AIBU regarding Nanny - help me find a backbone

(31 Posts)
Loudandtothepoint Wed 03-Sep-14 16:36:58

I have 3 DC's. 4, 2 and 1. 4 year old is starting school next week (woohoo). I have been back at work 3 months. The most cost effective childcare for us is to have a nanny. I found a lovely girl through childcare.co.uk. She was previously working in a nursery as a room leader and wanted to be a nanny. She lived very local to us and it was all perfect. Both DH and i work in Central London and live out in the Counties. Commute is 90 min door to door. DH is lucky enough to be able to either start a bit later (10am) or work from home.

2 months ago our nanny had a catastrophic break up with her partner. She left their flat and moved back into her parents in North London and has been driving down to us every morning. We need her to start at 7.30 as i have to catch my train and DH is often oncall from 7am and has limited capacity to look after the children. She is late almost every day by at least 30 minutes.

I know she is trying very hard to get to us on time and it is traffic that is causing the problem but i still have to leave at 7.30 and quite often DH is left trying to manage a 3 hungry grumpy kids and an urgent work call which is what happened this morning.

Nanny has no real plan to move back to the local area. she is in a bit of a financial pickle as she was paying a very low sum for rent when she was living with her partner and now has commitments which eat up her salary and I cant pay her more. She has stopped taking the kids out as she doesn't have the petrol. I have offered to advance her mileage but she refused.

Other than the lateness issue i dont have a problem with her care for the kids. She is enthusiastic and willing. She needs a bit of guidance on how to structure her week with the kids but i think that is only to be expected with hiring someone who lacks actual nanny experience.

This morning she was an hour late. I stayed as long as i could but had to leave. Poor DH had a work emergency and had to try and deal with it and feed a hungry 1 year old and look after a 2 and 4 year old (thank god for TV).

Nanny knows there is a problem and i think she must be looking for a new job up in London. Because of the lateness we have extended her probation period from 3 to 6 months and she acknowledged that it was a problem. I kind of feel like i am waiting for the other shoe to drop, for her to hand in her notice and i think the current situation is untenable for both of us.

I am very tempted to not wait for her to find something else and just start interviewing replacement nannies now. I feel like we need security in our childcare and we dont have that now.

but i feel awful even considering doing that. I dont want to put her out of work. She is a lovely young woman who has really pulled herself up by her bootstraps. I hate the idea of replacing her unwillingly.

I need to grow a backbone and just do it dont I?

Sorry this turned abit epic. Thank you for reading.

worried78 Wed 03-Sep-14 16:41:45

She isn't doing the job you employed her for, she knows there is a problem, but is still late.
The children are missing out because she isn't taking them anywhere.

I would give her as much notice as to her next pay packet, and start looking immediately.

dinkystinky Wed 03-Sep-14 16:42:49

I'm afraid I too would start looking for a locally based nanny - the constant tardiness and not taking kids out is a real issue.

Seriouslyffs Wed 03-Sep-14 16:43:37

Could she stay over at yours occasionally - or even babysit and stay at friends? At least you'd have some stress free mornings.

But no, it doesn't sound sustainable long term

alwaysdoinglaundry Wed 03-Sep-14 16:44:36

If the traffic is an issue then she needs to leave earlier. I would start down the road of formal warnings and get rid of her if she can't improve.

TeenAndTween Wed 03-Sep-14 16:44:55

I presume her living in during the week isn't an option?

Abra1d Wed 03-Sep-14 16:45:42

If she wants your job she needs to get up earlier and leave for work earlier.

Loudandtothepoint Wed 03-Sep-14 16:49:08

we dont have room for her to live in. It sounds very posh to have a nanny but actually we are pretty average and are squished into a small 3 bed house.

I do just need to bite the bullet and do this. She is a smart young woman and i know she will land on her feet. I will give her a good reference too because aside from the lateness she was shaping up to be quite good.

PenisesAreNotPink Wed 03-Sep-14 16:52:36

There is no reason for her to be late - none at all.

Her looking for another job is fine if she doesn't want to commute so far but it's not an excuse to be late.

