to think that people have unrealistic expectations from Nannies?

(68 Posts)

I'm looking for my next Nanny position and have been scouring the net for private ads (am registered with many agencies too) but can't seem to find any ads for families that seem to have realistic expectations. Of course, there is a recession going on and I have put that down for the difficulty getting another role but...

Here's an example:

We are looking for someone who can work around 45 hours plus two evenings babysitting per week, in sole charge of our 4 year old twins and 6 year old. Term time hours are Tuesday-Friday (7.15-6.30) with the boys at nursery every morning and our daughter at school. During school holidays it will be Wednesday-Friday all day from 7.15-6.30. Although we do ask for some flexibility about the days. Babysitting may be any evening. The working pattern may change as needed, subject to negotiation. The pay is £150 per week plus board and lodging.

It seems that board and lodging are a fair exchange for pay.

Am I being unreasonable to think that £350-400 npw for 12 hours days + board and lodging is a fair expectation as an experienced, qualified nanny? Or have I got my head in the clouds?

(expecting to be flamed grin but be kind, its been a long day!)

montmartre Wed 20-Mar-13 23:52:26

Hahaha! I wouldn't worry- I doubt people will be biting their hands off!

what concerns me - is they may well be! There are no Nanny jobs at the moment!

It's a bit, "will work for food" isn't it?

montmartre Wed 20-Mar-13 23:57:22

In that case... I may well be in the market for a nanny!

I suppose London rents mean lodging is worth quite a bit... not so sure about people living in Rusholme or Handsworth.

Zhx3 Wed 20-Mar-13 23:58:15

I read the spec and thought "hmm, fair enough" and then I saw the pay hmm.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 23:58:20

£150!! Is that even legal - I thought you could only deduct a certain amount for board and lodgings for net minimum wage purposes!

Mimishimi Wed 20-Mar-13 23:58:59

YANBU with your assessment of that particular advertisement although I do think the situation is far worse for many au-pairs who, despite supposed part-time hours, are in reality often pressured to work for even less for the same conditions. I doubt they would be able to attract a qualified, competent nanny at that pay for those hours and expectations but qualifications and experience might be something they would be willing to relax their standards on. It sounds like they are fishing for the desperate and seeing what they can come up with, not so unusual these days.

I just wouldn't respond to those sort of ads if I were you.

In a few weeks time, it may well look appealing! grin

anonymosity Thu 21-Mar-13 00:01:23

YANBU. Salary offered is an offence in itself and like someone says, probably not even legal.

Mimishimi - there are just no other kinds of ads really sad then again, what am I expecting from Gumtree? Someone once offered me a job £10 an hour to rest my feet on their face confused

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 00:04:58

Yep, just checked - for a 44 hour week and accommodation provided, legal minimum salary is approx £240 (£6.19 x 44, less £34 for accommodation)

TotallyBursar Thu 21-Mar-13 00:06:34

I'd laugh so hard if any minute now the is an outraged post from the author of said advert. Would you stick your head above the parapet?

Yanbu TSH, I agree with pps.

Mimishimi Thu 21-Mar-13 00:06:45

Gumtree is possibly not the best place to be looking. You could do a letterbox drop in likely areas with rough hourly rate you are expecting?

abbyfromoz Thu 21-Mar-13 00:08:53

If they had one child and were more reasonable about the hours i would say £150per week is good considering you would have zero living expenses (think about how much you would have left after paying rent, council tax, gas, electricity, transport, food, tv licence etc) a room in a flat share or equivalent in London is around £600+ pcm. If you are expected to be travelling around i would assume they would pay for an oyster card (approx £120 depending on Zone). Add all the other expenses up (be realistic).
I agree it doesn't sound much but it's very circumstantial.
Wishing you all the best in your job search.

I live in leicestershire and normally work in London so no luck really. Though I'm in the area next week (egg donation programme) so maybe can go round after that? If anyone knows anyone looking, I'm very good honest! but not quite cheap enough to work for food just yet

I'm not far away from sitting in the streets and handing out flyers, chasing people down the road shouting "let me look after your children!"

