Maternity Nurse Agency

Job Descriptions & Working Hours

Night Owls are able to provide Maternity Nurses within the following categories:

Maternity Nurses – ‘Live-in’ 

A Maternity ‘Live-in’ Nurse can come and live with you 24 hours a day for between one week and six months.  She will support you with breast/bottle feeding your baby and help set up a good routine, if you do not want to be baby led. She will take care of all the baby’s laundry and the sterilizing of equipment.  She will also look after the baby for you over-night so that you can get a good sleep and recover properly.  She will be able to offer you advice and answer all your questions.  

She will help look after you and it is reasonable to ask her to prepare you light snacks during the day.  She will also be able to advise you on your nutrition and the foods that are good for a breast feeding mum to eat. 

A Maternity Live in Nurse’s role is not to look after older children although some may be willing to help with this aspect of daily life in your home, recognizing that it will aid your quick recovery to full strength.  If you would like your maternity nurse to be involved with the family in this way then this should be made clear and agreed at the interview and written into your contract of agreement. 

Similarly housework does not constitute part of a Maternity Live in Nurse’s role but if you think you would like some help with light chores such as emptying and loading the dishwasher and washing machine, this should be made clear at the interview and again written into your contract of agreement with the Maternity Nurse.

Maternity Nurses who live with you ‘full time’ will need some personal time for themselves, either to go for a walk or catch-up on their sleep. We would expect that clients would arrange for their Maternity Live-in Nurse to be allowed a minimum of four hours personal time each day. This is time free from any responsibility or children and can be arranged for a set time or negotiated on a daily basis according to the plan for the coming day. It is of utmost importance that your Maternity Nurse takes her break so that she doesn’t get over tired and is consequently unable to provide the professional care and service you expect.

Maternity Nurses – Nights

A Maternity Night Nurse will come to your home around 10:00pm and leave in the morning around 7:00am. (the specific time can be adapted to suit your needs)

If your baby is being bottle fed she will prepare any bottles that may be needed overnight and will wash and sterilise any that you may have used during the day.

She will look after your baby overnight, support you with breast feeding or give your baby a bottle of expressed milk or formula while you sleep. She will change the baby’s nappy through the night, wind and settle the baby. In the morning she will make sure that all the bottles are washed and are left sterilising before she leaves.

Where a Maternity Nurse is employed overnight it is unreasonable to expect that they will remain awake all night unless specific circumstances require this. Maternity Night Nurses will usually get some rest when your baby is asleep. However it needs to be recognised that this is broken sleep and most Maternity Night Nurses will go home in the morning for some quality sleep. 

It is possible for us to find a Maternity Night Nurse who will stay awake all night and watch your baby while they sleep. This is a waking night and therefore would be charged at a higher hourly rate. The price for this service is available upon request.

Maternity Nurses – Days 

A Maternity Day Nurse will come to your home during the day and help you with the care of your baby while you either rest or learn from her.  She will feed your baby or support you in breast feeding, change and settle your baby, help with bath time and bedtime routines and take your new baby for a walk.  She will take care of the baby’s washing and ironing but any further household tasks that you may require should be agreed at the interview and written into their contract.  A Maternity Day Nurse will also cook you a light lunch and generally assist you in your recovery.

Hours can be arranged at the time of booking to suit but are usually for a minimum of eight hours daily, up to six days per week. 


The hours that most Maternity Nurses work is detailed above however, most Maternity Nurses can be flexible in their specific contracted hours to meet your requirements. This would need to be agreed with them at their interview and written into their contract.

It is important to recognise that Maternity Nurses providing either a Night, Day or Live-in service are not domestic cleaners. They are employed for a specific role which is to look after the needs of your baby/child(ren) as established in the terms of the Maternity Nurse Contract. It is possible that some light cleaning duties can be agreed with the Maternity Nurse, however, this must be written into their Contract with you.

Domestic Arrangements

Obviously the size of your home will affect what facilities you can offer to the Maternity Nurse. 

The Maternity Night Nurse will generally sleep in the same room as the baby so that they are on hand to take care of them. We would ask for a bed or a comfortable settee with adequate bedding as the absolute minimum. The bed can be a fold-up or camp bed, but it should have a mattress. Any extra’s such as an en-suite toilet, television etc. are not vital, but appreciated.

The facility for Maternity Night Nurses to make a drink during the night and even to get a biscuit or light snack would also be valued. If a Nurse is coming to you early in the evening, it would only be polite to enquire if they have eaten or require a meal. 

Maternity Day Nurses will not require a bed or accommodation.

Maternity Live-in Nurses will have similar needs to the Maternity Night Nurse, but in this instance should have access to a Television and a place to cook their meals. Internet access would also be helpful so that they can keep in contact with any enquiries relating to work availability. They will require a proper bed and an undisturbed place to take their break.

Religious and Cultural observances

If your home follows religious or cultural traditions, then both the Maternity Nurse and Night Owls should be informed of this fact. We respect all faiths, cultures and religious observances and would not to want act in any way that might cause offence to you or your family. 


A career Nanny will be a childcare provider who has undertaken studies in early years and holds nationally recognised qualifications.  Qualified nannies/nursery nurses are generally trained to provide care and educational development for children from birth to seven years.  

Unqualified nannies may be extremely experienced and have years of childcare provision behind them but may not have the undertaken any relevant studies. This will generally be reflected in their fee.

Nannies may be employed on a live-in or live-out basis.  This will depend upon the domestic circumstances and preferences of the family. It should be pointed out however that live-out nannies will generally expect to earn more than live-in nannies since they have their own homes to run and domestic bills to pay.  

