Nanny V nursery the pros and cons

Could you cope knowing your child was in nursery all day? This is a dilemma faced by thousands of families each year. Some parents take the nursery path. Others opt for full-time nannies. It’s a tough call to make but which option is best?

We explore the merits of both choices in this latest blog from Taxing Nannies. And we suggest a useful compromise.

To begin let’s weigh up the contenders.

Nursery settings good v bad

Pros kindergarten 421623  180 Nanny V nursery the pros and cons

  • Open throughout the year
  • Stimulating environment
  • Great places to meet other parents
  • Rarely let you down


  • Germs are picked up easily
  • Busy, so your child might not get valuable one-to-one time
  • Places get snapped up quickly at popular nurseries
  • Can be expensive

On first inspection a nursery would seem to be a great solution. Simply drop your child off in the morning and they are provided with quality care through trained and qualified childcare experts.

Do your homework beforehand. This way you know the child is in a safe, stimulating setting.

Is this the ideal solution though? Nurseries can be chaotic. They’re also full of germs and your little soldier is sure to pick up plenty of bugs when they attend a childcare centre.

Plus you’ll be lucky to secure a place at popular nurseries. There’s usually a waiting list and unless you are connected to the right people the chances are it’ll hard to find your child a place.

Nanny positives and negatives

Pros son 388523  180 Nanny V nursery the pros and cons

  • Children are given personal, one-to-one care
  • Feels more child-friendly
  • Nannies can help around the house
  • You don’t have to drop your child at nursery


  • Might be unreliable
  • There’ll be days when the nanny is sick
  • Doesn’t always get along with the child

Think of a stereotypical nanny and what’s the first impression that comes into your mind? The chances are a mix of Mary Poppins, Mrs Doubtfire and Nanny Mcphee are fluttering through your head.

Nannies aren’t colourful characters from the pages of children’s books though. They’re experts in childcare, hold industry qualifications and highly skilled at looking after children. They give your child quality one-to-one time, are friendly and well-organised, a good nanny will look after your child and provide them with plenty of stimulation whilst you’re out at work.

Bad points are live-out nannies might be late every once in a while. They’ll almost certainly fall ill at some point and in some instances they simply don’t get along with the child.

Nannies and nurseries work for different families. The option you choose will depend on your personal circumstances.

If you like the idea of both options you could always drop your child at nursery in the morning and get a nanny to pick them at lunchtime.

One more word of advice…

Before you hire a nanny speak to Taxing Nannies. We’re the experts at nanny payroll services.


By law an employer must provide an employee with a “statement of terms” within 2 months of the employee’s start date. Failure to do so can result in a tribunal awarding an employee 4 weeks’ pay.

However, a statement of terms is the bare minimum required by law, and does not protect employers properly. An employment contract is preferable for both employers and employees as it allows an employer to specify an employee’s duties and responsibilities. We have come across many situations where disputes between a nanny and the employer have been difficult to resolve, in the absence of any thorough written agreement.

Employers often say that they don’t need a contract because they have a good relationship with their nanny. In our experience, even the best relationships can break down, and it is then that the contract needs to be visited. Setting out terms from the outset enables each party to know where they stand. An employee haggling about clauses in a contract of employment prior to working for you can indicate how they are likely to behave once employment has started.

We also recommend that an employer has an Employee Handbook. This can detail house rules and expand on certain clauses in the contract such as the nanny’s duties and expected behaviour. The Handbook can be easily updated as the role develops, whereas the employee’s agreement is needed to change a contract.

Tears and tantrums – coping on the first day of nursery

playschool 151938  180 Tears and tantrums – coping on the first day of nursery

Nurseries are good for social development. Say goodbye to tears and hello to happy smiles following the Taxing Nannies guide to day one at a childcare centre.

These are our top ten tips:

baby 72224  180 Tears and tantrums – coping on the first day of nursery1. Chat about nursery to your child

Get your child excited about nursery. Tell them about this wonderful new adventure. Get them excited about the prospect of making new friends and explain they’ll be having tons of fun. You could take a little walk together that passes by a nursery on a nice day. Show them other children having fun playing outside and making new friends.

2. Visit the nursery first

Take extra time to visit nurseries with your child. Make a few trips to the same nursery when you find one you like. This will help your child adjust and should calm any fears they have.

3. Talk to staff

Spend as long as you like speaking to team members. Find out all the information you can about the childcare centre. See how they interact with the children and the level of care they are going to provide.

4. Learn about the facilities

Visit a nursery and this gives you the opportunity to check out the amenities in person.

Don’t feel pressured when you peruse a nursery. This is your one chance to check the services they have to offer. Check the facilities out and this should fill you with confidence.

blue 166484  180 Tears and tantrums – coping on the first day of nursery5. Look happy

You feel tearful, you feel queasy and it feels like you are dying inside. Quash those feelings. Any signs of insecurity will quickly pass onto your child.  Be brave, be bold, hold their hand and look happy, if you seem unaffected there’s a chance your child will too.

