Cost of making your own personal childcare arrangements

By Sarah Alexander

Parents and personal arrangement for childcare Your Costs

Live-in help

  • Provide board in exchange for childcare help.   
  • Provide a wage for any hours worked in excess of the cost of board.   

Foreign au pairs

  • Provide free full board
  • Provide pocket money and any travel money as specified in the contract you sign with the placement agency or with the English Language speaking school who brings the student to NZ. 

Childcare in someone else's home

  • Many at-home parents are willing to care for another child of similar age to their own for company for their child. What you pay is negotiable and the arrangement is a private one between your families. However, if the person is caring for three or more children then they need to apply for a licence with the Ministry of Education, or sign up as a contractor with a licensed home-based ECE service. 

Arranged childcare exchanges

  • There is no financial cost in taking turns with another family and having an agreed arrangement as to who looks after the children, on which days, at whose house, and for which hours.  This kind of childcare arrangement provides a very practical solution to childcare needs whilst allowing children from two families to keep their friendship going by regularly playing together at each others' houses.

Integrating child care with your paid work or running a business

  • There is no financial cost in fitting your work responsibilities around your children.  Often the two can be integrated well. For example, you may earn money by looking after other children and have your child with you, or you may be self-employed such as running a dairy. . 

A professional nanny

  • Make sure you pay at least the NZ minimum adult wage, and meet all employment laws including providing holiday pay.
  • Provide payment for petrol if the nanny is using her/his own car for work.
  • Provide food and tea/coffee for the nanny as the nanny will be eating with your child/children.
  • You will have some additional wear and tear on the house furnishings, and toys because your child is being cared for at home rather than elsewhere during the day. 


Subsidies You May Be Eligible For



Taxpayer Contributions


For information on government funding that goes to a licensed early childhood service if you enrol your child with one, click here.


Are you interested in joining us? 
Become a member and also gain access to our significant online knowledge base 

Membership Options


Who is this for?
Teachers - Student Teachers - Parents
$78.00 one year
$145.00 two years
Your own personal username and password.
Includes access to research library

ECE Service Provider  

Who is this for?
Service providers with one or more licensed ECE services
Starting from $198.00 for one year
Your own unique username and password.
Includes access to research library 

Researcher Membership or
a Library Subscription

Who is this for?
Libraries and organisations $250 annual 
Researchers $145.00 for two years
Access to over 20 years of NZ-International Research in ECE journal issues and articles