TotallyBursar Thu 21-Mar-13 00:09:31

Ha! Sorry just seen your tenner for a face job post. Good money for a sit down!

Did you?

compoundinterest Thu 21-Mar-13 00:13:42


Similar thing going on with office jobs at the mo. Want graduates with advanced software knowledge, must be able to write press releases, speak two languages, etc. etc. for £7 an hour.

I was earning that for a doddly job before I went to uni in 1995!

TotallyBursar - Nah, couldn't help wondering what he would be doing whilst I was "relaxing" - plus, how long for?!

compoundinterest Thu 21-Mar-13 00:17:41

Another thing I've noticed is that care work is paying more and there are loads of jobs.

Sounds more appealing than that stupid nanny job...

Mimishimi Thu 21-Mar-13 00:23:45

That's true, with the shifting demographic age profile throughout the Western world, not to mention the wealth transfer to older generations, there is far more lucrative work in providing care in that area (particularly since there are less young people to do it).

Isabeller Thu 21-Mar-13 00:50:36

I was just about to start a thread asking for advice about trying to create a slightly similar type of position (I mean live-in not blatant exploitation!) as carer for DPs lovely Mum who has dementia. We've been alternating live in week/fortnights with other carers but now thinking about a different pattern. It's not great pay though as we are trying to stretch her council care budget so she can stay at home.

We have a lovely agency carer who's on a young person's working visa from New Zealand and has become like one of the family. She has to go home soon though and I have wondered, jobs being scarce, whether to try advertising here in UK or whether it would be seen as not really good enough.

Is it silly to think of it as a bit like a nanny job?

I was thinking of going into care work, it does seem similar to nannying, but I'm sceptical about the pay and how many jobs seem to be advertised compared to other work.

Isabeller - what exactly would you be offering? The only thing I know of similar was a job through my agency looking after a lady, live in, and that wads £300net per week. I don't know if that's a good example though.
Compare with other job ads, see what you find smile

Longdistance Thu 21-Mar-13 01:08:12

Mary Poppins has a lot to answer for hmm

They'd be better off having an au pair.

Mimishimi Thu 21-Mar-13 01:18:46

I doubt Mary Poppins would have showed up at that house .. grin. I think one of the problems is that the parents don't think looking after children is very important, so they don't need to offer a reasonable wage. Then they complain about the quality of carers that they do attract.

WafflyVersatile Thu 21-Mar-13 01:49:27

take the feetface position.

ZebraOwl Thu 21-Mar-13 02:05:54


I was thinking the same thing. Presumably GumTree is the modern equivalent of the wishlist up the chimney.

I also suspect they've watched Nanny McPhee a few too many times &/or are hoping for the sort of Nanny Noel Streatfeild used to write about.

Does seem to be part of the trend in a wide range of fields to ask ridiculous things of people & pay a pittance because the state of the job market makes that kind of exploitation possible. Ugh.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 21-Mar-13 07:16:34

So they are asking for someone to be at their beck and call all week, be with their DC (all 3 of them) from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed in exchange for a room/food and a tiny bit of pocket money. Very tempting hmm.

MummytoKatie Thu 21-Mar-13 07:31:39

They might be able to get someone from September once the younger ones go to school but it would like be "student who likes kids" or maybe "student who pretends to like kids" not a proper nanny.

Where I live the equivalent nursery + afterschool club costs would be about £1500 a month not including the babysitting. And I live in the North where everything is really cheap!

compoundinterest Thu 21-Mar-13 09:00:16

Well, I've always said, "If you pay peanuts you'll get monkeys...".

Trouble is, at the moment jobs are so thin on the ground that decent people are accepting these jobs. I can't believe how dramatically salaries have been downgraded. Not sure how anyone is going to get on the property ladder. Thankfully it doesn't affect us!

