In the UK, there are many options for help with childcare. Mostly, families use nannies with relevant qualifications or au pairs, and their main duties relate to the children, preparing their meals, washing and ironing their clothes, looking after play dates and homework supervision.
"Mother's help" are unqualified nannies who work together with mothers helping them with the children and the housework. Professional childminders work at their house, look after your child in their premises that have to be inspected by Police and Social Services.
For a child under school age (under 4) one options may be to use a day nursery that provides day care for a specific period of time (there are either part time, i.e. 4 hours a day or two days a week, or full time day nurseries). They take children from around 3 months up to school age.
For children from 2 to 2.5 years old (a child has generally to be potty trained), there are "nursery schools." They follow the same calendar as schools and have sessions of 3-6 hours per day.
My Family Care
All Shell employees are entitled to a free nursery/nanny search by MyFamilyCare. Shell employees are entitled to additional services, please register on their website to receive more information.
MyFamilyCare are exceptionally professional and committed and will look in the areas of your preference to ensure that the nursery meets your specific requirements. They often even visit the nurseries before making a final recommended list and then will guide you through the selection process and registration.
As a Shell employee I am entitled to the services of My Family Care, but I was also wondering if you can recommend a nanny?
Community members are also welcome to advertise on Facebook in the Outpost London closed group. Outpost’s partner organization FOCUS may also be able to share any resources or knowledge they have. Outpost can also forward your question to the Outpost community to see if they know someone (we would need your permission and to know the area in London where you live).
However, we cannot emphasize it enough regarding childcare: Please be very cautious to trust your child to anyone without doing a thorough background check first. London is a big city and there are people who work without a permit or having entered the country illegally.
Even if you find a nice nanny via your network, we would still strongly advise to have the carer checked by MyFamilyCare for criminal records, etc. which may still be free of charge as they may wish to get the carer registered in their database.
In the UK, school is compulsory from the age of 4 (a child has to be 4 by the beginning of September the year he/she starts school) to the age of 16. Often, private schools offer nursery classes from the age of 2.
In London there are National Schools, International Schools (IB) and British Schools, both Private and State.
Check The Good Schools Guide for independent views on over 1000 UK schools: www.goodschoolsguide.com
To find family support in your area, visit www.gov.uk/find-registered-childminder.
Leisure Opportunities For Children
There are great activities for children in London. Because of the weather conditions most of the museums are centre of indoor fun for children. There are great parks, museums, sport centers, drama and dance classes, swimming clubs.
Click here to view a list of activities for children in London.
Third Culture Kids
Here is a link for a website that supports expat teens to share their experiences of living abroad.
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2017