6. Keep dress simple

The first day in nursery isn’t the time to experiment with laces, buttons or fancy fastenings. Make clothing and shoes as easy to fasten as possible. Velcro and press studs are the way forward to make life easier for your little one

7. Take a favourite teddy

On day one at nursery you want your child to feel as settled as possible. If this means they want to carry their favourite cuddly toy all the way to the nursery so be it! Teddy might just quell those tears. He’ll be the comforter your child needs to make it through the morning. 19 06 46 357  180 Tears and tantrums – coping on the first day of nursery

8. Leave in plenty of time

Rise and shine early on d-day. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the nursery and help your child to settle in. Head out of the door at the last minute and you feel stressed. Your little one will pick up on these feelings.

9. Be brave, be bold!

As much as you feel like blubbing when it’s time to leave your child you have to stay in control. Force back those tears. Stop that bottom lip trembling. Say goodbye with a kiss and cuddle and tell them you’ll be back before they know it.

10. Endorse positive behaviour

When you pick your child up from nursery tell them what a brave girl/boy they have been.  Tell them you’re proud of them and show them how big they’re been. Maybe take them for an ice cream, head to the park or promise to play their favourite game when you get home.  Support their positive behaviour and they’ll soon get into a routine.

Taxing Nannies wishes you all the best on the first day!

The hottest skills to have as a nanny

Quite rightly, you wouldn’t leave any old person in charge of your children. Nannies are vetted, you like to dig a little into their background and find out what skills and qualifications they have acquired over the years before you feel comfortable leaving them with your kids.

Most parents are looking for childcare qualifications before they hire a nanny. They also establish whether the nanny has the right personal qualities to be left in the care of their children. This is something which cannot be overlooked.

Good nannies are blessed with all the right attributes. As a parent it’s important to ascertain the skills required to be a nanny before you make a decision relating to your child’s future.

Here’s what we suggest at Taxing Nannies:

certificate 150376  180 The hottest skills to have as a nanny Ask about professional childcare qualifications

You want the best for your child so don’t be afraid to vet the nanny during an interview prior to offering them the post. This is a good time to ask about professional qualifications, hire a nanny and it’s good to know they have received training in professional childcare.

Awards to look for include a Certificate in Childcare or a Diploma in Home-based Childcare.

Query their organisational skillswoman The hottest skills to have as a nanny

Nannies should be meticulous and organised, seamlessly planning and preparing the day to make it as stimulating as possible for your child. See if they have the skills to arrange stimulating activities for your children.

Good nannies fill the day making it fun your children. They also multi-task, assist with household chores, and generally ease the pressure within the household.

Pick a well-organised nanny and they offer so much more than childcare, it feels like they become part of the family.

Do they have first aid training?

This goes without saying. Leave a nanny in charge of your children and there’s no question they should be first aid trained. first aid The hottest skills to have as a nanny

Most nannies take paediatric first aid training. This often includes:

  • The role of the first aider
  • Managing the casualty
  • Choking
  • Bleeding
  • Bone injuries
  • Poisoning (bites and stings)
  • Burns
  • Head and eye injuries
  • Resuscitation
  • Seizures
  • Spinal injuries

Can they drive?

Having a driving licence is useful too if you are thinking of hiring a nanny. If they drive they’ll be able to perform nursery and school runs, take your children to appointments and activities, so check to see if your nanny has a licence before you offer them the job.

Hire a nanny with all of these skills for total peace of mind.  For information about tax or PAYE services contact Taxing Nannies for a one stop service.

Nutrition tips for nannies on the go

Feed a child a nutritious, healthy diet and this supports them through all stages of their life. The right mix of calories and nutrients helps them to grow big and strong, too much of the wrong stuff can inhibit their development.

Nannies have a duty of care when it comes to diets. Younger children need a healthy blend of ingredients, there has to be a balance within the diet to support muscle and bone growth.

That being the case we explore the subject of nutrition in our next feature, read this post and snack on healthy products from now on.

Understanding calories

Rather shockingly obesity cases amongst children are on the rise in the UK. The right diet coupled to healthy exercise should combat this. A good starting point is to learn a little about calorie guidelines.

The following table lists the recommended calorie count for children.

Age Boys Girls
1-3 years 1,230 1,165
4-6 years 1,715 1,545
7-10 years 1,970 1,740
11-14 years 2,220 1,845

Counting calories is one thing but that’s a small part of ensuring a child is eating a healthy balanced diet.  Choosing the right food groups is equally important, monitor their calorie intake by all means but carefully select the tight type of food substances which encourage a healthy growth pattern whilst discouraging fat intake.

