The Koru Kids after school service... frequently asked questions

 

Who are your after school nannies?

Our nannies are university students, studying in London for a wide range of degrees. We interview and select friendly and responsible students, all with some form of childcare experience. We then check their backgrounds (including two verbal character references and an enhanced DBS criminal background check), and bring them into our offices for an intense training day including 6 hours of paediatric first aid. By the end of this process we know them pretty well, and we think they're fantastic.

If you’re interested in seeing a sample of our recent graduates, check out this blog.

 

Can the after school nannies look after younger children, like toddlers? 

Our after school student nannies are trained for work with school-aged children, i.e. 4 years and older.

Sorry, but we don’t normally place them to look after younger children or for nursery pickups.  This is because while the nannies are lovely and sensible university students, they’re not professional nannies, and looking after younger children requires a different set of skills.

Exceptionally, some do have childcare qualifications and/or lots of experience with toddlers, and if they do, we’re happy to place them for work with younger kids.  If you’re after this, there’s no harm in registering and seeing if we’ve got anyone available. If we do get a great student in your area who has the particular experience you need, we will contact you.  

 

What will the students do?

Of course, they will turn up on time and keep the kids safe! But they’ll do loads more than that. Firstly, the students will pick up your kids from school and take them home to your house, or to any after school activities. At the school gate, they’ll speak to the teacher, and make sure any notes are delivered.  At home, they can supervise homework, cook simple meals and snacks, and help the kids get ready for bed. They’re all looking forward to having fun with the kids, playing games and other activities and using their skills in music, art, sports etc.

You can expect the students to tidy up after themselves - although they aren’t a cleaner. If time allows it’s reasonable to ask them to do some light housework such as putting away a shopping delivery or loading/unloading the dishwasher.

If you need your nanny during school holidays and inset days, they’re very often available for full days as well. They’ve got lots of ideas for fun things to do, and they can take your kids to city farms, playgrounds, museums and whatever else is great near you.

We have an active online community where the nannies swap tips for crafts, cooking, outdoor activities and trips, so they’re always armed with new ideas.

 

How much does it cost?

The service costs £12 per hour. This covers training and DBS costs, contract preparation, nanny wages, taxes, national insurance, payroll costs, payments service, pension setup and administration if required, sick/maternity pay administration if required, ongoing support to the nannies via our online community, and our fee. The fee is per family, not per child, and there are no registration fees, finders’ fees, or any other hidden fees.   

Unfortunately, neither tax-free childcare nor childcare vouchers can be used with this service as our students are not Ofsted registered.

We also offer a nanny share service which is even cheaper. You might already know a family that you’d like to share a nanny with, so that one nanny takes both families’ kids home to one of the houses after school. If the children get on with each other and go to the same school, these ‘after school nanny shares’ work brilliantly. Shares cost each family £9 per hour, and the after school nanny is paid more to reflect the additional work of having more bosses. If you’d be open to a nanny share, let us know and we’ll prioritise you on our waiting list.

 

Are the students available in the holidays, in the mornings, or for babysitting? 

Yes, many of them are available for extra work and love doing extra hours where they can. Of course, it depends on the individual student's schedule. 

If your usual Koru Kids nanny can't cover all the hours you need, we can introduce you to another student who can help 'tag-team'. We’re building a growing community of nannies who can help and support each other, including by covering extra hours.

 

Is there a minimum or maximum number of hours per week the students can do?

We do ask that parents offer a minimum of 9 hours per week (e.g. 3 afternoons) during term time, to ensure enough hours for the students.

There’s no maximum. Students’ schedules differ—some can do all five afternoons each week, others less.

 

What happens if my student’s university schedule changes and they can’t do all the days I need any more?

This does happen occasionally. If it does, and you’re facing a gap in childcare as a result, we rocket you to the top of our priority list and do our utmost to find you cover from another student ASAP. We always prioritise existing Koru Kids families over new families, and we are constantly recruiting and training new nannies.

 

Do I have to pay the nanny all year around?

No, you can just employ the nanny for the weeks that you need (e.g. term time).

 

And do I have to pay them for days off on holiday?

As an employer, by law you do need to allow the nanny paid annual leave, but the cost of this is already taken into account in the £12 per hour overall cost. This means in effect you only pay for the hours that you actually receive care.  

 

Can the nannies drive?

Some can, but most can’t. They can all use public transport, of course.

 

What languages do the nannies speak? Can I get one that speaks [French]?

Mostly, the nannies’ first language is English, but many speak other languages as well. If you’d like a specific language we can try to match you with a student from the relevant country, but of course this might restrict availability a bit.

 

What is the notice period?

Our standard student contract has a notice period of 4 weeks for the first 3 months, and then 8 weeks from then on. As you're the legal employer of the student, you're free to negotiate different terms if you wish, and we can change the contract accordingly. 

 

Do I get a trial period with the nanny?

Yes, you can definitely have a trial. Some families like to follow up their first meeting or interview with a ‘play date’ where the nanny spends time with the children for an hour or so, to see how they all get on before deciding whether to proceed.  This is totally fine.

One important note: In general, it’s expected that trials will be paid for if they are more than about two hours long, or if the trial involves the nanny looking after the children by themselves.

You can also have a longer trial period if you’d like.  When we create your contract for you, we’ll check with you whether you’d like to have an initial few days or weeks of trial period, and also what kind of notice period you’d like on an ongoing basis.  

 

How does payment work?

Each month, your nanny will report their hours and any expenses that have been pre-approved by you. We run the payroll for your nanny each month, preparing a payslip and reporting to HMRC. You'll then be direct debited using our secure payments platform.

 

How do I register with you?

Click here for the registration page. And welcome aboard!