A Nanny should work in partnership with the family, taking responsibility for the safety and the development of the children in the parent’s absence.  A Nanny’s specific duties include the children’s laundry, maintaining the cleanliness of equipment and toys, cleaning the children’s rooms and changing their beds and the preparation of their meals.  Nannies can also reasonably be expected to drop-off and collect children from schools and nurseries and after school clubs.  Other activities such as trips to the swimming pool – library and activity groups would fall within their remit to promote the social and educational development of those in their charge.  

If qualifications are required then you should ask the Nanny to bring original copies of all certificates to any interview and the client should check them carefully. 

It is important to discuss with a potential Nanny how the behaviour of the children will be managed and to ensure that their approach to discipline is compatible with your own beliefs and ideals.  You should also talk about their organisational skills and question what activities the Nanny will use to promote the children’s social and educational development.   You should also question them about safety aspects inside and outside of the home and feel confident that they would know what to do in an emergency.  

When employing a Nanny the law requires that they must have a signed contract of employment with you within the first eight weeks of commencing work. It must include the start date, the period of employment and notice, an outline of their main duties, working hours, overtime rate, salary, leave, sick pay and offences that will result in dismissal.  

As an employer you will need to check that your home insurance covers you against possible claims made by the Nanny such as personal injury or damage to property.

You should also be aware that you are responsible for the tax and insurance based on the Nanny’s salary and pension contributions.  You should contact HMRC to ensure that you have all of this in order.  It may be beneficial to contact a payroll provider such as Nanny PAYE or Payroll for Nannies.  

Offer of Employment

Once you have made your choice of Maternity Nurse or Nanny, you will need to confirm the offer of employment to both the Childcare provider as well as to Night Owls.

At this stage, Night Owls will send you an invoice for the Agency Fee. We would ask that any Agency Fees are paid within 10 days of the Invoice date.

When you confirm employment to the Maternity Nurse, you may be required to pay them a deposit to confirm the booking. This is usually one week’s deposit for every four weeks of the contract period, or part thereof. 

Unless the Maternity Nurse is working overseas or you live outside of a 30 mile radius of central London (measured from Charing Cross), you would not generally be required to cover the cost of travel, since this is included in the Maternity Nurse’s hourly rate. For locations beyond the 30 miles radius of travel the Maternity Nurse may choose to charge the cost of travelling. This could either be charged at the rate of a maximum of 45p / mile or the cost of a second class train ticket. The Maternity Nurse will let you know if this additional cost applies.

If the Maternity Nurse uses their own car to travel to you, wherever you live, you would be required to cover the cost of parking, supply an ‘on-street parking permit’ or space on your drive. In addition, if the hours of employment incur a London Congestion Charge payment, this would also need to be covered. 

Maternity Nurses’ rates for working on a Bank Holiday are usually charged at time and a half. This charge applies to the actual hours worked on the Bank Holiday. In other words if the Bank Holiday is on Monday, the charge would apply for any hours worked commencing midnight Sunday night to midnight Monday night. Where a Maternity Nurse is willing to work on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, this will be charged at triple time.  

The table below gives a general guide of the prices charged by Maternity Nurses. However, the actual rates of pay will vary, depending upon the experience, qualifications and skill of the Nurse. The actual charge made by each Maternity Nurse will be confirmed with you at the time of your enquiry.

Table showing Maternity Nurses ‘Average Rates of Pay’

Nurse Average rate per hour single baby Average rate per hour twins
From To From To
Night Time Maternity Nurse £18.00 £30.00 £25.00 £40.00
Live-in Maternity Nurse (day rate) £250.00 £450.00+ £350.00 £500.00+
Day Maternity Nurse £18.00 £30.00 £25.00 £40.00

Please note: These prices are the average rate charged by Maternity Nurses and will depend upon their experience, qualifications and skills 

Placements within the UK and Overseas

Night Owls will endeavour to place a Maternity Nurse or Nanny where there is a request for help. Although most of our work is in the United Kingdom, we have a small team of Maternity Nurses who are willing to travel to other countries to provide support and childcare provision.  

For placements within England, Scotland and Wales, normal Agency and Maternity Nurse fees would apply. In addition, if you live outside a 30 mile radius of Central London (measured from Charing Cross), you will be expected to meet the cost of travel for the Maternity Nurse. This would be based upon whatever is the cheapest and most convenient option, whether by car, train or air. 

For the rest of the world including Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or Europe, you would be required to meet the cost of travel by air. Eurostar may be an alternative choice and cost option for travel to some places in Europe, 

In all cases of employment outside England, Scotland and Wales, different Agency and Maternity Nurse fees will apply depending upon your location and circumstances. We will be pleased to discuss our overseas rates with you.  It can be generally assumed that most live in Maternity Nurses will add a 20% surcharge to their normal rate, for placements outside the UK.

In addition, for overseas placements

  1. All Agency Fees must be paid before the Childcare provider leaves the United Kingdom. 
  2. All travel expenses must be paid to the Childcare provider prior to the booking. This includes the cost of flights, taxis, or public transport.
  3. Charges for Car Parking, luggage charges, or other charges associated with the journey are also payable by the client prior to the booking
  4. Cost of Mobile Phone charges during the full period of the booking will be invoiced to the client on a monthly basis
  5. All costs associated with overseas work are charged in pounds sterling and payment will be required in this currency.
  6. Other conditions that may apply are detailed in the Maternity Nurse or Nanny Contract.