Good foods include:

  • Fruit and vegetables – At least five portions per day if possible, fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Meat and fish – Great sources of protein. Also contain vitamins and minerals too
  • Milk and dairy – Cheese, milk and other dairy products are a vital source of calcium, this is essential for the healthy development of growing bones
  • Bread and cereals – Packed with fibre, wholemeal breads and grains are also handy to stock up on minerals and vitamins
  • Replace this:

berliner 17811  180 150x150 Nutrition tips for nannies on the go

  • With this:

fruit 150x150 Nutrition tips for nannies on the go

Finally, take bold steps to reduce the salt intake of the children in your care. Cut salt from their diet. Sodium is found in a variety of food substances, junk food, crisps and bacon are prime examples.

Limit salt intake where you can. A rough guide is outlined below.

Maximum salt intake:

3 years and under 2g per day
4-6 years 3g per day
7-10 years 5g per day
11 years onwards 6g per day

Children rely on you to lead by example. A healthy diet is a great place to start.

Tricks to help you cope with tantrums

Got a toddler that knows how to throw a mighty tantrum?

It’s embarrassing, it’s worrying and it also upsetting when your toddler throws a paddy in public, you feel like the worst parent in the world and it feels like everyone is staring at you.

Tantrums are normally acts of frustration. They stem from nothing, they catch you unaware and you wonder how you are going to cope with this latest outburst.

Dealing with this irrational behaviour doesn’t have to drag you down though, use our tricks and regain control of your life.

1st suggestion is…

Avoid arguing

Seriously, it simply isn’t worth it. You can’t reason with a two-year old that’s screaming their lungs out and rolling around on the floor.

Know the best thing to do?

Ignore it. Don’t argue back. When your child is in full-on tantrum mode, make sure they’re safe but ignore this behaviour. Once they realise you’re not responding to their bad behaviour there’s a good chance they’ll calm down.

2nd suggestion is…

Don’t snap back

This isn’t easy. Try to remain calm as you slowly see your child erupt.  Yes they might be turning bright purple, and it might feel like your ears are about to melt, but try your best to keep your temper intact.

It doesn’t do any good to shout at your child, this just makes matters worse. Try to remain calm. Your toddler might just follow your example.

3rd suggestion is…

Don’t bribe them

This merely endorses their bad behaviour. Some parents will offer their children little incentives if they stop their errant behaviour but this simply sends out all the wrong messages.

Tantrums are naughty. Make your child aware of this and under no circumstances offer them sweets, trips to the parks or an extra five minutes of television just to prevent them throwing a paddy.

4th suggestion is…

Never back down

Stick to your guns whatever you decide. If you say to your child they can’t go into the back garden during a rain storm in their pyjamas don’t give in at the last minute.

Show any sign of weakness and your child has won. Change your mind as they are mid-tantrum and you have just surrendered, your child’s bad behaviour has won the day!

Whatever caused the tantrum, show your child you’re the boss.

It’ll be hard but remain solid and stick by your convictions.

Learning to ride a bike for the first time

Learning to ride a bike is as easy as err… riding a bike… once you’ve mastered the skill it’s something that comes naturally to you for the rest of your life.

Can you remember those tentative first steps though, learning to ride as a small child, and do you recall the exact moment when the stabilisers came off and you could ride solo on your own?

As grown-ups, it’s easy to forget how hard it is to ride a ‘big’ bike when you are little. Learning to ride a bicycle is an important skill and we’ve got the basics covered in this latest blog.

Find a safe, secure area

Without doubt, this goes without question. Try a find a safe area away from traffic (motorised and foot) to practice cycling, a flat section of grass is a good option as long as the turf isn’t too long.

Check the bicycle and get the saddle right

Are the brakes working okay on the bike? Is the chain secure, are the handlebars tight, is the bike ready to ride?

Adjust the saddle so your child can reach the floor. Make sure both feet can touch the ground comfortably. This should give a young rider extra confidence.

Move the pedals into the proper position

Spin the pedals on the bike around so the lead leg is ready to push down, in most cases this is normally the right leg.

Ask your child to push down with their lead leg as you support them at the back. Once the bike moves tell them to hold the handlebars tightly and start peddling. Keep supporting them as they try to find their balance.

Practice stopping

Tell your child to pull the brakes on gently. Get them used to stopping the bike and build up their confidence in bike control.

Keeping practicing starts

If you are happy your child is capable of stopping the bike, keep practicing the stop-start routine. Once they have done this a few times increase the distance they cover as you support them at the back, their balance should start to improve.

Take your hand away

When the confidence builds try taking your hand away and let them ride for brief moments on their own. They’ll be a bit wobbly to begin, you might have to step in to support them, but gradually and with patience, they’ll soon start to take off on their own.

Leave them to it

After a few scary moments and with a bit of determination your child will suddenly blossom, you’ll witness a ‘Eureka’ moment, they’ll take off and they’ll be riding on their own.

