.
To assess the availabilities in daycares and nurseries, which in certain areas can be really tight, your first port of call is Directgov.
http://www.daynurseries.co.uk: This is an excellent resource if you are looking for a nursery or daytime assistance. You can search over 11,500 day nurseries and find a good one close to your home.
Best Bear Childcare: http://www.bestbear.co.uk
Best Bear is a reliable way to find nannies, nurseries, au pairs, and childcare agencies in the UK.
Eden Nannies & Maternity: http://www.eden-nannies.co.uk/
Daily and live-in nannies, and maternity nurses can be found through this reputable agency. Service providers have undergone thorough background checks and the company only represents child carers with at least 3 years experience in the field. There is an £80 charge for each week booked.
Where you live will make a huge impact on which daycare or nursery you decide to use. Leap Frog, a highly-regarded option, has 77 locations throughout the UK and Whales.
Leap Frog Day Nurseries: http://www.leapfrogdaynurseries.co.uk
Leap Frog offers care for 0 – 5 year-olds and includes 129 nurseries in the UK. Nurseries are OFSTED registered. Painting, story-time, dancing, and singing are a few activities encouraged at Leap Frog. Staff ratios are 1:3 for 0 – 2 year-olds, 1:4 for 2 – 3 year-olds, and 1:8 for 3 – 5 year-olds.
As with daycares, your location will greatly influence where you spend time with your children. Listed below are very good resources for finding parent/toddler groups in your area.
- What’s on for Little Ones lets you search by area for all kinds of activities for children, including a parent/toddler group that is close to you.
- http://www.gumtree.com – Get onto Gumtree and find a private nanny or a parent and child group to meet up with on weekends.
- http://www.meetup.com – Get onto the Meetup website and find a mom and toddler group or create your own. This is a great way to meet people in London.