Absolute Childcare is a professional but very friendly agency! Our role is to help you secure a vacancy where you are happy!

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Absolute Childcare manage every aspect of the recruitment process on your behalf and specifically to your unique requirements.

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30 hours free childcare – What parents need to know

The government’s 30-hours funded childcare scheme came into force on 1st September 2017. For some parents it has been a godsend. For others, it’s been a mixed blessing. Here’s our guide to everything parents need to know about the 30 hours:

Am I eligible?

To be eligible, you have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Your child is either 3 or 4 years old
  • If your child turned 3 after August 31st, you’ll need to wait until 1st January 2018 to apply for the spring term.
  • You live in England
  • Both parents are working – or in a lone parent family, the sole parent is working
  • You earn the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage per week. (Put simply, that’s £120 per week if you’re 25 or over)


  • Each parent earns less than £100,000 per year

The £100,000 a year earning figure also applies if you’re self-employed or on a zero hours contract. You’ll be eligible if you expect to meet the earning criteria over the 3 months after you’ve applied.

Bear in mind that regardless of their parents’ work status and earnings, all 3 and 4-year-olds remain entitled to 15 hours per week (or 570 hours per year) of early education.

Do I get 30 hours per week all year round?

No, the offer is based on a school term schedule rather than a working parent schedule. It works out as 1140 free hours across the year – and with the full 30 hours per week, that covers only 38 weeks of the year.

You don’t need to take up the full 30 hours. If you need fewer hours per week, this will still be covered.

Some providers are choosing to deliver a `stretched offer’. This involves fewer hours per week, but stretched over more weeks of the year – say 22 hours per week over 52 weeks of the year, or 24 hours per week over 48 weeks. It’s best to discuss with your provider what would work best for you.

If I’m eligible, am I guaranteed to get my 30 hours?

This is where things get tricky. Early years providers aren’t obliged to offer the scheme, it’s voluntary.

Earlier this year, the Pre-School Learning Alliance carried out a survey of 1000 childcare providers and found that 19% of providers were NOT planning on offering the scheme.

While many childcare providers want to, many simply can’t afford to offer funded places. Both the PSLA and the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) have complained that there’s a significant shortfall in the funding offered by the Government – a loss of around 39p per child.

There have already been reports that free places in in short supply. Even more worryingly, the PSLA survey found that 49% of childcare providers felt they’d end up closing down as a result of the scheme.

Is it really free?

For a lot of eligible parents, it offers great value. But the shortfall in funding is, inevitably, having to be covered elsewhere. Consumables such as meals, nappies and wipes aren’t covered by the funding. Neither are additional activities such as outings or classes. As a result, providers are having to charge parents for essential extras that were previously provided for free.

Some parents are being asked for voluntary donations, others are being hit by higher charges for non-free hours.

Are you interested in employing a nanny? You get one-on-one care in your home, along with working hours that suit your individual requirements. Get in touch to find out more.

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    Absolute Childcare is a professional but very friendly agency! Our role is to help you secure a vacancy where you are happy!

    Find Out More


    Absolute Childcare manage every aspect of the recruitment process on your behalf and specifically to your unique requirements.

    Find Out More

    How to write an irresistible nanny CV

    Are you struggling with your nanny CV? Do you have loads of experience, but find that your CV isn’t getting any responses? You may be perfect for the role, but if your CV isn’t selling you properly then you’re missing out on the top nanny jobs.

    Here at Absolute Childcare we’ve seen some brilliant nanny CVs… and some absolute shockers. Here’s how to get noticed by the best nanny employers in the country:

    Provide a covering letter

    Why is the covering letter so important? It’s all down to first impressions. You are guaranteed to make a good one if you introduce yourself personally and outline your suitability for the specific role.Address your covering letter by name to the person receiving it.

    Here are a few rules:

    • Address your covering letter by name to the person receiving it.
    • NEVER send a generic letter. For each individual application, make a strong connection between your skills and the employer’s needs.
    • Provide an overview of relevant experience and childcare qualifications.
    • Don’t forget your location, availability and salary requirements.

    End the letter by asking for an interview, and mention what you’ll be doing to follow up the application – a phone call, for example. Now let’s move on to the CV itself…

    Get the spelling and grammar right

    Imagine you’re a busy parent – or a busy recruitment consultant. It takes about 15 seconds to decide whether to ditch a CV… or carry on reading. It’s those first impressions again.

    Unfortunately, the quickest route to CV death is via basic spelling and grammar mistakes. It might sound unfair, but that’s just the way it is.

    Most parents will expect you to provide some kind of educational support, from reading a bedtime story to assisting with the homework. If you make mistakes all over your CV they may not trust your ability to help at all.

    If in doubt, get someone to proofread it.

    Make your CV easy to read

    Nobody has time for squinting at small curly fonts.

    Use a clear sans-serif font like Arial or Calibri, no smaller than 10 point, no larger than 12 point. Only use larger point size for your name, and section headings. Put headings in bold and make sure they’re in bold throughout the CV.

    Start with the key information

    People always focus on the top half of the page first so this is where you put the key information. Start with the following:

    • Your location – Many nannies lose out on great jobs because they don’t say where they are
    • Required salary – Please tell us! We want to find you the best paid jobs
    • Driver or non-driver
    • Full-time or part time – If part-time, don’t forget to mention your availability
    • Live-in or live-out
    • Any allergies to pets

    Personal profile

    Your personal profile should be a short paragraph – 5 lines maximum – that gives an overview of experience relevant to the individual application, how long you’ve worked, qualifications, what you’re looking for and crucially, when you’re available.

    The personal profile is a great opportunity to say who you are, what you want, and your general approach to childcare. But it’s tricky with only 5 lines. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like some help.

    Your work history

    Your work experience should be listed with the most recent or current position at the top, and the oldest at the bottom. This is what we’ll need to know:

    • The age of the children
    • Shared care or sole charge
    • Your salary
    • Your duties
    • If you’re currently employed, your availability for future work

    This is your chance to stand out from the crowd. Try and think beyond `caring for children 0-2 years’. Instead, sell the benefits of expertise in a way that really resonates with parents – support with weaning, implementing routines, potty training, helping with homework, cooking healthy and appetising meals for children…

    Keep it short

    Try and avoid writing a book. A single page is ideal, but if you have extensive experience there’s nothing wrong with a 2-page CV.

    Don’t forget, the purpose of your CV is to secure an interview. You can go into more details once you’re in front of your prospective employer.


    You should generally include 3 professional references from families who’ve employed you as a nanny, or in a similar childcare role. If you’re running out of space, there’s no need to list them on your CV. It’s perfectly OK to write `References available on request’.

    Ask for professional help

    We hope this information has been useful. But if you’re still struggling, we can help craft a professional nanny CV that shows you at your best. Get in touch with Absolute Childcare on 020 8150 0017 or drop us an email.

    If you’re happy with your CV, we’d love to see it. You can upload it here.