Different Types of Childcare

All too often, new parents do not know the difference between the various types of childcare, so I have put this short summary together which I hope you will find useful.

Public childcare
Settings where the children are taken to, to be looked after either part time or full time. The carer to children ratio is anywhere between 1:3 to 1:8 (so there is one adult takes care of 3 - 8 children) Most places charge you per month.

Nurseries provide childcare for children from six weeks to 5 years. Opening hours vary but an average day nursery is likely to open between 7am and 8am to accommodate working parents and close between 6pm and 7pm. This means that nursery staff will often work shifts. Most nurseries are open at least 51 weeks of the year.
London nursery prices can be expensive. In the course of the study the average hourly rate of £6.80 was determined by comparing nursery fees from 5 randomly picked nurseries from South London boroughs (Greenwich, Southwark, Lambeth, Merton and Wandsworth)

Childminders care for young children in a home-from-home childcare setting, looking after small groups of children of different ages and from different families. The opening hours vary but on average they are likely to take children from 7:00am/8:00am and close around 6:00pm. Most childminders are open at least 51 weeks of the year.

Private childcare 
Takes place in the home of the child. The carer to child ratio is 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3 depending on how many children the family has.
It is worth considering that the child carer the family employs is entitled to holidays. For example, if a child carer works 5 days a week for a family she is entitled to minimum 20 days paid holidays (and the 8 bank holidays on top on that).

Nannies are childcare professionals who work at the home of one family at a time, and are employed by a parent rather than being self-employed. Nannies form close bonds with the children they care for, looking after their daily needs and early education in the family home. On average a full time, live out nanny is employed for 50 hours a week (10 hours a day) and currently earns minimum £10net/hour.  
Nannies can either live in (with the family) or live out, work part time or full time.

Nanny Share
Nannies can also work for two families at once as part of a nanny-share arrangement. Most nanny shares currently pay minimum £12net/hour which is shared between the families.

Au Pair
An Au pair usually is a young adult from another country who helps with housework or childcare (not sole charge) in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money. They are unlikely to be classed as a worker or an employee. They aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage or paid holidays. They’re treated as a member of the family they live with and get ‘pocket money’ instead - usually about £70 to £85 a week.

Mother’s Help
A mother's help is a little different than a nanny or babysitter because she assists the family while one or both parents are still at home. Mother's help  can help with childcare, laundry, cooking, cleaning or other household chores. A mother’s help usually lives with the family and has more responsibilities than an au pair, therefore earns more.

Provides ad hoc childcare. A babysitter is self employed and the parent pays an hourly rate for the babysitter, paid at the end of the booking cash in hand. Most babysitters are childcare professionals taking on extra hours both during the day and in the evening. Babysitters charge between £8-£14/hour.