You just get up earlier if you're professional

Quangle Wed 03-Sep-14 16:54:33

But she can fix the lateness - she's just choosing not to. She just has to leave extremely early and leave a big margin for traffic - this is what you would do if it was something you cared about. I think she has to do this or be out of a job. I'd tell her in a disciplinary that these are her options.

KnackeredMuchly Wed 03-Sep-14 16:57:01

I wouldn't even feel bad about it. Have the conversation, say you're happy to give her excellent references and you both need to look for a replacement for the other.

Then find a new nanny before she finds a new job...

hollylicious Wed 03-Sep-14 17:02:39

I totally agree that she should just leave earlier each morning. It sounds as though she's taking the pee tbh

Beetlemilk Wed 03-Sep-14 17:02:47

It sounds like her heart isn't really in it any more. Being an hour late is very poor. Did she make up the time?

Loudandtothepoint Wed 03-Sep-14 17:35:24

according to DH, she left on time this afternoon. hmm but she usually does and i don't call her on it on the basis that my 2 year old has dropped her nap so nanny doesn't get a lunch break in peace any more.

My resolve is stiffened. i will put the job back in childcare.co.uk

Rainbunny Wed 03-Sep-14 17:40:18

If it was me, I would sit down and have a completely honest talk with her, explain clearly that her continued lateness is creating an impossible situation for and having her arrive on time is one of the most important parts of her position. I would be gentle and be sympathetic to her situation but I would basically make it clear that I will be looking for a new nanny and for her to be prepared for this -she may quit very quickly but something about looking for a new nanny secretly while still employing her seems a bit off.

I think if I was being interviewed for a position where the current nanny wasn't aware that she would be losing her job I would be concerned about the employers and my own future job security.

WooWooOwl Wed 03-Sep-14 17:40:19

You have been incredibly tolerant so far, you really do need to get rid of her.

I can't think of any other situation where an employer would put up with repeated extreme lateness for that long. There is no reason she can't leave her house earlier.

OcadoSubstitutedMyHummus Wed 03-Sep-14 17:40:30

I would give her a final warning for the lateness. It might shock her into improving. The occasional lateness because of astoundingly bad traffic is one thing but of it is nearly constant she needs so simply leave earlier which she isn't willing to do.

I'd also not be happy re not taking the kids out. If you're willing to front money for mileage she has no excuse.

HermioneWeasley Wed 03-Sep-14 17:45:58

FGS woman, yes, grow a backbone.

She could be on time if she wanted to be, she doesn't care enough. If you force her to care in the short term by giving warnings then she WILL look for a job closer to home.

Start recruiting for another nanny now.

Vitalstatistix Wed 03-Sep-14 17:47:08

why is she late? She knows how long it takes to get to work. She has been late often enough to know that the time she is leaving is not early enough! If she is half an hour late every day, then she needs to leave earlier. It's not rocket science hmm

I would start looking for someone else, tbh.

WipsGlitter Wed 03-Sep-14 17:51:02

But you will have to give her notice as well. I don't think you can just advertise the job. You will have to tell her she's sacked.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Sep-14 17:51:48

What everyone else has said: this isn't working for your family. End it.

pippop1 Wed 03-Sep-14 17:54:45

Now there is school run traffic on the road and nasty weather comes back this is likely to get worse.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 03-Sep-14 18:06:44

It sounds untenable. To be fair if it takes OP 90 mins to commute to London and the nanny is travelling from London that is an extremely difficult commute. I'm not surprised she's late given London traffic issues but it certainly sounds untenable. Discuss it with her and tell her how unacceptable it is to be so late and ask her what solution she proposes.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 03-Sep-14 18:12:38

She doesn't necessarily know how long it will take to work. If you have to travel on the M25 for instance the range of journey could be huge so it's not as clear cut as some people might say. But it is obviously isn't working even if there might be good reasons for the lateness.

minibmw2010 Wed 03-Sep-14 18:16:32

You need to get a new nanny sooner than later. She's bound to be looking for a local job herself and if she finds one first you're screwed!

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