Questions and Answers

  • Can we choose our au-pair or nanny?
    Yes. Some organizations select a candidate for you. Totalnannies.com enables you to make this important decision for yourself.
  • Is there an adequate supply of applicants?
    Prospective candidates are recruited all year round by our central offices and our correspondents located worldwide so there is a continuous flow of applications. The availability of applicants may vary during the year depending on possible requirements from the host family (driver's license, experience, knowledge of a particular language, mother tongue etc). We try however to satisfy the host family's placement dates as accurately as possible.
  • We are concerned about the emotional impact on our children of changing candidate each year. Is it possible to extend a candidate's length of stay?
    If a Host Family wishes to extend a candidate's length of stay and the candidate wishes to do so also it is possible to extend the agreement. We have had some candidates who have stayed 2, 3 and even 4 years in the same family they were so happy there.
  • We are a single parent family. Are we eligible for the program?
    Yes, assuming that you agree to the conditions of the program. Single parents - whether female or male heads of households-may participate in the program.
  • We have a child with special needs. Would our family qualify for one of your candidates?
    You should indicate your family's needs in detail on your application or in a separate letter. Include an outline of specific responsibilities the child carer would fulfill in this special situation. Placement for such situations may be more challenging as there are a limited number of applicants qualified to care for children with special needs. Please note however that sometimes we do get candidates who have completed training courses and are specialized in the caring for children with special needs.
  • What do you mean by time off with pay for the candidate?
    The au-pair or nanny is entitled to 4 weeks off with pay during a 12 month stay. Shorter stays are calculated pro-rata. The host family pays the regular salary agreed at the beginning of the placement for each of those weeks. The candidate can take these weeks at the end of the stay, or at a mutually agreed time during the stay (for instance two weeks at Christmas and another two weeks at another convenient time during the year).
  • What are the usual lengths of stays that can be requested?
    Length of stays are usually either 6 months or 1 year. Different lengths can be arranged on request.  We can also arrange shorter stays from minimum 1 month to maximum 4 months. Please refer to our Short Term Application Form for the costs of short term placements.


  • What are the different types of candidates you can supply and what difference is there in their conditions and salary?
We are able to offer 4 types of candidates as follows:

AU-PAIR: An au-pair is usually a young student (18-20 years old). The motivation for going to a foreign country is usually to learn the language, therefore the possibility to attend language classes should be given. An au-pair is required to work a maximum of 6 hours per day for a maximum of 6 days a week. Duties include helping to look after the children and helping with light housework. Au-pairs are also available to baby-sit, whilst the children are asleep for a maximum of 2 evenings per week. This evening babysitting is not considered work and is therefore excluded from the 6 hours per day. The minimum salary is £135.00 per week. An au-pair's child care experience is usually limited to babysitting. Please note that au-pairs are not suitable to care for children under 2 years old.

MOTHER'S HELP: A mother's help is usually a more mature candidate with more experience in child care even though there are younger, less experienced mother's helps. Duties include child care and heavier household chores. A mother's help works for a maximum of 10 hours per day for 5 1/2 days per week. They can also be expected to baby-sit in the evening if the parents have to go out for children who are asleep for a maximum of 5 nights per week. The salary ranges from £200.00 per week to £310.00 per week depending on age and experience.

NANNY: A Nanny is a professional individual who does this job as a profession. A nanny is very experienced, specialized in looking after children aged 0-6. A nanny has a Child Care Diploma (NNEB or equivalent) and has completed a child care course (usually lasting 2 years). As part of the theoretical part of this course studies include child development, child psychology, pediatrics, nutrition, how to prepare a balanced diet, development through playing, toilet training etc. As part of the practical part of the course candidates go and work in maternity and pediatric wards of hospitals, day nurseries, primary schools, nursery schools, schools for children with special needs and private families. A nanny works for a maximum of 10 hours per day for 5 1/2 days per week. They can be asked to get up at night for a new born baby but in that case more free time must be given during the day to catch up. They can be asked to baby-sit for the children in the evening whilst they are asleep for a maximum of 5 evenings per week. The salary can vary from a minimum of £350.00 per week+. Duties include everything to do with the children. Only housework connected with the children. We can also provide candidates on a rota basis
GOVERNESS: A Governess is a qualified Teacher that takes care of all the educational needs of school children. Her duties can range from homework support to preparation of English examinations, entrance examinations to British schools and British or America Universities. Salary starts from £350.00+ per week.
  • We sometimes need more than 10 hours child care per day or have to go away for a few days on business trips. Can our au-pair or nanny help us out?
    Yes. As long as the candidate does not work more than 36 hours per week for an au-pair or 55 hours per week for a mother's help and nanny they can be asked to work longer hours in exceptional circumstances as long as extra free time is given later on to catch up.
  • We trust your screening capabilities but we would feel more comfortable talking to candidates directly on the telephone, speaking to their referees and interviewing them in person. Can this be arranged?
    Yes. Although we carry out a very thorough screening process and have many years experience in the selection of candidates we do realize that some families might prefer to enter into direct contact with candidates. Personal interviews can be arranged in the candidate's or family's country (please refer to family's application form for conditions that regulate direct contact with candidates). In this case the host family is expected to pay for candidate's travel expenses to the interview.
  • I have seen a candidate on your website I am interested in. She is from Australia. Once she has completed her stay in our family would we have to pay her return fare to Australia?
    No. We appreciate that most host families would find this to be too expensive and to make it equal for all candidates our conditions specify that all candidates receive a £ 150.00 travel contribution payment whatever their nationality or in whatever country they have been placed.
  • We are located in the Dubai. Can we participate in your program or do you only place in the UK?
    Although we are a British company we place in all countries worldwide. At the moment we have got host families in a large selection of countries including Uk, Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland and always welcome host families from new countries.