There are genuinely lots of jobs in the care industry. Pay is low but industry is being driven by an ageing population. I know someone who runs a 'Mary Poppins' type company mainly helping older people. She is rushed off her feet. She pays people about £10 per hour but just can't get the staff (or decent ones anyway). She doesn't do anything out of the ordinary, sits with people, helps them to sort paperwork, does a bit of cleaning, takes them shopping and to the doctor, etc. Obviously need a clear CRB.

Definitely worth a thought...

rainrainandmorerain Thu 21-Mar-13 09:11:21

This is imteresting - I had no idea there was a shortage of nanny jobs out there.

I do think that for a lot of parents, their working hours/patterns mean they are looking for looking for help which is just crazy hours (v early starts, long days etc) - which means they need a 'premium service' childcare arrangement, but aren't necessarily in high paying jobs which would allow them to pay a lot of money for a 'bespoke' childcare service.

However, I also think, from umpteen conversations with other parents, that childcare is undervalued as a job, and the ability to pay for it gets mixed up with the feeling that it isn't skilled work, and they shouldn't be paying much for it. When it descrbied dismissively as 'just wiping arses and noses and singing a few songs' (and other variants) then obvs you aren't dealing with people expecting to pay more than a pittance for carers.

valiumredhead Thu 21-Mar-13 09:14:04

Ha ha they are confusing Nanny with Au Pair and even then the hours are ridiculous!

YADNBU. I'm starting to browse as my charge goes to nursery at some point between September and January (I thought it was September but things change!) and people want to pay less than £6 an hour for a nanny with five years experience and CRBd, etc. Don't want to be employers either. I'm dreading looking for work when my job comes to an end!

The worst ones are usually titled "Live-out au pair/childminder" though angry

The problem is, they can get away with it because people are going for it. I'm guessing you're more experienced than me so have a better chance but I'm not that experienced, this is my second year of live-out nannying, I've had 15 months of live-in nannying (two jobs) before and therefore am stuck in this rut between those who will go for those jobs, and the people who are willing to employ/pay reasonably but want more experience sad

Bobyan Thu 21-Mar-13 09:29:14

They don't want a nanny they want a slave.

Echocave Thu 21-Mar-13 10:15:54

Sorry if I've missed something in an earlier post but why don't you sign up to an agency? Central London even live in earn way more than that. As far as I'm aware, you don't earn more for additional children so look for a smaller family.

Babysitting maybe any evening

You're clearly not allowed to plan your own social life if you work with that couple. The thing about that ad though is at least you know they'll be dreadful so you don't make the mistake of applying.

I went for an interview last week (Pay wasn't mentioned in the ad!)

They wanted a 40pw nanny for £800 pm live out hmm

Although there are so few jobs right now, I'm crapping myself!

They wanted a 40pw nanny for £800 pm live out
How can they offer that? Surely it's below the minimum wage?

One thing you could look into is things like tutoring on ABA programmes with autistic kids, or working with families with kids with SN. I get money from social services to employ people to help out with our three children (one severely autistic, 2 NT) and pay £10/hour. Bit of a change/move but if nannying is turning into slave labour perhaps something to think about. One of the best people I've ever employed was an ex nursery nurse (she is fab with NT ds3 who can be a complete PITA as well!)

BTW the £10 an hour is never sole charge - it's either helping me out or taking ds1 out with someone else also paid the same amount. And I live nowhere near London.

dinkystinky Thu 21-Mar-13 11:42:14

Our wonderful nanny is an ex au pair plus/live in nanny - the stories she tells me about a couple of the families she worked for make my jaw drop. They did indeed expect her to be a slave for minimum wage. She has nanny friends in the area who work for friends of the mum - I dont think they've managed to keep a live in nanny for more than 3 months since she left nearly 7 years ago (whereas she's been with us that whole time as a live out nanny).