This is a proud time to be a parent.

They’re riding!

Job done…

Toddler parties and how to survive

Okay, so your child is growing fast, they’re just about to celebrate their 2nd birthday and you think it’ll be nice to host a toddler party.

The first thought might be to reach for the valium, how on earth do you arrange a toddler party and get through it with your sanity intact?

Fear not, we’ve handled quite a few toddler parties over the years at Taxing Nannies, we don’t just carry out payroll services for various clients, we’re also parents, and we have organised countless parties in the past.

That being the case here’s our simple but structured advice for any parent planning a toddler party, do this and keep those tantrums in check.

1. Have a select guest list

At two your child is just about old enough for a party. They might be a little clingy at first but once they get into the spirit of things there shouldn’t be anything holding them back.

A good tip is to keep the party number down to a minimum, invite too many toddlers and this can be a little overwhelming for them and a little overwhelming for you too!

Carefully select a handful of children to attend the party and have plenty of supervision, the more adults you have around the easier it will be.

2. Pick the right time of the day

Toddlers get tired quickly. When toddlers are tired they get cranky and trust us, you don’t want a room full of screaming children; this is the ultimate party killer.

Pick a good time to have the party. If your little one takes a nap mid-afternoon the chances are their friends will too, host the party at lunchtime and guests should be less irritable.

3. Don’t make the party too long

This is a classic mistake that parents of small children make. They plan a party for a couple of hours little realising most toddlers will be ready for home after an hour at the most.

Keep birthday parties short but fun-filled at such an early age.  It’s better to leave guests wanting more than sending parents home with over-tired kids, they won’t appreciate it if their little ones are ‘kicking up a storm’ simply because they are shattered.

Still planning a toddler party?

Good luck!

The perfect picnic for teddy bears

The weather is warm, the sun is shining and you’re wondering how to amuse the infants in your care, have you thought about a teddy bear picnic?

Pack a picnic, grab a rug and ask your kids to take their favourite teddies along, pack these essentials and have a little fun in the sun.

We suggest these items to keep those teddies happy.

Picnic food

Take a little troop of toddlers down to the park for a picnic and you’ll want to provide an army of food.

Little tikes get hungry, so a stash of sandwiches, biscuits, cakes and crisps are a must if you want to prevent tiny tums from rumbling.

Pop a supply of drinks cartons into your picnic hamper too. It’s thirsty work keeping teddies entertained, especially if you are running around or having a sing-a-long.

Picnic fun and games

Part of the fun of a teddy bear’s picnic is organising fun games to play in the park. This could include hide and seek, pass the parcel, an impromptu sports day or simply take the children to the play area and let them take turn on the swings.

Plan what you are going to do once you arrive at the park, think of fun games that will add to the occasion.

One thing you should do is have a little sing-a-long, fill a music player with nursery rhymes and enjoy your ‘impromptu’ outdoor concert.

Picnic decorations

A great way to make your teddy bear’s picnic extra special is to decorate the site and create a unique theme. Place rugs on the floor, use tablecloths with matching cups and paper plates, hang bunting from bushes and create your own teddy bear corner.

Try to dress the picnic area before the children arrive for maximum effect, send somebody ahead to do this to and it makes a nice surprise.

Children love picnics, especially when teddy bears are invited, get creative and have a little fun!

Getting the best out of bedtime routines

Bedtime is a battle in some households.  Try getting those tots off to sleep and it seems like mission impossible on some nights.

We hear you at Taxing Nannies, as parents, we fully understand your plight.

Bedtime isn’t the best time if you are having problems getting your children off to sleep so why not try some of these ideas?

Set a time and stick with it

Establish a routine with bedtime, pick a time and stand by your guns. If you set a 7 o’clock curfew for example, start preparing for this time half an hour before. Make this milk time, bath time and brush your teeth time, just make sure your little one is in bed at 7pm on the dot.

Avoid exciting activities

You can hardly expect your child to sleep if you are chasing them around the house whooping and laughing five minutes before bedtime.

Over excite your child just before they snuggle down for the night and it’s no wonder they won’t feel like sleeping.

Keep things cool, calm and collected. Turn the half hour before bedtime into a wind-down moment.

Read a short story

Agree to read a short story with your child just before they go to sleep. Give them the choice, let them pick the story and tell them it’s ‘snuggle down time’ once you have finished reading.

Ignore cries for an ‘encore’ otherwise you’ll end up reading extra stories and bedtime will be set back for half an hour at least.

Choose a stuffed ‘substitute’

Ask your child which teddy they want to sleep with tonight. Some children have favourite stuffed toys they like to sleep with. Others pick and choose a different teddy every night depending on the mood they are in.

Let your child pick the teddy of the night and make this part of their bedtime routine, they’ll soon settle with a stuffed ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ substitute tucked under their arm.