Childminders care for children in the childminder’s own home. Throughout the year, they offer this service for the full working day or for different periods during the day. Parents and childminders negotiate their own terms (hours, rates, duties, etc.).
With little regulation around private child-minding it is difficult to produce exact information regarding general rates and hours. However, through our own research and reviewing contributions to our forums, we can provide some observations below on rates:
A childminder, as opposed to a nanny or au pair, is a self-employed person over 18yrs who minds other people’s children in their own home - i.e. in the minder's home. They are generally people who mind other people’s children along with their own and enjoy the extra income made through childminding. Childminders benefit from being self-employed because they work from their own homes and are responsible for their own tax on income.
A childminder can provide many services including school-pick ups, meals, homework etc and often work on a flexible bases with the terms agreed between parents and the childminder. Paramount to these services, however, are as follows:
“The child’s welfare must be the prime consideration of the childminder. Childminders have sole responsibility at all times for the health, safety and well-being of each child entrusted to their care.” (National Childcare Strategy 2008)
Because of the many different services and variation amongst childminding and their roles, and because of lack of any legislation on minimum wage for this self-employed service, a childminder’s fee can vary. Here at Schooldays.ie we have provided an approx cost based on general assumptions **:
If you are looking to have a childminder mind your children within your home then things get more complicated. Generally, but not exclusively, when employing a childminder in your own home they are called a ‘nanny’. As opposed to a childminder, who is self-employed and works from their own home, a nanny will mind children in the parent’s home and is employed by the parents. This option sees the parents acting as an ‘employer’ whereby they must fulfill all employer obligations around taxation, minimum wage, and insurance.
A court ruling in 2016 recognised that au pairs are employees entitled to be paid a minimum wage, currently between €7.91 (if under 18 years) and €11.30 (over 20 years) per hour.
The maximum deduction a host family can make for hosting the au pair, corresponds to €23.15 per week for lodgings only and an additional €0.87 per hour worked for food. Find out more about their role.
* Only childminders caring for more than three children (other
than their own) are covered by the Child Care Act, 1991, so those
with fewer children are not covered by the Pre-School Regulations.
**Please note that all of our wage estimates above are based on the jobs we see advertised on schooldays.ie, and are only suggested as guides, the salary you choose to offer your childminder is entirely between yourself and them.