EldonAve Thu 21-Mar-13 11:43:34

In your example ad the kids are at nursery & school - it's an aupair plus job really

Farewelltoarms Thu 21-Mar-13 11:45:01

Op we had live-in nanny-housekeeper for a while. She worked 40 hours a week (3 fixed days, cleaning she could do when she liked eg when littlest was at nursery for two hours etc in other words could incorporate the hours into her other days).
Pay, £350 pw net.
Wh seems more what you're after...

Snap childcare worth looking at if nannying for kids with SN interests you. Looking through the job the pay is decent. Most seem to be between 13 and 30 an hour! Of course experience helps.

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 12:09:10

In your example ad the kids are at nursery & school - it's an aupair plus job really

Err - the 4 yr old twins at nursery in the morning so that's probably a 3 hour session leaving 2 hours of child-free time a day. No doubt having to use that time for laundry etc. So its definately a full time job and well below minimum wage (you can only allow £34 per week to be deducted for accommodation for nmw calculation purposes). Total slave labour.
I pay around that salary PER DAY for my nanny to look after my twins (live out though)

LadyHarrietdeSpook Thu 21-Mar-13 12:59:52

*I do think that for a lot of parents, their working hours/patterns mean they are looking for looking for help which is just crazy hours (v early starts, long days etc) - which means they need a 'premium service' childcare arrangement, but aren't necessarily in high paying jobs which would allow them to pay a lot of money for a 'bespoke' childcare service.*

This is it, in a nutshell. If we had used a full time live out nanny at the going rate in London with tax on top for all the hours we needed it would have cost £36-42K per year. Non starter for us, so over the years we've had to cobble together various solutions to get where we needed to be.

Pigsmummy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:07:23

I think it has been badly advertised. It looks like drop off for all three kids in the morning, school and nursery. Then afternoon taking care of two boys then after school care for girl. What is the nanny meant to be doing whilst children are at school/nursery? Hours don't add up. If it is half the hours and live in then it's not such a bad deal? renting a room could be £500+ a month depending where you are?

My usual wage is £350-£400 net per week which sounds a lot but thats for a 7-7 days, making all meals (for children), tidying up/cleaning up after them, school runs if necessary, nursery duties, laundry, shopping, any odd jobs that need doing on top of entertaining and teaching the children, taking them out, changing nappies, etc etc.

For parents that have 2 or more children under 5, a live in nanny is cheaper than a nursery. But its not in the culture up here so I have to look in London.

I'm starting to get more and more concerned as these seem to be the only kind of jobs advertised.

saintlyjimjams - would LOVE to do something like that, especially as I'm doing a psychology degree (PT Open Uni) but have no idea how you would get into that kind of thing with no SN experience...sad

Pigsmummy Thu 21-Mar-13 13:09:18

Also there is no mention of cleaning in ad so it might not be as bad as it suggests?

Pigsmummy - the job also includes housekeeping (I only copied the main bit of the ad) and what about when the children are ill? Plus renting a room could be £500+ a month - but living in your own rented room is very different to living in your workplace.

Kiriwawa Thu 21-Mar-13 13:29:28

That is absolutely dreadful sad

And what's the point of having a room in central London when you have to work 45 hours a week (plus 2 nights babysitting)

Theseventh when I employ people I'm more interested in willingness etc than lots of experience. Some of the best people I've had came to me with no experience. If you had time around your main job you could look for odd- hours work with playschemes/respite centres etc. Each area usually has a SN newsletter and you could see whether you could put a little bit in there saying you are looking for PA (personal assistant) work (that's the official name fore type that I offer - paid by direct payments). Or even start with babysitting.

And I'd recommend this as a good way of starting to learn Makaton (often useful)

Once you're working with one or two people you name will spread grin - I always struggle to find people!

