Understanding How Much a Nanny Costs

by | Jan 19, 2021

Getting a nanny for your family is an exciting time, but there’s one area that can seem a little daunting at first – the financial responsibilities. 

Luckily, when you use Bubble to find a full-time nanny we will talk you through everything you need to know. We’ll help you understand what having a nanny entails and will also look after the admin to give you extra peace of mind.

You’re an employer now

The main thing to get your head around is that having a full-time nanny requires you to be an employer. This is a change, but it doesn’t need to be a scary one!

Being an employer means that you will need to provide payslips and a contract, both of which we will organise for you.

It also means that you’re responsible for your nanny’s national insurance and income tax. You’ll need to pay statutory benefits like sick pay and maternity/paternity pay. Again, we have a dedicated support team who can guide you through the process and explain what this will mean for you. 

Understanding net vs gross pay

This is an area where parents can easily come unstuck if they don’t have support. What you need to remember is that nannies tend to talk about their take-home rates (i.e. their ‘net rate’), but parents will pay taxes on top of that (i.e. a ‘gross rate’).

Nannies will usually talk in hourly ‘net rate’ terms, meaning the amount of money that will come into their account after other costs have been deducted. Parents, however, tend to think about monthly gross rates – meaning the total sum of money that will be going out of your account each month.

You can see why things can sometimes get confusing! But don’t worry – we are here to help.

As an example, if you were to hire a nanny who says their rate is £12 per hour and you hired them 50 hours a week, the gross rate you pay will be more like £16 per hour. The £4 difference will be going towards the nanny’s tax and national insurance. So remember:

  • Always be clear on whether rates are net or gross – realise there is a significant difference
  • Involve the experts – don’t try and do it yourself, we’ll sort this for you


To understand how this might translate into an annual salary, check out our useful guide on the average cost of hiring a nanny across different parts of the UK.

Additional costs

Also, remember that a nanny is part of your household and will be doing activities with your kids, so there are likely to be extra expenses. All these things should be discussed upfront:

  • Will you pay for your nanny’s food at work? This isn’t necessary, but depending on hours your nanny may want to eat with your kids.
  • Do you want to set a limit for what they spend with the kids? For example, providing a ‘hot chocolate budget’ or a weekly amount they can spend if they shop for food for the kids.
  • If they’re driving, do you want to limit the amount of petrol they use? 
  • Remember how expensive activities like soft play can be – are you ok with them taking the kids every week? It’s good to think about these things upfront, but you can always change your mind!


Finding a nanny: agency fees

There are a few routes to finding a nanny, but most people aren’t lucky enough to find the perfect person on their parent WhatsApp groups and have to get expert help. Some agencies will charge an upfront fee and then most charge between up to 15% of the nannies’ salary.

You won’t find a better value deal than what we offer at Bubble:

  • No upfront fee – you don’t pay anything until you’ve found a brilliant nanny
  • We charge just 10% of the nanny’s annual salary + VAT
  • We’ll also give you £250 childcare credit to use on the Bubble app for any back-up care or extra babysitting you may need (e.g. an out-of-hours sit)


Meet Sarah

Sarah hires a full-time nanny to look after her three kids

Sarah is a working mum who found an amazing nanny called Roxanne to look after her 3 kids. Her nanny has a £12 net rate and looks after the kids for 45 hours a week, including multiple drop-offs and pick-ups.

Sarah pays her nanny £2340 on the last Friday of each month. She also pays an additional £1234 each month to HMRC. 

In terms of expenses, Sarah and Roxanne have agreed on about £50/week for things like soft play, playgroups, hot chocolates, picnics and outings. 

She also paid £3216 to Bubble as a one-off finders’ fee, which was over £1000 less than she’d had to pay for a previous nanny she’d found via an agency.

Although it’s not for everyone, Sarah has found that her full-time nanny has been a huge help:

“Having a nanny is a big investment but Roxanne is pivotal to the happiness of my family – and for that, it’s worth every penny!”

Looking to start your nanny search today?

Enquire now and one of our team will be in touch

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