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 13:43:50

Wouldn't be surprised if this ad was posted by the mumsnetter a couple of weeks ago who said she wanted (and I quote) a "Filipino" to run her house, be a nanny and get paid peanuts

Op you just apply really. I'm in my second sn job, my first I got through here, it was live in for a nice family but it just didn't work. I got my second through, they just wanted somebody to treat their child as an individual. I love it, but it's part time and my other job is with an nt toddler which I also love doing, so not sure if I'd want to take on another sn job as it's really hard mentally. Whereas the riddler takes it out of new physically! I love the combo, spurns really will for me.

My charge does son rise and I go into his room with him once a week when it's not being used for storage! I have his two siblings after school (1pm finish) too smile

VikingLady Thu 21-Mar-13 14:15:55

Someone once offered me a job £10 an hour to rest my feet on their face

I'd do that!

post Thu 21-Mar-13 14:24:38

Saintly, have you used snap/ know people who have? Our 14 year old is pretty much out of school now, and can be challenging, and also great and hilarious and fun. It would be amazing to find someone who would actively like to work with someone like him, rather than looking nervous and talking to his sister smile

No never used them myself I'm afraid, but I know they're the people who everyone always recommends

post Thu 21-Mar-13 18:57:05

I've spoken to them now, thanks smile

sleeton Fri 22-Mar-13 00:25:14

Just saw this on gumtree. 3 yo girl (also 5 mo boy, but he has his own nanny) London, live-in, £420 net per week, on-duty accommodation AND separate off-duty accommodation (to give nanny private time privacy), fully staffed house ..... oooohhh, I'm in the wrong job!!!

Isabeller Fri 22-Mar-13 19:53:24

Thanks for your reply to my question about care work OP. I'm sorry if I'm being a bit thick but are you saying you think around £300 pw live in for dementia care might be ok? Having one person living in long term would enable us to create a backbone of continuity and stability.

I am very interested in what saintly is saying. (DP Mum's care is also direct payment funded but the rate is much less than £10 ph because of an upper limit). Using your (OP) situation as an example ie the hours and work you are doing for current wage and your interest in studying: In this fantasy care job you'd have a slower paced day with some similar activites ie simple cooking, laundry. Because of the slower pace it is possible to read/study/mumsnet at times while 'on duty' and it might be possible to work round a day in college or doing a few hours SN for someone like saintly.

My intention would be to adjust the job around the person as far as possible. I agree totally with saintly that exact experience isn't essential. For me the most important quality is kindness.

just to be clear this definitely isn't an advert or a head hunt grin

montmartre Fri 22-Mar-13 19:57:33

Goodness... it's the complete opposite of the original listing!

cervantes55 Fri 22-Mar-13 20:03:02


cervantes55 Fri 22-Mar-13 20:05:59

Oops! That advert is appalling. We are hunting at the moment and have had over 80 responses to our advert (offering the London reported average for full time live out) so I fear great nannies could be forced to take something like that so those awful people will get their way.

Isabeller - I think I'm meant to pay less (in terms of how they calculate hours) but I think my workers deserve more so I pay more - but it does mean I have fewer hours. Mind you I use my dp's for all sorts so it's never very clear how many hours I have iyswim.

girliefriend Fri 22-Mar-13 20:19:10

Sleeton - I wonder which vip family that is for?

Isabeller Fri 22-Mar-13 20:34:27

Hmmm my post seems to have vanished. Basically saying DP's Mum's direct payment is limited to what council think they would pay for a care home and we have to stretch that to 24/7 care at home. Wish we could pay what the job is worth saintly smile

crashdoll Fri 22-Mar-13 20:53:34

My cousin has nannied for some extremely wealthy families. She had a fantastic experience, went around the world and loved every minute. She got a travelling experience and a job she loved - all in one!

Yes I'm lucky isabeller in that I'm not trying to fund critical 24 hour care iyswim. If we were I would have no leeway at all.

Crashdoll - I have worked with some exceptionally wealthy families - its finding the wealthy families who don't think they own you as staff grin Good experiences yes but I lived the 2devil wears prada" for a while too!

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